Universities ‘could attract up to £2bn a year in donations’
By Mark Smulian | 12 September 2012
The Higher Education Funding Council for England should create a pump-priming fund to help universities improve their fundraising skills.
An analysis carried out for Hefce found that philanthropy in universities was more widespread than ever and that some £2bn a year could raised by 2022.
The Review of philanthropy in UK higher education found the most common motives for donors were a wish to make a difference to students’ prospects and to contribute to the advancement of knowledge.
It said there was now considerable expertise in fundraising in UK universities and Hefce should set up the fund to support this work. The potential existed to develop this role as an attractive career option in its own right.
Review group chair Professor Shirley Pearce said: ‘Successful institutions can be found right across the sector. They have shown strong leadership and have aligned their philanthropic goals to their academic strategy.
‘If the current trajectory continues, UK higher education institutions can expect to receive up to £2bn a year from some 630,000 donors by 2022.’
The report also said the tax breaks for donations to universities were now as generous as those of the US – long seen as the international leader in this field – but were more complex and required ‘modest adjustments’.
It also urged universities to ‘support a public information campaign promoting the value of universities as a powerful channel for philanthropic investment and a good cause of wide social interest’.