UK Universities Raised GBP774M from Philanthropists

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Universities throughout the UK received a record of GBP774 million in philanthropic funds from 2011 to 2012. The figure represents an increase by 14% from the past year, a survey reveals. Read the complete story below.

Universities in the United Kingdom raised funds totalling to GBP774 million from 2011 to 2012, representing a 14% increase compared to last year. The funds were in the forms of donations, gifts in kind, legacies, and pledges.

The study conducted by the National Centre for Social Research notes that the Oxford University and Cambridge University accounted for half of the funds raised.

Six other institutions raised more than GBP20 million, while others came up with less than GBP100,000. The research also points out a decrease in the donations for some universities as well as the amount of donations raised by individual universities.

One of the better performers was Nottingham University, which received its largest corporate donation outside Oxbridge to date.

Specifically, the university received a grant from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for GBP11.5 million for a carbon neutral laboratory focusing on green chemistry. It received another GBP2 million from its alumnus, David Ross, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse.

The research further notes that about 170,000 alumni made contributions from 2011 to 2012, representing an increase of 5%. Non-alumni donors rose to 11% or 44,000.

To that end, universities are turning their fund-raising efforts for such former students and philanthropists by employing more staff to work for them. The study discloses that the average cost per pound received a rise of 36% than that of last year.  

Overall, the new funds represent the second time that universities were able to come up with a record amount with last year's funds of up to 33% from 2009 to 2010.

Case Europe's executive director Kate Hunter welcomes the news that higher education philanthropy is growing amidst economic pressures and the discontinued matched funding scheme. "As giving to higher education grows, we need to ensure institutions are supported in developing this important stream of income," she emphasises.

In 2011, England and Wales ended their matched funding scheme, where the money raised by universities was matched with public funds. The UK government, however, discarded its plan to limit the tax relief afforded to people who donate to charity after drawing flak from the arts sector, charities, and universities.

The survey was commissioned by the Ross Group and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in Europe. About 143 institutions in the United Kingdom participated in the survey.

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