Our history

The roots of Brakeley as fundraising consultants go back more than hundred years. John Price Jones and George A Brakeley Sr was hired by Harvard University in 1919 to help run the first modern campaign among the alumni of that university. In the 1980s, Brakeley established operations in Europe and started working with the first Nordic client in 1993. Today, Brakeley operates as independently owned local companies which share the same methodology and collaborate in many client projects. Since 2010, Brakeley Nordic has been organised as a limited Swedish company (Brakeley Nordic AB).

Some highlights from our more than 30 years of operations in the Nordics:


  • We started advising Chalmers University of Technology in 1993, and helped them run the first modern capital campaign among universities in the Nordic region. This campaign raised around SEK 350 M.
  • Swedish Sea Rescue Society (Sjöräddningssällskapet), 1995. We helped them to start working in a structured way to secure major gifts for construction of new rescue vessels. Since then this has been an important source of funding for them.
  • Umeå University ran the first capital campaign among a multi faculty university in Sweden in 1998-1999. Brakeley helped with planning and running the campaign.


  • We carried out a planning study in 2004 for Karolinska Institutet as preparation for their first capital campaign. We subsequently helped KI to launch the capital campaign called Breakthroughs for Life. The campaign raised SEK 1 billion – from both Swedish and international donors – and concluded during the 200th Anniversary Year of 2010.
  • UNICEF Sweden was one of our earliest clients in the NGO/Charity sector. We helped them to establish a major donor program in 2003-2004.
  • We carried out a planning study for Ersta Diakoni to help them set up fundraising operations.
  • We advised Helsinki University of Technology to plan a fundraising initiative. This led to a fundraising campaign – probably the first modern capital campaign in Finland – with a target of EUR 20 M, which they reached in time for their 100 year anniversary in 2008.
  • Hanken School of Economics carried out their first fundraising campaign in time for their 100 year anniversary – with Brakeley as strategic consultants. The campaign exceeded its target and raised around EUR 16 M which was matched by the government with another EUR 39 M.
  • Brakeley helped Linköping University to first plan a regional fundraising campaign, followed by a national campaign for the whole university. Linköping University’s capital campaign, called Expanding Excellence, raised around SEK 270 M involving all faculties and concluded in 2011.
  • WWF selected Brakeley to develop a major gifts programme throughout the WWF network. Brakeley Nordic has since worked with WWF Denmark and WWF Sweden.
  • We carried out a study for Royal College of Music (KMH) in Stockholm and helped them to prepare for their fundraising campaign around a new campus.


  • In 2012, we organised our first study trip where we invited our clients to join us for a day in Cambridge. Since then, we have organised study trips to Oxford/London, Stockholm, and Basel.
  • We started the first open training on major gift fundraising in the Nordic region. The first program round took part in 2015 with 15 participants from different sectors. Since then we have organised it two times per year – in Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, and Göteborg.
  • We helped Aalto University with campaign management and setting up a new fundraising organisation in 2015. This second fundraising campaign concluded in 2017 and exceeded its target of EUR 20 M.
  • We carried out a feasibility and planning study for Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) in 2015 that helped them plan for their 100 year anniversary campaign that raised close to SEK 300 M.
  • In 2017 we carry out a feasibility and planning study for Aarhus University Hospital, a pioneer in Denmark for major gift fundraising.
  • We helped many other clients in different sectors and countries to plan strategic fundraising initiatives: for instance S:t Erik Eye Hospital (Sweden), Univeristy of Oulu (Finland, Arcada University of Applied Sciences (Finland), National library (Sweden), Malmö University (Sweden), Unicef (Norway), and Stockholms Stadsmission (Sweden).


  • Covid meant that we needed to adapt our work and during 2020-2021 we carried out several trainings and studies digitally.
  • Finland has its third matched gift scheme for universities. This time around we support University of the Arts Helsinki and University of Vaasa.
  • We see a growing interest among museums in Sweden and we carry out studies for clients such as Nationalmuseum (2020), Gothenburg Museum of Art (2020), Silvermuseet (2020) and the Vasa museum (2021).
  • In 2021 we assembled an experience sharing group with 15 participants from Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. We followed up with another group the next year.
  • In 2023 we started a three year project to support the arts and cultural sector in Sweden to work with philanthropic support. The project is funded by Kulturbryggan.

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