If you’re looking for a speaker for your conference or event, you’ve come to the right place.

Dr Adrian Sargeant is Chief Executive of The Philanthropy Centre. Formerly the first Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, Adrian is passionate about achieving massive growth in philanthropy. All his work is focused on achieving that by developing the value that donors get from their giving. He specialises in the new science of philanthropic psychology, a science that is routinely doubling the income for those charities that apply it. Adrian has received many awards and honors for his services to the profession and was named to the prestigious Nonprofit Times Power and Influence List in 2010. He received a Civil Society Award for his services to fundraising and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Fundraising in 2016.


Adrian’s normal speaking fee is $3000 plus economy travel from his home base in Kansas City in the United States.  Adrian became a US citizen in 2012.

He can talk on a wide range of fundraising related topics including:


Relationship Fundraising 3.0

Many organizations claim to be practising relationship fundraising, but in reality there is little agreement about what that actually means and what would constitute a relationship approach. In this session we’ll take apart of notion of relationship fundraising and look at the social psychology of how human beings form relationships. We’ll look at what learning there might be there for how we might better build donor relationships and report the results of our most recent testing of a relational approach at the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. We’ll look at the results we achieved, both the difference we were able to make to behaviour and the difference we were able to make to how people experienced their relationship and just how good they felt about their giving. Our testing was conducted in both the US and the UK with large samples of donors.


How to Double, Triple or Quadruple Your Income

Why do some organizations truly excel in their fundraising and others merely get by? In this session we’ll explore the results of our study of organizations that have successfully doubled or tripled their donated income in a five year period or less. We’ll look at the characteristics of their fundraising leadership, the nature of these individuals and how they spend their time. We’ll also look at how they manage teams, culture and organizational structures (such as performance review and remuneration) to help them build their success. But critical to success was not so much the actions that our outstanding leaders took as how they thought about solving their fundraising problems, or the problems that needed to be fixed organizationally to allow fundraising to be successful. We’ll look at what was distinctive about their approach and close by exploring systems thinking and the power of developing systems thinking in teams


Donor Acknowledgements: Learning to Say A Better Thank-You.

The thank-you letter has the highest recall of any donor communication, higher even than the campaign that preceded it. So why is it that so many organizations do such a lousy job of thanking their supporters? In this session we’ll unveil the results of our most recent study of the thanking process drawing on learning from social psychology from the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. Should we be thanking our donors for their gift, for the difference they’ve made, for the kind of person they are or for the kind of person they would like to be? How do these approaches make people feel – and is there an optimal point at which to thank to get the experience into long term memory? Come along and find out…


Successful Bequest Solicitations: Lessons from Research

Bequests represent one of the last big fundraising opportunities, yet few organizations get asking for a bequest right. In this fast moving sessions we’ll explore why people give, how they select organizations to give to, what they think of our current approaches and how to build powerful and effective solicitations. We’ll look at the science behind the language you should be using and show you many practical of examples  of what organizations that succeed are presently doing. The session will conclude with 10 powerful take-aways that will lift giving to your non-profit and allow you to meet you bequest giving targets.


Successful Fundraising Events: Why Do Some Organizations Excel?

Why do some organizations achieve outstanding success with their fundraising events, while other organizations struggle? What is it about the way that outstandingly successful teams think about and/or plan their fundraising that drives it to excel?  In this session we’ll explore the results of our major study of event fundraising practice at the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy and explore exactly what makes these events so special. We’ll look at the language that is used to promote our events and how that must be improved. We’ll also look at how events can be structured to meet higher order human needs including connection, autonomy and competence in expressing our love for others. We will show how the fulfilment of these needs can dramatically influence the value that participants derive from their attendance. We’ll conclude by drawing on learning from the commercial sector and explain why creating good donor experiences is no longer enough. Great fundraising events are often transformational events and we’ll show you what that means and how it can inform your professional practice.


Philanthropic Psychology: Understanding the Donor Behind the Giving

Understanding why donors give is a crucial piece of knowledge for any fundraiser to possess. But understanding why people give is only part of the equation. It is altogether more powerful to consider not only why people give, but what they are saying about themselves when they do so. What identity are they articulating? In this session we’ll explore the notion of identity and explore multiple identities that are relevant to giving. We’ll show you how you can routinely increase giving by over 10% just by changing a few words in your communications. We’ll also tease you with some of our latest thinking on supporter identity and how it can double giving while delivering real value for your supporters, enhancing just how good they feel about offering their support.


Building Donor Loyalty: The Lessons From 25 Years of Professional Testing and Research

We’ve been talking about loyalty for 25 years, yet organizations continue to lose 50% of their newly acquired donors in the first year of their relationship? Why is this and what are the factors that drive subsequent loyalty and retention? In this session we’ll explore the latest research on loyalty, including new work from the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. We’ll examine the role of factors such as intimacy, identity, satisfaction, commitment and trust and just how predictive these are of subsequent behaviour. These factors do not influence giving in a vacuum, we will explore how the degree to which one of these factors might influence giving may be enhanced jointly with another. We’ll introduce a smarter way to think about the joint effects of these factors and illustrate the practical difference this new perspective can make to enhancing stewardship and retention.  We’ll also review the best of professional practice from around the world and illustrate exactly why these approaches work. You’ll leave the session with some genuinely new thinking. Miss it at your peril…


If you can’t see the topic you need on this list, please contact Adrian on adrian@philanthropy-centre.org for an informal discussion.

To book Adrian as a speaker please email details of your event and requirements to Emma Bryant on emma@philanthropy-centre.org, or call +44 (0) 1752 545 706.