Factary has been providing high quality research and fundraising consultancy services to not-for-profit organisations across the UK, Europe and beyond for over twenty five years.

When we were founded in 1990, we knew that fundraisers needed specialist help to uncover prospective new donors and to learn more about their existing major donors and supporters, and to understand the philanthropic landscape in which they were operating. With a background in both fundraising and research, we knew that we could help.

Since then, Factary has evolved into a full-service knowledge, research and information consultancy for the non-profit sector.


  • Factary was founded by our current Chair, Chris Carnie, in 1990.
  • In 1992 we started database screening and analysis. Our initial screening process matched high-net-worth individuals using name and surname. At its height our database included over 170,000 records.
  • In 1993 we launched New Trust Update, our monthly publication on newly registering grant-making trusts and foundations in the UK.
  • In 1998 we opened our first international office in Barcelona, Spain.


  • In 2001 we carried out the first study into major gift fundraising in continental Europe, in Austria.
  • In 2002 we carried out our first feasibility study in Latin America.
  • In 2003 Chapel and York published Chris Carnie’s book Fundraising from Europe.
  • In summer 2003 we carried out the first ever data screening in continental Europe screening 7,924 records for a French environmental organisation.
  • In 2004 we were joined by Helen E Brown, our US Director and partner, and President of the Helen Brown Group.
  • In 2004 we carried out the first ever data screening in Spain.
  • In December 2004 we announced our link-up with THINK Consulting Solutions, the leading fundraising consultancy.
  • In 2005 we developed new directions for the company, with a new focus on:
    • consulting and research for philanthropists;
    • international consulting and research;
    • knowledge management; and
    • services to non-profits and their advisers.
  • In 2005 we were part of a consortium that carried out the first study into legacy giving in Spain.
  • In 2006 we opened our office in Belgium. Our EU and international research is managed from this office. In this year we also screened data in Belgium for the first time.
  • In 2006 we conducted the first study into major gift fundraising in the Netherlands.
  • In 2006 we renewed our logo and strapline.
  • In February 2007 we separated from THINK Consulting Solutions and returned to full independence.
  • In 2010 we launched Factary Phi, an online searchable database of donations to the UK non-profit sector, covering gifts made by individuals, trusts and foundations, and corporates. Phi is the first database of its kind designed for the UK’s non-profit sector.


  • In February 2011 we published The Venture Philanthropists the first study into venture philanthropy in the UK.
  • In April 2012 we published Soliciting Gifts, the first study into the Community Responsibility policies and philanthropy of the UK’s top 20 law firms.
  • In December 2012 we also published the first Foundations of Wealth, profiling 32 of the UK’s newest grant-making philanthropists, with a combined wealth of £18.2 billion. Further reports would be produced every year for the next three years.
  • In 2014, after consulting with subscribers, we updated the Phi database with an entirely new interface, making it streamlined and easier to search.
  • In 2015 we published Trust Women, a report into the number of women on the boards of UK grant-making trusts.
  • In 2016 we launched our New Trust Update archive, an online searchable database of all past issues of the New Trust Update, our monthly summary of newly registered UK grant-makers. The archive grants all subscribers access to all back-issues, and to special reports produced by Factary.
  • In 2017 we published an in-depth report into the philanthropic activities of the Chairpersons of the UK’s FTSE100. 94 Chairs were profiled, along with their company, including CSR activities.
  • In 2017 Factary’s Chair and founder, Chris Carnie, published How Philanthropy is Changing in Europe (Policy Press).
  • In 2017, in response to regulatory changes and in order to take advantage of new technologies, we designed and pioneered a completely new way to screen and analyse supporter databases to identify major and influential donors, once again proving we are at the forefront of prospect research in the UK.