Doug Thomson rejoins the Sutton Trust as Director of Development.

The Sutton Trust has appointed Doug Thomson as Director of Development. This is a key position in the senior leadership team given the part that philanthropy plays in underpinning all that we do. Doug brings 25 years of experience as a major gift fundraiser and philanthropy consultant and has worked for and with the Trust in a number of ways since 2005.

Doug Thomson began his career in development roles at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, University of Oxford and at the Royal National Institute for the Blind, where he established and successfully implemented new major gift programmes.  He has extensive experience of working with donors from the USA and Asia and in managing relationships between international donors and grantees.

Doug served as the first Development Director at the Sutton Trust from 2005 to 2009. He established major funding partnerships with donors such as the Goldman Sachs Foundation, JP Morgan, HBOS Foundation and the College of Law.  Under Doug’s guidance the Trust more than doubled its grant making capacity and established an innovative Strategic Philanthropy Fund, a precursor to the current Sutton Trust board.

From 2009 Doug worked as an independent consultant with institutional clients in the education and charity sectors and with individuals and families, helping to inform their philanthropy. Since 2013 Doug has worked in-house at the University of Nottingham as Director of the £242m Impact Campaign, which completed in September 2017 having exceeded its original goal of £150m.

Doug read History at the University of Nottingham. He has served as a trustee of First Give and the education charity Into University. He volunteers as a rugby coach and, time permitting, participates in endurance cycling challenges.

On rejoining the Sutton Trust, Doug commented: 

“I’m looking forward to working with old and new colleagues and donors at the Sutton Trust on our shared interest in promoting social mobility. We have an exciting opportunity to build an ever more diverse pool of donors and volunteers so that the Trust can have a lasting impact.

“I’m also looking forward to helping steer alumni relations activities at the Trust. We have such a brilliant, hard-working and talented pool of 22,000 alumni across the world and I’m delighted to have an opportunity to learn more about their many successes, and to help to develop more post-programme support for this group.”


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