Davina Patel

Head of Communications and Marketing

Executive Summary

Senior leader with experience in communications, public relations and marketing, within the not for profit sector. A strong communicator, ability to articulate clearly with the written and spoken word. Confident, quick learner, persuasive and a quick thinker. Ability to describe and translate complex information. Goal-oriented team member, resourceful writer and creative multimedia designer utilising Adobe Creative Suite. 

Key achievements have been:

  • Implemented a marketing and communications strategy to raise £1 million for local needs in Surrey.
  • Edited and launched a research report on community needs in Surrey, generating new donors and increased public awareness on the Community Foundation for Surrey.
  • Developed and implemented a tailored internal and external communications strategy across platforms for Initiatives of Change, a people-led movement which increased engagement from all stakeholders.
  • Launched Changemakers magazine, a publication dedicated to telling stories of inspiring individuals working to change their communities.
  • On the Board of Trustees for True Honour, a charity supporting victims of forced marriage, honour based violence and FGM. 




Brand Management

Media Relations

Campaign Management

Digital media

Internal Communications

Strategic Coommunications

Employment History

Work experience

Head of Communications & Marketing

Apr 2014 - Present
Initiatives of Change
  • Member of the Executive Committee, responsible for the collective running of the charity. Member of the Global Communications Group, leading the refresh of the brand.
  • Manage three members of staff, volunteers and contractors.
  • Developed and implemented a communications and marketing strategy for Initiatives of Change in the UK, including the launch of Changemakers. Part of an advisory team for Initiatives of Change International.
  • Developed a marketing strategy and rebrand for Greencoat Place, a conference and events centre owned by Initiatives of Change. Part of the core team implementing a brand refresh for Initiatives of Change.
  • Developed and implemented an internal communications strategy, an integral part of the organisation.
  • Created communications tools to support IofC’s fundraising efforts, bringing expertise on donor development from earlier positions to support the team in managing and building key donor relationships.
  • Created content suitable for traditional media, print, web, managing online community engagement and online campaigning.
  • Communications budget holder carrying out procurement, putting in place adequate financial controls and reporting on expenditure. Successfully pitched for additional budget by demonstrating the outcomes that this will achieve.

Marketing & Communications Manager

Jan 2012 - Mar 2014
Community Foundation for Surrey
  • Implemented a marketing and communications strategy to promote the Foundation including securing the Surrey Advertiser as a media partner, providing 12 months of guaranteed editorial.
  • Editor of Surrey Uncovered, a complex and sensitive research report into the community needs in Surrey that was turned into a clear, informative report. Project-managed the design and proofing.
  • Implemented the PR and marketing of Surrey Uncovered including organising the launch event and media briefings.
  • Co-ordinated the national Surviving Winter campaign for two years in Surrey, securing celebrity endorsements and regional press coverage.
  • Lead communications co-ordinator of the Philanthropy Fellowship South East – a network of philanthropists in the region. Working with three other Community Foundations to deliver the strategy by planning events and communications to support the network.
  • Promotion of grant-making to local community and voluntary groups through online communications, networking events and media coverage.
  • Online Communications: introduction of social media, project-managing the re-design of the website and increased use of e-mail marketing.
  • Organised events for specific audiences.
  • Design and drafting of marketing materials including the Annual Review and leaflets.

Marketing & Communications Manager (Pro Bono)

Oct 2011 - Mar 2012
Carbon Leapfrog
  • Drafting and implementing a marketing and communications strategy to increase awareness of the charity and its projects.
  • Advised low carbon projects on the best use of marketing and communications including utilising social media to increase their reach to potential audiences.
  • Drafted and created the charity’s online communications.
  • Mentored and supervised an intern.

Campaigns Volunteer (Pro Bono)

Feb 2011 - Sep 2011
Amnesty International
  • Assisted the Programme Director with a number of regional campaigns.
  • Monitored press coverage, drafted press releases and updated social media channels.

Account Executive

Jul 2007 - Jul 2010
Paul Smith Associates
  • Drafting press releases, handling media enquiries, designed and edited corporate literature and publications. Monitored media coverage, organised media briefings and provided detailed media reports to clients.
  • Heavily involved in the PR and Marketing of the launch of The Edible Garden Show, a national grow your own exhibition. Co-ordinated press releases on behalf of exhibitors, as well as, promoting the show to visitors and potential exhibitors. Liaised with various gardening and lifestyle publications for advertising and promotional material.
  • Client list included: The Edible Garden Show, Thorns (UK’s leading furniture hire company), De Boer Structures (temporary structures provider), LSG Sky Chefs (global in-flight catering company), and SOG LTD (facilities management service for business and science parks). Ad-hoc clients were: Widnes Vikings (Rugby League team), Windsor Eye Clinic (private medical eye centre) and GIC Re of India (state-run Indian re-insurance company). 
  • Coverage of clients was seen in the following publications: ITV, BBC, Daily Mirror, Eastern Eye, Event magazine, Event Industry News, Square Meal, Stand Out, Exhibition News, Grow Your Own, Daily Mirror, Liverpool Daily Post, Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News, Surrey Advertiser series, Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News.


May 2005 - May 2006
Eastern Eye newspaper
  • Researched and drafted articles.
  • Columnist in the popular ‘What’s On’ section of the newspaper.
  • Interviewed leading South Asian personalities.
  • Published in The Evening Standard and Harper’s Magazine in America.



M.A International Public Relations (CIPR accredited)

2010 - 2011
Cardiff University

B.A  (Hons) Journalism

2003 - 2006
University of the Arts, London

Other skills, volunteering, memberships & awards

  • Member of the CharityComms.
  • Courses attended include PR and Communications in Fundraising, Social Media for Non Profits and Digital Media for charities.
  • Documentary/film-making certificate with Insight TV.
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite and social media channels.
  • Basic understanding of Gujarati, Hindi and French.