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University fundraising efforts revealed

Universities have claimed that fundraising will play a more important role than ever as the sector looks to navigate a number of financial challenges over the coming 12 months.

The annual report on the state of university fundraising has revealed that universities have raised more than £1bn following a slight dip in donations last year (up 11% £979m to £1.08bn).

The report also hails a significant increase in fundraising levels by less famous institutions, which have seen a 50% increase on the previous year. The number of universities other than Oxford and Cambridge now raising £5m a year has nearly doubled over the past ten years – from 17 to 31.

Sue Cunningham, President and CEO, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), said:

Philanthropy represents an increasingly vital resource for higher education, particularly in uncertain times. This philanthropic support translates into scholarships for students, investment in research, and thoughtful engagement with communities across all institutions in the survey.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Vice-Chancellor, University of Glasgow & Chair of the CASE Europe Board of Trustees, said:

The increase in fundraising levels is a vote of confidence by donors that our sector can change the world for the better. Donating to universities supports life changing research and transformational education opportunities for those who might not otherwise have such access.

The report also reveals that despite significant increases in fundraising levels over the past 10 years, the number of people who donate to their university remains fairly static (currently at 1.3%).

Sue Cunningham added:

As funding sources for higher education are increasingly under pressure, engagement with donors has become fundamental to the success of universities. Creating a culture of philanthropy with current students and alumni helps ensure new students are able to experience the opportunities that others before them enjoyed.