27 January 2004

New Alumni Fund raises £75,000

The Universitys first direct mail and telephone fundraising campaign has been a great success - raising over £75,000 in cash donations and standing order pledges. The money raised will go to student hardship bursaries and educational, recreational and welfare projects on campus.

Over six weeks, more than 350 alumni supported either the Alumni Fund or the 175th Anniversary Campaign for Medicine. Donations ranged from £10 to £5,000. We are extremely grateful to all our donors - your generosity will make a huge difference to the lives of current and future Sheffield students. Thank you.

Student caller

The telephone fundraising part of the campaign was particularly successful. A team of current Sheffield students spent their weekday evenings talking to alumni, answering questions about the Alumni Fund and the University, and asking for donations. All alumni we phoned were given the opportunity to opt-out of receiving a phone call, but very few did.

Our student callers really enjoyed their conversations with alumni. "The Alumni Fund campaign helped me learn a vast amount about the University and the importance of keeping alumni in close touch," said David Meadows, a first-year Business Studies student.

Many alumni also enjoyed the opportunity to speak to a current student to hear about life on campus. "I was very impressed with the manner and approach of Jenny, your first-year student who telephoned me about a donation. For someone in her first year at University, I thought that Jenny came over as a very pleasant and persuasive interviewer. I owe much to the Medical School in Sheffield. In particular I gained an extremely good pre-clinical and clinical education, which equipped me well for what has turned out to be an interesting and eventful career," commented a Medical Campaign donor.

The telephone campaign was also a valuable opportunity for us to find out what people thought about the new alumni magazine, Your University. We were very pleased to hear that 80% rated it as excellent. We also asked alumni what they would like the Development and Alumni Relations Office to do for them. We were delighted by the overwhelmingly positive feelings alumni had for their University, and we aim to continually improve our alumni programme in 2004.