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St John's Ambulance

See Ability - Seeing beyond disability

Action for Children

Children's Hospices UK

Beating Bowel Cancer

St John Ambulance

  • Conducted various projects since mid-2010 that have supported the growth and diversification of fundraising
  • Specific projects include: strategic review of fundraising and new fundraising structure including job descriptions; budgets & forecasts; product analysis; competitor analysis; corporate fundraising development
  • Developing businesses cases for specific fundraising initiatives as part of the charity’s strategic planning cycle in order to obtain sign-off from trustees

Scott Jacobson, Director of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising

“St John Ambulance has been working with Darnell Consulting since mid-2010 when they were first engaged by us to conduct a review of fundraising. This project involved providing us with a new fundraising strategy including corresponding departmental structure and financial forecast. We were very impressed by their work and have continued to enlist their services.

Since that first piece of work, Darnell Consulting has delivered a number of other projects as well as contributing to our annual strategic planning and budgeting cycle. They always ensure they have an up to date understanding of our large and complex charity and they use this to ensure that their fundraising advice is totally relevant and tailored to our individual needs.

They are also very responsive and are unfazed by some of the more challenging deadlines we have given them. Their solid fundraising knowledge, continued focus on ensuring they fully understand our charity and genuine desire to see us succeed have led us to view them more as a partner and an extension of our team rather than merely as a ‘supplier’.”

Orbis - Saving Sight Worldwide

  • Reviewed corporate fundraising and recommended a new, highly targeted approach
  • Devised a new business programme by clearly defining the most relevant target audience segments and creating a prospect development plan
  • Developed core propositions with corresponding template proposals for each segment and coached the Corporate Partnerships Manager.

Allan Thompson, Director of Fundraising

“ORBIS already has a successful corporate fundraising function, but has only one Corporate Fundraiser responsible for managing existing relationships and developing new business. It was becoming increasingly difficult to focus on the key opportunities and to prioritise our time and effort on the best potential financial outcomes. Darnell Consulting brought extensive corporate fundraising experience to this project to help our Corporate Fundraiser to target their efforts on key sectors, and to devise a prospect development tracking system which helped to focus our corporate fundraising efforts and maximize our income. They carried out this work incredibly effectively and helped to identify where best to channel our efforts. Grahame Darnell also provided coaching for our Corporate Fundraiser and helped to build their confidence as a fundraiser.”

Beating Bowel Cancer

  • Grahame Darnell acted as Interim Fundraising Director and re-motivated a demoralised team that had lacked fundraising leadership for some time
  • Reviewed current situation, stopped certain activities and refocused fundraising efforts in order to improve ROI and maximise income
  • Delivered a robust forecast of the likely year end position, and provided a clear plan and induction for the new Fundraising Director in order to enable the charity to hit the forecast

Mark Flannagan, Chief Executive

“Grahame came to us at a time when we really needed a first class fundraiser and leader to not just fill a gap as an interim, but to pull the team together and maintain the momentum of existing fundraising plans. Grahame did more than deliver. He got to grips with our charity even before he arrived, diligently working to understand who we are and what we need. He then re-motivated a demoralised team using his expertise in fundraising combined with his flair for leadership. He delivered at every step of the way – even pulling a reforecast out of the hat which he didn’t have to do. Grahame is now a firm friend of the charity and I urge anyone who needs a first class fundraiser and team leader to work with Grahame – you will not be disappointed, you will be grateful for his input. I am actively looking for ways to work closely with Grahame again.”

Birmingham Children's Hospital

  • Developed new business strategy in order to drive growth, including defining of target audience segments and devising a proposition for each
  • Made recommendations for diversifying fundraising mechanics so that funding is not solely generated from partnerships but also from other vehicles
  • Produced a robust budget underpinned by a number of clearly identified components that were built up to create the overall target

Fidelis Navas, Head of Corporate Partnerships

“We have seen a really positive growth in our income in the past few years but this has mainly been down to reactive fundraising rather than new business activity and we felt we were a long way off reaching our potential. Having an experienced external consultant to review, digest and brainstorm potential ideas and processes was essential to getting us started. But Darnell Consulting did far more than that; they have been instrumental into turning our growth strategy into a reality because we simply did not have spare resource to think this through. They gave us project plans to use, copy for pitches, were instrumental in creating the year's budget and also ideas on how to work with some tricky clients. Advice on any topic was never off limits. It has boosted our confidence and given us a more rounded approach to our fundraising.”


  • Devised a compelling proposition for a ground breaking new project in order to target companies for support
  • Researched and identified over forty relevant companies that had a good fit with the project
  • Contacted senior decision makers within each of the prospective companies resulting in two new partnerships and opening up several conversations with potential for a future relationship


  • Developed a core fundraising offer and corresponding strategy for targeting the corporate sector; shortly after its implementation SeeAbility won a £100k partnership with D&A opticians - its biggest ever partnership
  • Researched and recommended an appropriate prospect list that identified companies with a good fit with the cause
  • Developed a set of products and tools to enable income to be harnessed from companies.

