Claire joined Brakeley Ltd in June 2019 and is a strategic fundraising and stakeholder engagement consultant with over 25 years’ experience in education. She is currently the Director of External Relations at an independent grammar school, where she has responsibility for income generation, including recruitment and fundraising. She worked in Public Relations, Alumni Engagement and Fundraising in the UK Higher Education sector from the mid-1990s until 2019, when she joined Brakeley Ltd as Managing Director. Her most recent fundraising role in universities is as Director of Development at Queen Mary University of London where she was responsible for a team delivering regular giving and major gifts from individuals, corporates, charities, trusts and foundations, and alumni engagement. Here she developed a new Development & Engagement strategy and five-year business and investment plan designed to increase internal and external buy-in of institutional fundraising and engagement, and to diversify and increase philanthropic income.
Whilst the majority of Claire’s career has been within Higher Education, she has also run successful small businesses, provided consultancy in Public Relations and has worked in accountancy, evidencing her ability to transfer experience and knowledge across sectors.
Claire has led award-winning teams at the forefront of best practice and worked with supporters, influencers and senior volunteers at all levels. She has extensive international experience, particularly in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the USA, and Dubai. In her roles at the Universities of Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester and Queen Mary she has worked globally with supporters and influencers at all levels and has led teams who were and are at the forefront of best practice and award winning.
In all roles she has devised strategy, delivering increasing levels of engagement, activity and funds in support of institutional strategic objectives. At the University of Nottingham, Claire was part of the leadership team that devised and launched the fundraising and engagement campaign, ‘Impact: The Nottingham Campaign’ and at Manchester, in addition to her work in Advancement, she was involved at leadership level in developing University-wide strategies on Internationalisation and Communications & Marketing. She is experienced in advising and training Board level supporters. Her university roles regularly took her overseas, and her international outlook has been greatly enhanced by working closely with colleagues and senior volunteers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the USA, and Dubai particularly.
Claire is a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield and retains close links with the University of Sheffield, Union of Students, where she was President in 1995-96.
Claire has often been called upon to present at conferences and training events both in the UK and overseas and mentors colleagues working within the higher education sector and charities sector.
As a qualified executive coach, she coaches leaders and entrepreneurs both within HE and in other sectors.
Claire has a BSc in Anatomy Cell Biology and a Masters degree in Journalism Studies from The University of Sheffield. Additionally, she has an Institute of Leadership and Management Level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching and Mentoring.