As a freelance fundraising consultant I have worked across a number of projects for clients such as the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, Poetry by Heart, and the Forward Arts Foundation, as well as with individual artists. I've overseen all stages of the process: from developing programme models and identifying prospects to producing funding reports. I have delivered over 20 successful bids to funders in the last two years as well as cultivating individual supporters to secure sizeable donations.

We are delighted to work with Tom on several different projects for our charity. Tom is thorough and efficient, smart and tenacious. He grasps contexts and issues quickly and has a real ability to get complex points across verbally and in writing. Tom’s work with us has been extremely successful and we are looking forward to continuing to work with him in the future.
— Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE

Previous projects include:


CLiPPA Poetry Award

Engaging children with the best published poetry

The CLiPPA Poetry Award, run by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, is the only award to recognises excellence in published poetry for children. Its accompanying shadowing scheme engages over 6,000 children a year with the shortlisted works.

Today was life changing for my young poet. He told me exactly which car he’ll buy with his future £1000 winner’s cheque.
— Shadowing Scheme Teacher

As freelance development consultant for CLPE I devised a fundraising strategy for the CLiPPA, based on trust & foundation bids and cultivating individual donors. Since 2016 I have secured support from Ernest Cook Trust and repeat support from: St. Olave's Foundation Fund, the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and The Siobhan Dowd Trust.

Reflecting Rs.jpg
While experts in the UK have pointed to a “huge problem” [in representation] for some time, until now the relevant statistics have not been available.

Reflecting Realities

Recording diversity in UK children's pubilshing

Reflecting Realities is a research study to evaluate the extent and quality of ethnic representation in children’s publishing. It is the first ever survey of its kind in the UK, and will be developed alongside a new teaching programme to engage primary schools with issues surrounding diversity and the 'British Values' curriculum requirement.

Working with CLPE I helped devise a viable project model and budget, and produced a successful Arts Council England application to support the development of the programme.

Initial project findings will be announced in July 2018.


Power of Pictures

Using picture books to teach literacy and critical thinking

Power of Pictures is an innovative programme using picture books as the basis for whole-school approaches to low literacy levels. Developed by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education and piloted over three years, the project had a marked impact on teachers' teaching practice, and showed an effect on the attainment of many pupils, especially with boys reluctant to read, and those with English as an additional language.

I worked with CLPE to put together an application to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation's 'Explore and Test' fund, to expand the programme and establish a proof of concept; outcome pending.

In the meantime, the programme has been selected by the Education Endowment Foundation to receive sizeable support in testing the project's impact on closing the attainment gap between pupils of different economic backgrounds.


Photo and banner image credit: Ellie Kurttz