Insurance firm marketing director takes top fundraising job at British Heart Foundation

Claire Sadler will join the charity as executive director of marketing, fundraising and engagement later this month

Claire Sadler (Photograph: Bronac McNeill)
Claire Sadler (Photograph: Bronac McNeill)

A marketing director at a major insurance firm has been appointed to the top fundraising job at the British Heart Foundation.

The charity has selected Direct Line’s Claire Sadler to become its executive director of marketing, fundraising and engagement.

Sadler has spent more than three years at the insurance company and before that more than a decade at the telecommunications company BT, where she rose to become group brand director.

She will be responsible for the BHF’s fundraising, brand and marketing strategy, product development and marketing communications.

The role includes helping to generate more than £100m income from public fundraising, gifts in wills, events, philanthropy and corporate partnerships.

Sadler is also an active member of Women in Advertising and Communications London and brings experience in generating income through innovation, along with digital and marketing transformation, the BHF said.

She said the charity was important to her having lost family to heart disease.

“With the rise in a cashless society, increase in online shopping and changes in consumer habits, the way the brand engages with our supporters and raises charity income needs to change too.

“We need to ensure we can continue to fund life-saving research,” said Sadler.

Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive of the BHF, said Sadler’s experience and expertise would help the charity inspire more supporters.

“We have ambitious plans to protect and grow funds for our life-saving work at a time when it has simply never been more needed,” she said.

The BHF announced last year it would merge its fundraising, engagement and marketing activities into a team led by a new executive director as part of a restructure caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It said Amanda Bringans, its director of fundraising, and Carolan Davidge, director of marketing and engagement, would be among the top-level departures as it reduced the number of directorates from eight to six.

In June the charity said it was facing the “biggest crisis in its 60-year history” because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its income.

It said it anticipated having to halve its annual £100m research budget this year.

Sadler will join the BHF on 25 January.

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