Who We Are

Venture Associates was launched by Nicholas Connolly and Oliver Poole and alongside its in-house staff works with a network of Advisors not only in the UK but internationally to deliver the outcomes our clients’ desire. Through our network, we know that whatever your need we have the expertise that can deliver. All those we work with have the depth of experience required in the relevant sector – and share our motivation to help ensure good causes succeed.


Nicholas Connolly
Nicholas Connolly

Nick is the Founder and Managing Director of End Youth Homelessness, a national movement of 11 youth homelessness charities. End Youth Homelessness raises voluntary income and awareness for its members. End Youth Homelessness also identifies opportunities to roll-out successful regional programmes nationally and in doing so has pioneered the first national services for homeless young people.

Nick was previously Head of Corporate Development for Centrepoint. At Centrepoint, he raised more than £20m from businesses. He also established Sleep Out as one of the UK’s largest and most successful mass participation fundraising events. Nick has personally won partnerships with Credit Suisse, Arsenal FC, ASOS, Google and The Co-operative Bank. Beyond fundraising, he has been responsible for envisioning and leading the development of many new projects and services. These include the Youth Homelessness Databank, an open data project funded by Google.org through their Global Impact Challenge, and the Centrepoint Helpline, funded through the Evening Standard Christmas Appeal.

Oliver Poole
Oliver Poole

Oliver Poole has worked with some of the largest names in the charitable sector including Great Ormond Street, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, UNICEF and Centrepoint to deliver attention-grabbing campaigns and raise more than £22 million in donations. He also works with the Presidents of Kenya, Gabon, Uganda and Botswana to deliver their conservation objectives and to attract responsible inward-investment. Other projects include ethically-focused initiatives for clients in London and Africa, as well as assisting the Duke of Westminster in delivering his charitable strategy around the DNRC.

Oliver is also an Executive Editor at ESI Media, the owner of the Evening Standard and The Independent, and previously an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph. At ESI Media he reports directly to the owner, Evgeny Lebedev. At the Telegraph stories covered included the aftermath of the 911 attacks and the advent of the ‘war on terror’. He has also worked from Afghanistan, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Gaza and in 1997 covered the ‘handover’ of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. During the invasion of Iraq, Oliver was the first Western journalist to reach Baghdad with the US Army and became the Telegraph’s Baghdad Bureau Chief, staying until the end of 2006.

Senior Advisors

Lucy Littlewood

Lucy has held leadership roles in the private, public and third sector and her greatest skills are story-telling and understanding different audiences. She was an award winning television presenter and producer for ten years before being drawn into philanthropy and charity leadership.

All of her recent roles have been to change, improve or start fundraising from scratch. She is driven by the excitement of meeting prospects and donors, the fascination of what motivates them and the thrill of receiving a successful gift. She has cultivated and solicited major gifts from individuals and companies, managed Trust awards of over a million pounds and supported corporate sponsorship valued up to £500,000 annually at Macmillan Cancer Support, Serpentine Galleries, National Trust and the British Council.

In her most recent role at the Museum of the Home she was faced with the proposition of closing an £18.2 capital campaign while simultaneously launching a new core strategy, during not just physical closure but during a time of re-thinking content, re-branding, re-naming and diversifying the audience. Lucy played a key role in all these areas as well as the digital and PR campaigns.

Outside of the 9-5, Lucy has established, chaired and been a board member and NED for three small charities. Her passion is the arts, particularly visual, theatre and dance, and women and family issues.

Patrick Dunne
Patrick Dune

Patrick has worked on a range of projects at Venture. He helped to coordinate and prepare the emergency fundraising outreach to the legal sector for the Law Centres Network at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic; and oversaw the development of the campaign website, drafting strategy documents and campaign correspondence, while also authoring the Law For All? report that gained national media exposure for its highlighting of the emerging crisis in legal provision in the UK. He has also worked closely with other charities working with Venture, including Africa’s leading Rock Art preservation organisation.

Previously, Patrick worked as the coordinator of ESI Media’s Homeless Fund. In this role, he helped raise more than £1.4m and coordinated and monitored the assigning of grants to homeless organisations across London. This included the establishment of central London’s first 24/7 homeless women’s centre. The role also involved him working closely with ESI Media’s editorial teams at the Evening Standard and The Independent to highlight the work being done and the scale of the homeless crisis in the United Kingdom and its capital. In addition to this role, Patrick has also assisted worked on a Stop The Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign, launched in May 2020, to highlight the importance of stopping the trade in illegal wildlife parts and the zoonotic risk that such a trade involves.

Patrick graduated from the University of Cambridge. He lives in southwest London but nevertheless supports Arsenal football club, which he watches regularly.