Heather Williamson joined the Advancement Division of Imperial College London in March 2013. She oversees the strategy and stewardship of donors who are supporting the College with transformational gifts. Alongside her own portfolio of contacts, she directs the management of the wider Development team’s relationships with Principal Gift donors and prospects.
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 exists 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 Heather works closely with the President, Provost and senior academics to identify opportunities to cultivate Principal gift supporters.
A Principal gift can be made by a philanthropist, a charitable trust or foundation, or a corporate entity and Heather works with any individual or organisation wishing to support Imperial’s work with a generous donation. The fundraising remit is similarly broad – Heather raises funds across College and faculty priorities. The largest gift that she has managed while at Imperial is a landmark £40m gift towards biomedical engineering from alumnus Sir Michael L. Uren OBE.
Prior to Imperial, Heather served as Head of Major Gifts at the British Museum and sought funds for a variety of projects including galleries, acquisitions, posts and programming. Her role at the Museum was to spearhead the fundraising campaign for a £135m capital project known as the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre (WCEC) that delivered new scientific and gallery facilities in Bloomsbury. The project was over 80% funded by a variety of governmental, foundation and individual sources at the time of her departure.
Prior to her relocation to London in 2009, Heather served as Councils and Corporate Relations Associate at the J. Paul Getty Trust in California. During her tenure at the Getty she secured funds for programming, research and endowed positions.
For more information on Principal Giving at Imperial, please visit: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/advancement/principal-gifts/