Our Story

Discover the key milestones in Harlequin Software's history:


Tom and Kate Ellis

Harlequin Software founded in 1986

Tom and Kate Ellis set up Harlequin Software. Our initial software programs were for hospitals. Tom’s love of Venice is the inspiration for our company name.


Patients Monies package launches in 1994

Patients’ Monies Software released in 1994

One of our earliest systems, our Patients’ Monies software continues to be developed. It is one of the only specialist software packages of its kind in the UK.



1st edition of Harlequin Charitable Accounting in 1995

Originally written for hospital charities, Harlequin Charitable Accounting is one of our core systems. It is constantly developed and evolves according to sector changes and user group feedback.


The Old Vicarage

Moved to The Old Vicarage in 1996

Harlequin operates within purpose-built offices in the grounds of the Ellis family home in Wiltshire. This provides an idyllic working environment – close to the M4.


Young Martin

Martin Hills joined the team in 1997

Martin joins the team as a Junior Programmer. Over 25 years later, he’s our Head of Product and Operations.


Launch event

1st version of Harlequin CRM launched in 2006

It was evident that our software for hospital charities could be used right across the charity arena. In 2006, we took a strategic move to gradually expand into more NFP markets with our newly delivered CRM product.  Now over 350 organisations use our software from many sectors.


Dom on day 1

Dom Ellis joined team in 2010

Dom Ellis joined the team to learn the ropes from his parents Tom and Kate. He is now Director of Sales & Training and travels all over the UK delivering training to our clients.



Harlequin CRM major upgrade in 2011

A major upgrade of Harlequin CRM was delivered utilising the Microsoft SQL Server relational database and .NET technologies. Our CRM software continues to progress in response to our user group and sector demands.


Blue sphere stands out

Topped CRM Software Survey for 1st time in 2011

Harlequin ranked highest in the annual Charity CRM Software Survey which featured in Fundraising magazine. We have rated highly every year since. 


Partners in Fundraising Award

PIFA Award 2014

Harlequin Software was voted the Best Database Supplier at the Institute of Fundraising’s Partners in Fundraising Awards 2014 .


New version of Harlequin Charitable Accounting in 2018

We issued a major new release of Harlequin Charitable Accounting that can be used by any charity – and works seamlessly with Harlequin CRM.


Tops CRM Survey

High ranking in CRM Software Survey for eighth year 2018

For the eighth year, Harlequin scored highly across the board in the charity CRM Software Survey.


Where we are in 2022

We are proud that over 300 remarkable organisations use our software – from a broad range of sectors in the charity and non-profit area.