06 August 2008

5,000th donation for University

Jonathan Kempster

The Development and Alumni Relations Office are celebrating a new fundraising milestone this month – the 5,000th individual donation to the University.

The generous donor was graduate Jonathan Kempster (BA Geography 2001), who contributed to the Department of Geography's centenary campaign. He made his gift after speaking to one of the Development Office's Alumni Fund student callers. He commented, "I chose to support the University because I want to do my bit to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the same experiences that I did during my time at Sheffield."

In 2002, when the Development and Alumni Relations Office was set up, there were just six regular donors supporting the University with donations totalling just over £100 per year. Today, more than 1,500 alumni, current and former staff and parents of current students support the University every year with donations ranging from £5 to £25,000. In the last five years £13.6 million has been donated or pledged to the University in philanthropic donations.

The Alumni Fund, the University's annual fundraising campaign to former students, raises over £200,000 per year to support student scholarships (currently 38), facilities and equipment, and grants for student clubs and societies, welfare and volunteering. More than 330 alumni and current and former staff have also confirmed that they are remembering the University with a gift in their Will. These bequests represent a future philanthropic income to the University of several million pounds.

"Thanks to private donations, the University can offer more resources than would otherwise be possible," said Miles Stevenson, Director of Development. "And as a result, they help us to maintain our position as one of the leading universities in the UK."

Fundraising for the University will be given a welcome boost by the government from 1 August 2008, with a new £200 million matched funding scheme for English universities. For every £1 donated by individuals, businesses and some trusts and foundations, the government will give an extra 33-50p. Universities will also be able to claim Gift Aid on both the initial donation and the government-matched amount.