BHF appoints new Director of Philanthropy

16 August 2019        

Category: About BHF

Dr Kirstine Knox, from the University of Oxford has just been appointed as the BHF’s new Director of Philanthropy to spearhead our ambitious growth plans for fundraising. Dr Knox, will be joining us in September and brings a wealth of experience from across the charitable, academic and health sectors.

For the past seven years, she has been at the University of Oxford, firstly as Associate Director of Development, where she was responsible for fundraising across the University’s academic divisions, including medical sciences, and then as Director of Development at the Blavatnik School of Government. Before that, Dr Knox spent six years as the Chief Executive of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Philanthropic fundraising is a key priority in our new strategy which sets out to raise the funds to support more than £1 billion of life saving research into heart and circulatory disease over the next ten years. To achieve this, we’re aiming to grow our net income by 25% over the next five years. 

Dr Knox will be working alongside Jane Porter, Global Principal Gifts Director, in leading the Philanthropy and Partnerships team to increase the value of existing corporate relationships, identify new long-term strategic partners, and grow the potential of philanthropic giving.

Investing in new initiatives

This comes as we invest in a number of large scale initiatives with the potential to make a significant impact in improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all heart and circulatory diseases. Earlier this year, we committed £34 million to fund six Centres of Research Excellence and six Accelerator awards at 12 leading UK universities.

We also committed to supporting a new Institute of Development and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Oxford, which could pave the way for new treatments for conditions such as incurable heart failure. And, in August 2018, we launched a £30 million global research award – the Big Beat Challenge - that aims to support ‘game-changing’ advances in tackling heart and circulatory diseases.

Amanda Bringans, our Fundraising Director, said: “We’re delighted to have appointed Dr Knox to lead our philanthropy team, which will be central to the delivery of our ambitious new strategy to 2030. While it’s a challenging time for fundraisers, we see huge potential to leverage our world-leading research portfolio to attract donations from people and organisations who want to see their investment translate in to improved treatments for people with heart and circulatory diseases worldwide.

“I’ve no doubt that Dr Knox will build a formidable partnership with Jane Porter, and together they will deliver on our ambitions for increasing philanthropic support for research that will save and improve many lives in the years to come.”  

Dr Kirstine Knox said: “I’m looking forward to joining the BHF at such an exciting time in its history. Its track record of helping to cut heart disease deaths in halve, combined with its ambitious strategy for the future, create the perfect environment for attracting greater philanthropic support. I’m relishing the challenge of telling the BHF’s story to people and organisations with the potential to fund transformational research, and I’ve no doubt that I am joining a team with the culture and capability to inspire even more support for the BHF’s fantastic work.”

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