We were thrilled to welcome Jennie Younger, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations at King’s College London, King’s Health Partners & Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital as our guest speaker at a recent online forum for NHS charity senior leaders. Jennie leads a team of 120 individuals in a unique structure focusing on fundraising and development across academia, research and health where stakeholders include clinicians, nurses, academics, patients, students, Executive and Non-executive Board members.
Jennie spoke about how during her three years in the role she has used her previous global corporate affairs experience to build relationships with her stakeholders, work with them as partners and reshape her team to align themselves with their partners, enabling the development of stronger working partnerships. She highlighted key fundraising success stories including capital and research projects and the importance of managing the stakeholders which has enabled them to raise, as a team, between £35-40m a year with around £10m being raised for Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital Charity. During recent months the team have worked with their NHS partners to focus on good news stories to raise around £1.5m to support staff well-being zones across both their mental health and physical health partners.
Jennie came to the sector having spent a number of years working in global roles within the pharmaceutical industry and by her own admission has learnt a lot in her current position about the diversity of their stakeholders, where they interact and how research and clinical fundraising projects are areas of mutual opportunity. With the focus within the NHS on the development and growth of Integrated Care Systems, the relationships become more complex, yet they bring huge opportunity for exciting and critical fundraising initiatives that will have a positive impact on a greater number of individuals.
These are of course ‘internal’ stakeholders within the NHS and wider health system and there are any number of external stakeholder relationships to nurture too such as trusts and foundations, corporates and local communities.
In a competitive fundraising environment, it became clear through the discussion that key to any fundraising teams’ success is knowing who your stakeholders are, what are their strengths, play to them and work with them to use them to your mutual advantage.