Last August, our UK Advancement Tour took the participants to King’s College London. During their visit, they attended a very insightful presentation on fundraising in Asia from Matt Ferguson, Director of Principal Gifts at King’s College London.
Matt Ferguson is the Director of Principal Gifts at King’s College London and King’s Health Partners. He joined in 2007 starting in major gifts and now leads on developing transformative gift projects, such as the £20 million gift to establish The Dickson Poon School of Law. He leads a team that specialises in securing transformative philanthropic gifts in support of the Worldquestions|King’s answers campaign to raise £600 million.
Our fundraising consultant Lauren Vertigan was one of AskRIGHT fundraising consultants on the tour to accompany tour participants from Australia and New Zealand. She has noted these key points that will give ideas to those interested in the opportunity to raise money in Asia – whether you are from the education sector or not.
1. The Biggest Challenge in Fundraising in Asia: the institution’s displaying face.
So if you want to overcome this challenge, try to differentiate: what’s your institution’s clever expression that nobody else displays?
2. The Key Ingredient for Success when Fundraising in Asia: a Sustained Presence in the Region.
If you are serious about raising funds in Asia, King’s believes that it is important to go repeatedly for a minimum of three years. King’s College London commit to 15-20 trips to Asia annually.
3. The Greatest Opportunity for Philanthropy in Asia: Alumni
King’s College London’s career mentoring program engages their young alumni and introduces alumni to Asian giving circles.
King’s College London uses Giving Circles in Hong Kong and Singapore, they meet with the Principal once a year.
In Hong Kong, King’s London College hold alumni events in hotels owned by prospects so people will infer there is a closeness of relationship.
4. Talking about Gifts in Asia
King’s College London often involve the Principal at the start and at the end of gift discussions. In between, the conversation is carried on by high-level volunteers. They set a specific goal for every meeting (eg ask level or project of interest).
The status of the institutional leader is important. Do not over-expose to the wrong audience.
5. The Opportunity of Getting Academics Involved in Fundraising
Academics from King’s College London give to the fundraising process. They help make prospects available and also facilitate access.
6. The Importance of Background Research when Fundraising in Asia
Before a meeting, they do an enormous amount of background research: either desk research or talking with people who are close to the project.
The Development Office of King’s College London contracts Chinese language translation on a case-by-case basis.
If you consider raising money in Asia, AskRIGHT Fundraising Consultants and Prospect Research team can help you find prospects abroad. Email admin@AskRIGHT.com or call 1300 758 812 (Australia) / 0274 929 636 (New Zealand)
You may also be interested in the following Resources:
Free Report: Prospect Research for Fundraising in China – Our free report identifies tools and resources to help you conduct prospect research and track alumni in China.
Free Study: Indicators of International Philanthropy from Asia – The study identifies 9 country-specific factors that affect the propensity of people to give funds off-shore & looks at their likelihood to give to international aid or to education.