Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

A comprehensive fundraising audit – followed by a campaign feasibility study – for Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious universities


Founded in 1425, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is Belgium’s largest university. It offers degree programmes at all levels and in all subject areas, as well as carrying out world-leading research.


The university was raising about €11 to €12 million a year, which put it in the top 15 or so universities in Europe for donations. But the institutional leaders were looking to scale up the impact of philanthropy.

Project dates
2011 to 2013

Isabel Penne, Directeur, Leuvens Universiteitsfonds (development director), says:
“More Partnership is the only consultancy I’ve encountered with a truly international perspective. I’d been telling the senior academics that we were among the most successful fundraising universities in Europe for years, but when Ian came in from the outside they really listened.

“All the same, we wondered if it was possible to make a quantum leap by trying a US-style campaign. The first step was to be humble and undergo a full audit of structure, operations and performance. More Partnership produced a report with a very positive focus. It pointed out the things we did well but also highlighted what we could do better. It was the kind of report that you could show to people at all levels in order to get their acceptance.

“The recommendation was that we should go for a focused campaign on a single area of excellence. In the current economic climate, the senior managers and academics all agreed that this was by far the most realistic course.

“We’re lucky to have a top-notch university hospital, which collaborates with a wide range of other departments. They’re particularly strong in research on the brain – from childhood autism to Alzheimer’s disease. As these are the source of so many societal problems, we decided – with Ian’s help – that this would be an ideal theme to trial.”

What happened next

The University launched its “Opening the Future” campaign in 2014.