It is the largest campaign in the University’s history, raising more than £68 million and in excess of 92,000 volunteering hours since 2012.

Exeter’s most successful philanthropy campaign comes to an end

The end of December 2020 marks the completion of the University of Exeter’s ‘Making the Exceptional Happen’ philanthropy campaign.

It is the largest campaign in the University’s history, raising more than £68 million and in excess of 92,000 volunteering hours since 2012.

Donations have funded vital research into diseases such as dementia, diabetes and cancer; into environmental problems like climate change, plastic pollution and food security; and into understanding important economic, social and political dynamics across the world.

The money raised has also supported students to both attend Exeter and to have the best possible experience during their time here. It has funded bursaries and scholarships so talented students can come irrespective of their financial background, and it has paid for sports facilities and student events.

Gerry Brown, alumnus and Chair of the Campaign Board said: “When we set the goal of raising £60 million by the end of 2020 it was the most ambitious fundraising campaign Exeter ever embarked on, with a target almost three times the amount raised previously.

“Despite this we actually hit the target 12 months ahead of schedule and the volunteering goal two years in advance. This is thanks to the generosity of Exeter’s community of alumni and friends and we are incredibly grateful to every single person who has supported us.”

In 2020 much of the Campaign activity was supporting research into COVID-19 and the consequences of the disease, as well as helping students deal with the impact of the pandemic.

In the spring, 1,300 alumni and friends donated £120,000 to Exeter’s Emergency Appeal in support of trials to improve the speed and accuracy of blood tests. Since then philanthropy has also funded research into understanding levels of COVID-19 infectiousness and has enabled trials to commence that will investigate whether the BCG vaccine offers some level of protection against COVID-19.

Philanthropy is also helping us to understand the societal impact of the pandemic.  Private funding enabled the University to commence research into how COVID-19 will impact the life chances of the poorest in society, and what can be done about it.  Another gift enabled Exeter researchers to implement technologies to support the mental health of dementia sufferers in care homes during the pandemic.

Plus donations to the Student Hardship Fund have supported hundreds of Exeter students facing hardship in the pandemic due to things like job losses, isolation requirements or the impact of illness on themselves or family members.

Dr Shaun Curtis, Director of Global Advancement at the University of Exeter said: “It is wonderful to reach the end of our Campaign having exceeded both our financial and volunteering targets. Every hour that has been given to provide advice to students and fellow alumni, and every pound donated to support the work of the University, has had a massive impact.

“We have received donations from supporters in 95 countries around the world, demonstrating the reach of the work we do, and showcasing what a global community we have at Exeter. Fundraising will continue of course because there are still many global challenges in need of support, but this is a great milestone to reach and one that we look forward to celebrating with our friends and supporters once it’s safe to host in-person events again.  Thank you!”

Date: 21 December 2020

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