University receives prestigious award for raising £11 million
UK education council CASE Europe praised philanthropy at the University of Sheffield which has raised more than £11 million in the last three years as part of the Government match funding initiative for higher education.
The University´s Development and Alumni Relations office were set a challenge to raise over £8.25 million in three years, which would then be match funded up to £2.75 million by the Government.
Based on data from Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE), during the past three years Sheffield has shown the most significant and sustained improvement in the top tier of the scheme.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters, the hard work of staff, and over 5,000 new charitable donations, they exceeded their target, triggering the match funding which was instrumental in the development of the state-of-the-art Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN).
The award will be presented at an evening reception in London on 3 May 2012 to University Vice-Chancellor Professor Keith Burnett, Director of the world-class SITraN facility Professor Pam Shaw, and Director of Development and Alumni Relations Miles Stevenson, by Professor Eric Thomas, Chair of the Board of CASE Europe, and the Rt Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.
Miles Stevenson said: "This is a wonderful endorsement of the huge progress in fundraising that has taken place over the last three years. Not only has the University secured major donations from philanthropists via the Sheffield Institute Foundation for Motor Neurone Disease to create SITraN - which undertakes research into Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinson's disease - but it has also received over 5,000 donations from individual supporters who want to help provide scholarships and facilities for our students.
"We are enormously grateful to our donors for their generosity – and I would like to pay tribute to our academic champions, especially Professor Pam Shaw, and my team for their steadfast support. The matched funding scheme has encouraged mass participation within the University´s alumni base, with the idea of a 33 per cent match providing an enormous incentive to donors, and ultimately resulting in the University´s 11,000th donation this year."
In 2002, when the fundraising department at the University of Sheffield was created, the University was then only receiving annual gifts from seven members of staff and six alumni, amounting to around £100 per year.
Over the three years of the scheme, the University received new gifts from alumni, friends and staff, and the number of people taking out regular standing orders more than doubled to 750, generating £140,000 a year to help students and staff.
The University was built on philanthropic foundations with penny donations from the citizens of Sheffield in the early 20th century, aiming to bring higher education to the children of the people working in the great industries of Sheffield.