We focus on identifying and engaging potential donors with the ability to make a gift of £1M+ in support of College priorities. We also ensure that donors who make a significant gift to the College are properly acknowledged.

At Imperial we define a Principal gift as a philanthropic donation with a value of £1 million or more. Gifts at this level are genuinely transformative, enabling new work to be initiated or existing programmes to be significantly expanded.

Relationship building

Principal gifts are typically made in the context of an ongoing relationship, through which the donor has gained familiarity with Imperial’s work and confidence in our ability to be a reliable steward of their donation. The Principal gifts team was created in 2012 to foster these relationships, to solicit £1M+ gifts and to ensure that donors supporting the College at this level are acknowledged appropriately for their generosity. College leaders play a vital role in cultivating relationships with donors, and we work closely with the President, Provost and senior academics to identify opportunities for them to meet with Principal gift supporters.

Who makes a Principal gift?

A Principal gift can be made by a philanthropist, a charitable trust or foundation, or a corporate entity; we work with any individual or organisation wishing to support Imperial’s work with a generous donation. Our fundraising remit is similarly broad – we raise funds across College and faculty priorities.


Heather Williamson, Director of Principal Gifts, leads the Principal gifts strategy. Alongside her own portfolio of contacts, Heather oversees the management of the wider Development team’s relationships with Principal gift supporters.

Principal Gifts contacts

  • Heather Williamson

    Heather Williamson

    Personal details

    Heather Williamson Director of Principal Gifts

    +44 (0)20 7594 1599


    4.04, Faculty Building
    South Kensington Campus
    London SW7 2AZ

  • Bernice Kaplan

    Bernice Kaplan

    Personal details

    Bernice Kaplan Executive Assistant (Director of Principal Gifts and Director of Prospect Development)

    +44 (0)20 7594 9654


    Level 4, Faculty Building
    South Kensington Campus
    London SW7 2AZ