The Team

Marcus Low: Chief Executive

Marcus Low, Factary Chief ExecutiveMarc joined Factary in 2008, bringing with him over 25 years’ worth of experience in IT. He worked initially in data systems for Local Government and the Inland Revenue before moving to British Aerospace, where he worked on many of the systems that governed the production line of the Hawk and Harrier in Surrey. He then moved to the food & drink sector in the early 90s where he worked for Pepsi, KFC, Labatt Brewing, Anheuser Busch and Whitbread, before making a move into the nonprofit sector some years later, taking up the position of IT Manager at the Princess Alice Hospice in Surrey. There he spent ten years developing the IT department within the hospice and worked on many projects, some of which were partnered with the NHS. In 1998 he and the IT Manager of St Catherine’s Hospice setup an IT Forum for Hospices in London and the South East where he went on to help many other hospices develop their own IT infrastructure.

In his current role within Factary, Marc continues to help nonprofits with their IT and data practices and policies. He designs, writes and implements many different types of databases including Factary’s various commercial databases.

Marc now specialises in data and networking, and is a member of the British Computer Society & Chartered Institute for IT.

In his spare time he enjoys walking the Malvern Hills with his dog, classic car renovation and occasional motorcycling (on sunny days). He is also a trustee and footpath officer for a Parish Council in his home county of Herefordshire, where he helps to maintain and preserve rights of way in the countryside by liaising with the council, farmers, land owners and residents in his local community.

Chris Carnie (FInstF FRSA): Chairman

Chris Carnie, Factary ChairmanChris is a research consultant, specialising in strategic funding for nonprofits – gifts, grants and investments by philanthropists, foundations, companies and government – in Europe.

Chris has worked in fundraising since 1980, initially with the Muscular Dystropy Group, Voluntary Service Overseas and Kings College Hospital, London, and was a researcher in the House of Commons from 1982-84. In 1990 he co-founded Factary, Europe’s leading prospect research agency. In 1993 he became the first advancement researcher to be elected a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, and in 1999 the first to be appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). He was Founder Chair of Researchers in Fundraising, the Institute of Fundraising special interest group, and he is a member of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (USA) of the Association Française de Fundraisers and of the Asociación de Profesionales de Fundraising (Spain). Chris has been involved in the development of venture philanthropy in Europe since 2003, as a member of the Finance and Funding Group of the European Venture Philanthropy Association.

He writes and trains in fundraising research for NGOs and professional bodies including the International Fundraising Congress where he is a regular Master Class leader. He is the management level trainer in major gift fundraising at ESSEC for the Association Française de Fundraisers’ postgraduate course. His first book on prospect research Find the Funds – a New Approach to Fundraising Research is published by Directory of Social Change (DSC), London. His second book, Fundraising from Europe was published in 2003 by Chapel & York, London. He is a contributing editor of Major Donor Prospect Research: Fundraising from the Millionaires In Your Database and Online (John Wiley, New York, 2006) and a chapter contributor to Trust Fundraising (DSC, London, 2011).

Chris lives in Barcelona, Spain. He speaks English, Spanish, Catalan and French and reads Italian, German and Portuguese.

Nicola Williams: Research Director

Nicola Williams, Factary Research DirectorNicola originally joined Factary as Research Manager in 2009. Prior to Factary, Nicola worked for 13 years in the non-profit sector, both in the UK and overseas, where she gained significant experience of project management, service delivery and the development of strategic fundraising programmes.

Now, as Research Director at Factary, Nicola works closely with clients from all sectors to develop bespoke research projects. Her role focuses on developing long-term relationships with clients, working with them to discuss their fundraising plans and longer term goals, which helps her fully appreciate and understand their challenges and needs. Her focus is on achieving what Factary has always been good at; analysing how prospect research can best be used to meet operational objectives, improve donor retention/relationships or to inform the development of strategies for income generation.

The close relationships Nicola has developed with clients helps shape our products and output and, with the support of the Research Manager, she helps strategically lead the Factary research team in providing tailored, ethically-governed research and data analytics.

Nicola’s specialist areas are in the development of efficient prospect management systems and the design of effective research strategies to meet the complex needs of non-profits. In recent months, she has also been working with other stakeholders in the sector on the changing regulatory landscape around data protection to understand the implications for prospect research and help clients navigate their way towards the implementation of the GDPR in May 2018.

Nicola also trains and consults in fundraising research for non-profits across the UK and regularly speaks at conferences and events. She is also currently working towards an MA in Philanthropic Studies through the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent.

Will Whitefield: Research Manager

Will Whitefield, Factary Research ManagerWill joined Factary as a researcher in 2006, before becoming one of our leading senior researchers.

In his current role as Research Manager he heads up the day to day management of the research team at our Bristol Office. He manages the team in all aspects of research, from the screening of existing client contact databases, to helping identify new sources of major funding.

He is highly skilled and experienced in all aspects of prospect research, specifically Trusts and Foundations, and a former editor of Factary’s highly successful New Trust Update for a number of years. Will has also served on the Researchers in Fundraising (RIF) Committee from 2013 to 2016 and is a guest lecturer on the Charity Development undergraduate programme at the University of Chichester.

