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Cambridge University to launch £2 billion campaign

Cambridge University to launch £2 billion campaign

The University of Cambridge will launch a fundraising campaign this autumn to raise £2 billion for the University and colleges. 

The campaign will launch on the weekend of 16-18 October, and then with events in the USA, and events globally in 2016. The largest campaign by a UK university to date was announced to staff in the latest newsletter.

Cambridge ran a successful fundraising campaign to mark is 800th anniversary, raising £1.2 billion by the end of 2011.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz explained the need for such an ambitious fundraising target. He said:

“Our continued performance at the very top of global league tables is a powerful tribute to the extraordinary people who work here. But whilst our achievements on budgets smaller than our American peers speak volumes, this will not in itself be enough to consistently attract transformational philanthropy, nor will it enable us to remain a world-leading university in the long term.

“The reality is that the financial gap is widening, and quite simply, we need more resources to keep pace with the competition.”

Alison Traub, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations, said that the campaign was designed to benefit “all collegiate Cambridge”, not just the University. Colleges themselves run independent fundraising campaigns.

She told staff:

“This is an opportunity for us to come together to secure the future of collegiate Cambridge. We pursue our ambitions through the distinctive collegiate system of supervisions, which teaches students how to think, not what to think.

“The colleges are one of the main instruments by which Cambridge succeeds. The success of the University is inextricably linked to that of the colleges, and vice versa. The campaign is an opportunity to bring University and colleges together and to achieve maximum benefit to all.”

Cambridge has an 800 year history of philanthropy. Peterhouse, the first Cambridge college, was founded in 1284 by Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely. Henry VIII founded Trinity College and endowed five Regius professorships.


Photo: Trinity College, University of Cambridge, by PlusONE on


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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