Rachel Kelly

Associate Consultant


Rachel brings expertise in data strategy, analytics, insight, business intelligence, philanthropy and planning to SUMS members and clients.  She is a specialist in briefing clear and strategic client requirements for data; road-mapping strategy; planning and delivering implementation; building and scaling analytics teams; and change management.

Rachel untangles the complex challenges of data, providing clients with clarity, confidence and direction for their data ambitions. She listens to client pain points with the ear of a therapist, getting to the heart of the issue and providing a range of technical, cultural and leadership solutions. Her approach helps clients ensure they have good data delivering impactful insights in support of excellent decision-making.

Rachel joined SUMS as an associate in 2021 bringing with her experience from the HE sector as well as non-profits, ranging from national charities to arts organisations. Most recently she worked as Head of Data & Insight Service within Planning at UCL, leading the scaling and transformation of the Data & Insight Team and shaping the institution’s new data strategy.

Previously, Rachel was Head of Supporter Insight at Parkinson’s UK. Over five years, she built an award-winning analytics team within fundraising providing insight for marketing campaigns, propensity modelling for appeals-targeting, and improved methods for testing and evaluating activities. She subsequently brought together analysts from different departments into a new multi-disciplinary central analytics team serving the whole organisation. She also drew up the strategy and roadmap for the charity to build an integrated cloud data warehouse and single-person view. Before specialising in data, Rachel worked as a Fundraising Manager at Wigmore Hall giving her hands-on experience in planning and managing a broad range of philanthropic activities from membership schemes, events, legacies and appeals through to major gifts, trusts and corporate relationships.

Rachel gained her data and statistical expertise from her postgraduate studies at Birkbeck, University of London where she now acts as a student mentor. Away from work she plays music, dabbles in various arts and crafts and loves dog-walking from her home in the Derbyshire Dales.

Rachel’s Awards include:

Tech Women 100 (2018)
Chartered Institute of Fundraising Insight Awards:

  • Winner: Best Use of Data and Analysis in Digital Fundraising (2017)
  • Highly Commended: Most Powerful Insight from Traditional Methods of Data Analysis (2017)
  • Highly Commended: Most powerful use of Insight in Mass Fundraising (2019)