Strategy and leadership stream

Effective leadership is essential to successfully creating lasting change. The strategy and leadership stream is dedicated to developing collaboration across the senior leadership team and exploring the latest trends and innovations from across the sector. Sessions in this stream will be relevant to more experienced development professionals, as well as heads, bursars and governors.


Topics covered in the 2020 strategy and leadership stream include: benchmarking, fundraising strategy and regulation.

Strategy and leadership podcast

Listen now to podcast from 2019 strategy and leadership stream speakers Sean Davey, Head of Foundation and International Business Development for Reigate Grammar School, and Nick Pettingale, Director of External Relations for Ellesmere College, on franchising your school brand overseas.

Conference programme

Strategy and leadership session not to miss

Changing of the guard


Changes of senior personnel can be unsettling for the whole school community and alumni. Come and hear how we learned to embrace changes of head, bursar, chair of governors (or all three!) as an opportunity to reassess, renew and reinvigorate established practices and to bring fresh ideas and innovation to our development programmes.


Melanie Bushell, Director of Development, The Portsmouth Grammar School

Jane Vines, Director of External Communications, Downside School

HOW TO: 5 ways to use the benchmarking to step-change your programme


Benchmarking your school’s fundraising performance against similar schools is crucial – you can’t improve something you haven’t measured. But it doesn’t stop there. Learning what you are doing well ... or not so well, is just the start. How can you use the latest benchmarking report to inform your strategy, lead change and grow your development programme?


Matthew Dear, Director of Development, The Oundle Society

Becki Mckinlay, Managing Consultant, Graham-Pelton

The game changer: conducting strategic alumni research at Harrow School


In 2019 Harrow School, in partnership with RSAcademics, undertook strategic alumni research that enabled decision making and direction setting and proved to be a powerful engagement tool and lead generator. It also underpinned Harrow’s 450th anniversary plans, alumni relations strategy and campaign to raise £100m. This session will describe the project and discuss how it can be applied to any school at any stage in its development journey.


William Landale, Operations Director, Harrow Development Trust

Debra Price, Head of Philanthropy, RSAcademics

Perena Shryane, Director, Harrow Association

Case, constituencies and catalysts: the framework to create a fundraising strategy

Fiona Kirk will outline the key pointers in creating and putting into operation a clear strategy to deliver an organisation's fundraising goals and demonstrate how this can be applied, with the help of Dr Jonathan Snicker from the University of Exeter, a past client of Marts & Lundy and institution that successfully delivered on its £60 million campaign, a year ahead of schedule. This session is all about making sure your strategy fits your particular environment, priorities, budget and needs, whether you are a larger operation or just a one-man shop.


Fiona Kirk, UK Managing Director and Senior Consultant, Marts & Lundy

Jonathan Snicker, Head of Philanthropy, University of Exeter

Find out more about our other streams...