Request for Proposal: Developing a fundraising strategy at Hestercombe Gardens Trust

We are seeking specialist support to develop a fundraising strategy, and help us understand how we might design and operationalise fundraising within the organisation.

Please find full details of our Request for Proposal to Develop a fundraising strategy (PDF).

About Hestercombe Gardens Trust

The Hestercombe Gardens Trust (HGT) is an independent charitable trust that owns and manages the 320 acre Hestercombe Estate, located five miles north of Taunton, Somerset.

Hestercombe is famous for its unique collection of gardens, which span four centuries of garden history and design. It is the only historic landscape to have within it four complete period gardens; the Formal Garden is hailed as one of the finest examples of the world-renowned partnership between garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.

The whole site is a listed Grade 1 on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens. Hestercombe House is Grade II* listed and forms the focal point of the Hestercombe Conservation Area. The house and stables are also designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and European Special Area for Conservation as Lesser Horseshoe bat roosts.

Hestercombe House and Gardens have undergone acclaimed restoration works and continue to develop and grow, giving our visitors a stunning setting to explore, learn and relax.

The principal objects of the charity are for the advancement of education and benefit of the public to:

  1. reclaim, restore, preserve, enhance and develop the landscape, gardens and buildings of heritage, horticultural or architectural interest associated with Hestercombe; and
  2. maintain develop enhance and preserve and provide public access to archives, databases and collections relating to landscapes, gardens, and buildings of heritage, horticultural or architectural interest; and
  3. undertake and support educational work and research and provide resources for the public relating to landscapes, gardens, and buildings of heritage, horticultural or architectural interest.

Vision & Mission

The vision of the charity is for Hestercombe to be a place where creative ideas grow and its mission is to build on our heritage of innovation, culture, creativity and green care, by developing public spaces that generate opportunities for health and happiness for everyone.

What we need support with

Over the last 25 years, HGT has had considerable success in generating capital funding, largely driven by the Chief Executive and Founder Philip White MBE, to support major elements of the restoration of the gardens and the development of Hestercombe as a heritage destination. Operational costs are supported by income derived from visitors and members, and associated trading activities.

Undoubtedly there is opportunity for HGT within this landscape. In excess of 4,000 supporters and tens of thousands of visitors represent significant potential; and as our engagement and education work develops and expands there is the potential to look at supporting the revenue costs associated with these activities through Trusts & Foundations.

But fundraising at Hestercombe is not systematised and we are seeking support to help us understand how we might design and operationalise fundraising within the organisation.

Specifically, we would like to understand:

  1. What fundraising channels would present the greatest opportunity for us?
  2. How we might best exploit that opportunity?
  3. What infrastructure – in the broadest sense – do we need to put in place/investment do we need to make to develop and systematise fundraising at Hestercombe?
  4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of our Hestercombe as a fundraising proposition? How can strengths be consolidated and weaknesses be overcome?
  5. Likely return on investment and ‘pay-back’ period?


Proposals to be received by 5pm on Friday 15th October 2021. Interviews and project commissioned in the two week period 18th - 29th October.

Project delivered by Friday 24th December.


We anticipate proposals in the range of £8,000-10,000 (plus VAT, if applicable).

Cost will not be the determining factor in how we commission the work but we do want to achieve good value for money.

Hestercombe Gardens Trust is based just outside Taunton in Somerset. It is not necessary of the consultant to live close to Somerset although we would anticipate that they would need to visit at least once during the term of the commission. We will recoup reasonable costs associated with any visit to Hestercombe.

How to apply

If you are interested in working with us, please send us a proposal of no more than two A4 pages, covering how you would approach the project, an outline project plan and summary of why you are the best person to support us.

Please also include a CV that contains at least two trade references. We will not contact any referee without your prior consent.

You should be available for a virtual (Zoom) meeting with us, which will last approximately 45 minutes, in the period 18th - 29th October.

The deadline for submissions of proposals is 5pm, Friday 15th October.

To submit your proposal, or to discuss any questions or queries about this brief, please email Chris Triggs, who is supporting us with this work. Chris can be reached via email, or by phone on 07967 713717.

Hestercombe Gardens aerial Pawel Borowski DJI 0038

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