Simon O’Leary joins More Partnership

15 May 2023


We’re delighted to announce that Simon O’Leary, a sector leading expert in community fundraising has joined More Partnership as a partner.

Simon comes to More with unrivalled experience in community fundraising, mass participation events, and volunteer management with a proven track record in strategic planning and operational delivery.

Whilst director of the iconic Poppy Appeal at the Royal British Legion, Simon led his teams to achieve a net contribution of £220 million over the past five years, including the most successful Poppy Appeal in its 100-year history in 2018. He led the charities fundraising response to Covid, ensuring that the Poppy Appeal was able to take place despite regional and national lockdowns with the safety of all supporters, volunteers and staff always prioritised. 

Through his leadership of the Poppy Appeal, managing an income budget of £50 million and the activity of 40,000 volunteers, Simon has developed a deep understanding of how community fundraising and mass event programmes can achieve results, working with numerous corporate partners including Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, TfL, Network Rail, Travis Perkins, and Warburtons. 

Prior to his time at the RBL, Simon worked in a range of roles at Cancer Research UK including managing Race for Life during a period of unprecedented growth, setting up the innovative Run 10k series, and helping turn around the community fundraising department to make it the most successful in the sector. During this period his teams and supporters were shortlisted for numerous IoF awards, including winning the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year Award. 

Simon’s career to date has shown a remarkable ability to develop strategies based on insight that make the most efficient use of resources across the organisation. He brings particular care to relationship management and believes in fostering behaviours and culture within teams to do this well. 

He also has a strong track record of innovation in a range of areas including event and product development, creating a high performing culture, and recently led the work to introduce the new plastic free paper poppy that will be distributed later this year during the Poppy Appeal. 

On joining More Partnership Simon said: “I am passionate about the importance of community fundraising both from a fundraising and long-term engagement perspective – this has never been more important because so many communities are facing unprecedented hardship in these challenging times. I’m looking forward to helping the team at More develop this area, and support clients make the most of this vital area of fundraising”. 

Maarten Vervaat, Managing Partner at More commented: “Our clients across sectors are looking to create movements around their causes and raise funds from much wider communities. We’re extremely fortunate to have Simon, who has led the UK’s biggest community fundraising campaign, join More. He is a tremendous addition to our team, and will enhance our ability to support our clients across all types of giving and fundraising”. 

You can contact Simon by email on soleary@morepartnership.com or connect with him on LinkedIn.