The University of Leeds’ Big Match campaign has generated nearly £25,000 in pledges from alumni in just over a week, with £11,000 of that being raised on one night (26 October).
‘The Big Match’ is Leeds’ promotion of HEFCE’s Matched Funding Scheme for Universities, designed to help English universities boost alumni participation in philanthropic giving.
A total of £200 million has been allocated for matching until July 2011, which universities receive at a 1:1, 1:2 or 1:3 ratio, depending on their fundraising experience, and up to a preset cap.
The University of Leeds is in Tier 3 of the scheme, receiving £1 in matched funding for every £3 donated inclusive of Gift Aid, up to a potential total match of £2.75 million. The formula means that every £3 donated by alumni can be worth up to £5 with Gift Aid and the government match.
Adrian Salmon, Annual Fund Manager at the University of Leeds, said: “We’re delighted with the response from alumni to the Big Match. Our telephone fundraising team is made up of current Leeds students and is over 70 strong this year. For two thirds of the team, it’s their first experience of telephone fundraising.
“They’re hugely enjoying not just the generosity from our alumni, but the sense they now have of a real connection with former generations of Leeds students, many of whom have led fascinating lives since graduation. Our telephone campaigns really help us build a wider Leeds community, as well as providing invaluable financial support for current Leeds students”.
The team is also tweeting live from the calling room each night. Salmon believes that they could be the first charity in the UK to ‘live tweet’ a telephone campaign.
“We hear so many fascinating stories over the phone each night and Twitter is a great way of sharing them quickly,” said Salmon.
“We’ve heard about legendary student pranks, great fundraising our own alumni have done for other charities, and of course it’s also a way for us to thank our alumni for their generosity in real time. Telephone campaigns like this can be treated as invisible fundraising, but we think they offer a wonderful opportunity for our alumni to be able to share in the energy and enthusiasm of their University and their peers”.
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