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Individual Giving: Friends, Patrons and Major Donors

The context and dynamics of funding has changed fundamentally for museums in recent years.   The current economic situation may get better, but the changes to funding structures will be lasting and arguably even more competitive.  Museums need to get better at asking for money whilst focusing their attention on increasing and diversifying funding sources. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 10:30

Participants are invited to arrive from 10.30 for coffee. The day will start promptly at 11.00 and will include a networking lunch.  We aim to finish the day by 15.30.

Individual giving – patrons friends and major gifts, is the second seminar in the ASPIRE fundraising and philanthropy series of events which aim to spark ideas, share and develop knowledge, and increase confidence around fundraising and philanthropy.  

Museum friends and patrons play a key role in providing support with practical help and fundraising.  But museums need to think carefully about how they can best develop schemes that make a valuable and worthwhile contribution, which are attractive to new and potential friends and donors, and which keep them interested and involved once they have joined. 

The idea of attracting major gifts may seem daunting as the research work and careful cultivation behind each donation may appear to be a questionable use of resources for museums without dedicated fundraising and development staff.   But major gifts can herald the start of a long and supportive philanthropic relationship between the museum and the donor. 

Through case studies and facilitated conversations this seminar will explore individual giving and will provide delegates with the opportunity to share their experiences and network with other colleagues who are also involved in fundraising and development work.

This event is for museum decision makers.


Natasha O’Farrell, Friends and Patrons Manager, Ashmolean. Natasha worked in the advertising and film industry for many yearsIn 2005 she took up the role of Fundraising and Events Manager at Living Paintings, a national charity which supports blind and partially sighted adults and children. She joined the Ashmolean in April 2010.

Anh Nguyen, Major Gifts Manager (Operations), Ashmolean Museum. Anh Nguyen joined the Ashmolean Museum in September 2012. Anh has worked in development since 2009, first as a trainee in the UK’s first ever graduate scheme to nurture “high calibre, home grown fundraisers”, funded by the Council for Support and Advancement of Education (CASE). Prior to joining the Ashmolean, Anh spent two years fundraising for Oxford University’s Social Sciences Division. Anh has as Masters in Comparative Social Policy from Oxford, and is now pursuing a doctorate, specialising in educational inequalities in Vietnam.

Emily Magnuson, Major Gifts Manager (Campaigns), Ashmolean Museum.  Emily Magnuson joined the Ashmolean in December 2012. She has worked in development for the arts since 2008, first in the major gifts team at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and then as Sponsorship Associate for the Frieze Art Fairs in London and New York. Emily studied European History as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania and has a Masters in the History of Art from Oxford, specialising in architectural history.

Polly Nuttgens, Development Administrative Officer, Ashmolean Museum. Polly Nuttgens has been working in the arts and cultural development since 1998. Firstly at London based Fine Art exhibition logistics company Art Logistics, at international fairs such as New York, West Palm Beach and Maastricht; followed by six years at Arts Council England in Development, Grants and the Visual Arts.  Polly joined the Ashmolean in 2008 and supports all of the work of the Development Team, in particular the Friends and Patrons schemes. She has a degree in Fine Art.

Lucy Shaw, Oxford ASPIRE Coordinator.  Lucy has been working as the Oxford ASPIRE Coordinator since August 2012.  She has worked in the museum sector since the early 1990’s, firstly as a social history curator in the East Midlands but for the last 10 years she has worked as a consultant specialising in workforce and organisational development.  Lucy is a trained facilitator and coach.  

Worcester College, Oxford
Lucy Shaw

For further information please contact the ASPIRE events team: |01865 613783

Booking Details: 

This session is free of charge and ASPIRE will pay for reasonable costs of delegate’s travel (up to £50).  Places are limited and will be given on a first-come-first-served basis and will be allocated to one person per organisation.

To book a place please visit:

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