Prior to joining Factary, Will was a fundraising coordinator at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and a trusts researcher for Tree Aid. Before that he was a researcher at a firm of solicitors in Bristol. He has a BA in Anthropology from Durham University and an MSc in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Bath.

Nicola Bird: Senior Researcher

Nicola joined Factary as a Researcher in July 2007 after a lengthy career as a researcher and strategic planner at Lloyds TSB, MORI and the Government Information Service. She has an LSE degree in Economics & Statistics and an Open University MSc in Development Management. The experience of completing her Masters and of being a Trustee and Chair of a local women’s charity confirmed her wish to work in the voluntary sector.

Since joining Factary she has undertaken extensive research, her particular areas of focus have been wealth research, in-depth profiling of individuals and companies and new prospect identification.

Shaun Gardiner: Senior Researcher

Shaun joined Factary as a Researcher in 2009. Prior to joining Factary he worked in a number of different fields including market research, and web and graphic design.

Since joining Factary he has held a variety of roles, including Editor of New Trust Update and Factary Phi, and acting temporarily as Research Manager during 2011. Shaun’s current focus is on in-depth research and data visualization for nonprofits, and he is also responsible for maintaining the Factary website.

Duncan Au: Data Screening Co-ordinator

Duncan joined Factary in 2008 to help run the database and screening functions. He now manages the group’s Data and Analytic services.

Before joining Factary he was a researcher at the Institute of Physics and a database administrator at Yellow Pages. He is a keen cyclist and holds a BA in Philosophy & Social Psychology. He says that neither subject has revealed itself to be particularly useful in analysing databases… (but being philosophical when it comes to dealing with the complications of BIG DATA does have distinct advantages).

Duncan continues to help develop our Oracle database and is continually pushing the boundaries with innovation and ideas.

As a lifelong “glory hunting” Man United fan, nothing gets Duncan more excited than the legendary goals of Paul Scholes… but he admits that the discovery of a new complex Excel spreadsheet formula, or a convoluted database query, does come a close second.”

David Hughes: Researcher & Publications Editor

David joined Factary as a researcher in 2012 after completing a series of internships in the legal and financial sectors.

Prior to this he was at the University of the West of England where he read English Literature.

He is now Editor of the New Trust Update and Factary Phi publications. He also helps administer Factary’s various online subscription services.

When David isn’t working he enjoys listening to music, reading contemporary American and Gothic literature, visiting the cinema and the occasional scuba diving, whenever he gets a chance to!

Simon West: Office Manager

Simon joined the team in July 2016 as Office Manager, responsible for our offices, finances, HR and administration. Simon has experience in a variety of wide-ranging administrative roles, having previously worked in investor services, financial services and six years working for a Government Agency before making the long-desired move into the not-for-profit sector.

Outside of work, Simon enjoys cinema, live music – both watching and playing – and sporadic attempts to reignite his artistic flame, which has smouldered since studying illustration at university in the late 90s, through drawing and the occasional short film and animation.

Martine Godefroid: Managing Director, Factary Europe

Martine Godefroid Martine came to the nonprofit sector with a successful track record in international finance as a Vice-President at J.P. Morgan. She was a Project Director at NEF – Network of European Foundations for Innovative Cooperation in Europe – where she was responsible for projects involving several member foundations. Martine has worked with leading foundations in Europe (UK), Fondation de France (FR), King Baudouin Foundation (BE) and Compagnia di San Paolo (IT) – for which she carried out research in new approaches to project funding and conducted feasibility studies on innovative philanthropic vehicles. Experienced in setting up partnerships and managing cross-border projects, she developed “Transnational Giving Europe” – a uniform framework allowing tax-effective cross-border giving. At Factary, Martine utilises her business skills and experience with grant-makers to help clients with insightful strategies and effective research.

Helen E Brown: US Partner & President of the Helen Brown Group

Helen Brown, founder of the Helen Brown GroupHelen has been a development professional since 1987. Her previous experience includes the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Albert Einstein Institution, Boston College, the Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University.

Currently she works with a variety of clients to establish, benchmark and re-align research departments; identify major gift prospects; and train researchers and other fundraisers through on-site and web-based training services.

Helen is a former member of the board of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) and is past president of the New England Development Research Association (NEDRA). In 2006 she received the NEDRA Ann Castle Award for service to the prospect research community.

Helen is Special Advisor on Fundraising to the North American Foundation for the University of Manchester and from 2004-2014 was a non-executive director of Factary Ltd. (Bristol, UK). She is a member of NEDRA, APRA, the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), Women In Development, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and Researchers in Fundraising (UK).

Helen is a frequent speaker and has led seminars for a number of professional associations, including Action Planning, AFP, APRA, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), NEDRA, RIF, the Planned Giving Council of Central Massachusetts, the Georgia Center on Nonprofits, the International Fundraising Congress (IFC), and Resource Alliance.

Helen is co-author (with Jen Filla) of Prospect Research for Fundraisers (John Wiley & Sons, 2013).