Research team

The Research team aims to identify, profile and track individuals, companies and foundations who have the capacity to make a gift of £5,000 or more to the School. 

Man typing on iPad

We focus on making the fundraising process more efficient; tracking activity; facilitating larger gifts; providing the tools to manage the fundraising process and screening for ethical and reputational risk.


We identify new fundraising targets, or prospects, by focusing on connection and capacity. We identify alumni and individuals with a connection to LSE or a specific project who have the capacity to make a major gift. We identify potential prospects via reports from the database, where we research potential prospects against external sources; and from lists, media searches and referrals which we research in relation to our existing alumni base and School projects.

For example we review all donors who have given a single gift of over £250, and those included in The Sunday Times Rich List. We assign wealth ratings to all new prospects determined by a number of factors, including previous donations both to LSE and other charitable organisations, estimates of income and known assets, information in rich lists, job title, employer and length of service.


Using public sources and in accordance with the Data Protection Act, we provide more in-depth information on prospective donors to support the fundraising process. We produce profiles which provide the fundraisers with collated information to enable them to engage and build relationships. We produce briefings on guests attending fundraising events such as cultivation dinners hosted by the Director and the Chairman’s Circle Dinner organised by the Annual Fund.


We record all major gift fundraising activity undertaken by LSE Advancement and the LSE Foundation in New York on the Advance database. The tracking system records the set of active prospects, staff assignments, wealth ratings and philanthropic interests. We also store all proposals and their outcomes. In addition the tracking system is the home for the proposal check list which is designed to ensure that the School’s internal processes and financial regulations have been followed before an ask is made.

Data Analytics

The Research team has worked with DonorCast to develop a set of statistical models which covers major giving, legacy giving and annual giving. We have worked with units across LSE Advancement to integrate these models into the database and fundraising activity by the Annual Fund and Development teams.

How to contact us

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