About us

ChangeStar is a fundraising and social change agency helping charities and other good causes connect with people to do good things – including giving money, campaigning, volunteering and changing their behaviour.

ChangeStar is a Corporate Supporter of the Institute of Fundraising.

What makes us different?

  • Results – while many charities and agencies have struggled to make fundraising work in recent years, we continue to get some of the best results in the business – example, we’re helping one client to recruit consistently at 1:1 ROI or better.
  • Perspective – our team members bring a wide range of skills beyond their experience as fundraisers, as seasoned writers, campaigners and strategists, to provide a broader, more informed perspective on your cause and how you can drive it forward.
  • Approach – we believe good communication consists of one person talking to another in a personal, authentic way. We use a range of tools to achieve this – from direct marketing techniques such as personalisation and data analysis through to our own simple human empathy and compassion.
  • Seniority – every member of our team has years of experience and success – from our copywriters to Account Directors (the only level we have in our account management team).
  • Client focus – we make it easy, affordable and enjoyable for our clients to work with us through our transparency, efficiency and flexibility.
  • Relationships – our aim is to build longer term relationships with our clients as they enable us to get the best results. We offer some great benefits for longer term clients – including lower costs!

Our Services

  • Fundraising
    We have an amazing pedigree in direct response fundraising from individuals – we get the best results you are likely to find anywhere. And we’re prepared to prove it – test us against your current fundraising agency in our head to head challenge – if we lose, you pay no fee! Browse fundraising appeals by ChangeStar.
  • Campaigning
    We have decades of experience in planning, creating and delivering high profile, award-winning campaigns for non-profits. We can help you mobilise your charity’s supporters to take action – from campaigning to volunteering.
  • Communications
    We are experts in all aspects of the communications mix – from reviewing and building your brand identity through to developing annual reports.
  • Data
    We develop accessible, intuitive tools to help you make sense of your donor or membership data and get the most out of it.
  • Consulting and strategy
    We are experts in strategic planning at all levels – from organisational development plans to fundraising plans and supporter journeys. Read our article on Individual Giving Strategies here. We also provide coaching and workshops to charities to help you build your skills in a range of areas – including copywriting, digital, strategy and management training.
  • Research
    We produce original research and thinking on the subject of social change – how to get people to do good things and what the barriers to this are.

We also have a special service for smaller charities or those with lower volumes of mailable contacts (under 4,000 mailable contacts) who would like some agency help but can’t afford to pay agency prices – check out ChangeStar Express here.

The ChangeStar Team

Our senior management team (below) is supported by an experienced, successful and committed team of copywriters, designers, and strategists who can help you get brilliant results.

Richard Docwra – Director and Strategic Director

Richard’s broad background in seeking social change led him to set up ChangeStar. He has worked on fundraising, campaigning and communications for global and social change for over 16 years, working with organisations such as Oxfam, The Green Party, Concern and Schumacher UK. As the Chief Executive of fundraising agency TW CAT Ltd (now On), he led the company to achieve a 20-fold growth in turnover over a 3-year period.

He has also worked on broader social and political issues, including the development of new initiatives such as Life Squared – a not-for-profit organisation helping people to live happier, wiser and more meaningful lives within the pressures and complexity of the modern world. Richard also writes on various issues, including published work for Renewal and Professional Fundraising magazines, and the book ‘Modern Life – As Good As It Gets?‘ (Green Books, Oct 2008). See www.richarddocwra.com for details.

Email Richard
Connect with Richard on LinkedIn

Kath Blaize-Smith – Account Director

Kath has 10 years’ experience leading fundraising and direct marketing campaigns in the charity and not-for-profit sector. She spent seven years working for Macmillan Cancer Support where she delivered successive years of significant income and participation growth for some of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, including World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and Brave the Shave.

Kath has developed and delivered marketing strategies across the full marketing mix including direct mail, social, OOH, display, DRTV, radio and press and holds CIM qualifications.

Email Kath
Connect with Kath on LinkedIn

Kate Wright – Account Director

Kate is an experienced communications professional with 10 years in management of creative campaigns, preceded by 11 years as a Graphic Designer at leading UK and New Zealand agencies. She has thoroughly enjoyed working with many voluntary sector clients, including Whizz-Kidz, RNID, ChildLine, The Terence Higgins Trust, the British Red Cross, Plan UK, Tommy’s, Leonard Cheshire and Blue Cross.

With expertise in social media, direct mail, branding, digital media, advertising, media buying and print production, Kate holds CIM and IPA qualifications as well as her degree in Graphic Design.

Email Kate
Connect with Kate on LinkedIn

Tim Walker – Head of Copy

Tim has 20 years experience of campaigning and fundraising. He has worked at grass roots level right up to senior level in a range of pressure groups, charities and commercial organisations.

His early campaigning and fundraising was for CND and the Anti Apartheid Movement. He then moved onto the position of Head of Fundraising at John Grooms Association for Disabled People. After this, Tim established TW CAT – a direct marketing agency for voluntary organisations. In ten years of work TW CAT was never beaten in donor fundraising tests and broke records for every client. Tim was also one of the founders of Our World Our Say – an early adopter of online campaigning for democracy back in 2003.

Simon Crab – Digital Director

Simon is an experienced Digital Creative Director and Strategist. He leads the Digital services team at ChangeStar, and our work includes consultancy on transforming the fundraising effectiveness of charity websites.

Simon works with charities, socially progressive organisations and NGOs on planning and creating global digital campaigns around health, human rights and education. He advises on how to use digital effectively within a campaign comms mix. He is also currently a Senior Digital Global Campaigner for Oxfam.

Simon was the Founder and Creative Director for Hello World agency in partnership with the advertising agency HMDG offering broadcast media, digital and eCRM. Clients included Superdrug, Nyetimber and Ancestry.com. As Executive Creative Director at Tangent Snowball, clients included The Labour Party, Which? and Faber & Faber. Simon was Founder, Creative Director and Owner of Lateral, the most awarded UK digital agency from 1996 to 2009. Clients included RSPCA and Amnesty International.

Kirstie Smith – Chief Operating Officer

Kirstie runs the business side of ChangeStar. She has over 20 years of commercial experience, including Director roles in a range of companies – from FTSE 200 companies to start-ups. She has also worked as a Consultant offering Executive Coaching and other commercial and change management services.