Lucy Sargent, Appeals Director, SeeAbility (formerly The Royal School for the Blind)

"Darnell Consulting were contracted to develop a corporate fundraising platform at SeeAbility. They developed a clear strategy and a set of tools to enable SeeAbility to maximise its potential from corporate partners. This included a prioritised prospect list and a much-needed portfolio of corporate offerings which range from innovative national campaigns to template charity of the year proposals. Darnell Consulting displayed a genuine desire for SeeAbility to succeed and this added-value was felt throughout the contract evidenced in their willingness to engage their own contacts to support the charity and to the advice and support they gave to other areas of the fundraising operation."

Action for Children

  • Acted as Fundraising lead for one of sector’s biggest rebrands when NCH became Action for Children as part of three-person steering group
  • Planned and led major fundraising appeal for Action for Children which beat all phase one KPIs and saw £750k raised in first 3 months
  • Developed a new approach to local fundraising and rolled it out across the organisation resulting in more coherent on-brand local fundraising and income growth
  • Supported induction of new Director of Fundraising and development of new fundraising strategy and departmental structure

Polly Neate, Executive Director of External Relations and Communications, Action for Children

"Darnell Consulting has been a key strategic player in Action for Children at a crucial time in the organisation's history and Grahame has been an important member of the senior management of fundraising for more than four years. Darnell Consulting took the lead for the fundraising directorate in the development of our new brand, from brand audit through agency selection, communication to a wide range of stakeholders, and the launch of our new identity itself in September 2008. They also worked with senior managers responsible for our services for children to develop a new approach to local fundraising and then to embed it across this large and complex UK-wide organisation. As well as their wide knowledge of fundraising, they are very skilled at developing relationships and have a sure grasp of strategy which goes much wider than their core professional background in fundraising. Grahame then covered as Interim Director of Fundraising during a time of intense change while the recruitment of a permanent director took place, and then led for several months on the development and planning of our first ever Fundraising Appeal, with excellent results including personally brokering a very significant corporate partnership."

Children's Hospice UK

  • Brokered major partnership with Bauer Media Group to run a fundraising appeal across nine radio stations
  • Lead the planning and management of the appeal which grossed over £350k

Julain Hall, Fundraising Director, Children's Hospices UK

"In the 'fast moving world of radio media' Darnell Consulting worked with us to devise and run effective radio campaigns across nine stations over a six month period. Darnell Consulting's experience enabled us to make the most of the opportunity to raise both funds and profile."

Haven House

  • Conducted strategic review of fundraising
  • Delivery of new fundraising strategy, departmental structure and three year budget
  • Supported diversification of fundraising – in particular development of new fundraising propositions for companies and wealthy individuals

Ian Sparks, Chief Executive, Haven House Foundation

"We are a small children’s hospice and Darnell Consulting worked with us on a fundraising development plan and, within that, strategies for major donors and corporate development. The great strength of their work was that it was very specific to our location and capacity. It recognized our resource limitations and set realistic goals for the next few years. In that way it encouraged our fundraisers to feel that it was challenging but achievable. We were also impressed by the way Darnell Consulting actively supported us in implementing their recommendations." 

The MS Society

  • Conducted product analysis project across entire fundraising portfolio providing client with information about where to place emphasis
  • Delivered corporate review that recommended a fresh approach including new target audience segments, tactics for diversifying income (more CRM and strategic partnerships) and increasing the pipeline and number of proposals being generated
  • Led the new business approach to companies as part of the private phase of a major appeal around the charity’s 60th anniversary; identifying 20 prospects and securing 3 meetings (income tbc)

Nicola Tallett, Director of Fundraising and Marketing

"MS Society has been working with Darnell Consulting since late-2010 when they were first commissioned by us to conduct a product analysis project across our entire fundraising portfolio. This project provided us with some solid insight and assisted with decisions about where to place our effort. We were pleased with Darnell Consulting’s approach and the recommendations they delivered. As a result we have subsequently called on them to deliver other projects including a corporate fundraising review and leading a new drive to secure corporate partners for our 60th Anniversary.

We have always found them to have solid fundraising knowledge and a positive, objective approach. They give an honest assessment of what they see and provide me, as Director of Fundraising and Marketing, with a useful outside perspective.

As well as strategic thinking and they also bring a willingness to get ‘hands on’. This means they can help with implementation as well as strategy and it also gives them a sound understanding of contemporary market conditions - which is not something that all consultants have. " 

Contact a Family

  • Community Fundraising development project utilising focus groups and product analysis to recommend a new product portfolio and protocols for how to utilise the portfolio at local level
  • Delivery of a new approach to corporate fundraising including researching and identifying appropriate charity of the year prospects and devising template proposals
  • Producing an events plan that delivers an optimum mix of challenge events along with a full budget showing how this would be implemented and scaled up

Clare Lemon, Director of Fundraising and Marketing

"Contact a Family is a small but dynamic charity and, when we were looking for a consultancy to help us expand and diversify our fundraising, Darnell Consulting came highly recommended. We initially brought them in to help us with a community fundraising development project. As well as delivering against the brief, we were impressed with their commitment and willingness to engage with our staff at every level.

We have subsequently enlisted their help with other pieces of work. They have helped us to develop a fresh approach to charity of the year fundraising that has seen us pitching to companies that weren't on our radar previously. They also helped us to produce a very thorough and focussed events plan. Both of these projects were delivered on a tight budget yet the work they did was very thorough and totally appropriate for our individual needs.

Darnell Consulting have an in-depth knowledge of fundraising, lots of integrity and a real desire to work in partnership with us which is why we continue to enlist their services."


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