The International Project volunteering trip to Ghana received funding

Annual Fund grants

Thousands of alumni and supporters of the University help current students through generous donations to the Annual Fund, by giving gifts of money or time to societies, clubs and departments across the University in order to enhance the student experience at Exeter.

To be awarded funding, projects must demonstrate that they will enhance the student experience across the wider student community, benefitting current and future generations of students and making Exeter an even better place to live and study.

The Annual Fund supports a wide range of projects – for example they may support new innovations in academic contexts, provide new equipment for sports clubs or societies or enable new activities to be piloted.

Criteria for funding

Your application should demonstrate the following criteria:

  1. The project will enhance the student experience at Exeter.
  2. The project will impact a large audience of students (minimum of 25).

In addition, it is also encouraged that projects meet the desirable criteria:

  1. Creates or improves links with the local community.
  2. Helps to promote Exeter on a national and/or international scale.

These criteria are set because the University has a responsibility to its donors for the accountability and management of philanthropic gifts and to ensure that donations are being spent in accordance with donors’ wishes and the core values of the Annual Fund.

Preference is given to projects which:

  • Directly benefit students’ academic studies, career prospects or extracurricular activities.
  • Demonstrate that other active fundraising has taken place or part-funding is already available.
  • Are start-up initiatives or new activities which will become self-funding or achieve alternative funding or support in the future.

The Annual Fund does not:

  • Provide funding for a single student to undertake activities or acquire resources (including PhD studentships). Preference is given to projects which will substantially benefit a large number of students or the University as a whole, rather than to a smaller group.
  • Support projects which are the responsibility of the University centrally, or replace funding which ought to be provided through budgeting for on-going core activities. Therefore, the following are not normally considered: subsidy for fundamental items or activities which are an expected and predictable provision rather than an enhancement to what could normally be offered, or day to day running costs for on-going activities previously funded from core budgets. For example, the Annual Fund will not support attendance at a conference which is a course requirement.
  • Fund food and drinks as part of an activity or event as these are not seen as beneficial in the long-term.
  • Fund social events (e.g. end of year dinners).
  • Support projects which are not linked to the University and therefore we cannot accept applications to support external charities.

You can apply for funding at any point in the year by completing an Annual Fund Grant Application Form‌. Decisions about which projects will be awarded funding will be made twice per year.

Round 1 applications need to be received by 5pm on Friday 27 October 2017.

Round 2 applications need to be received by 5pm on Friday 23 March 2018.


Applications should be forwarded to

Money raised each year is divided up across University departments, including the Students’ Guild, Sport and each of the academic Colleges. Applications for funding are then made to the relevant College or Service.

Applications are initially reviewed by the Annual Fund team in the Global Engagement and Development Office (GED). Once the deadline has closed (October 2017 and March 2018), applications which fit the Annual Fund criteria are then forwarded to the appropriate College/Service contact for decisions on allocation.

GED will also look to see if there are any other appropriate sources of funding available to support these projects, and will provide such information to the College/Service contact to take into account.

Applicants will be informed directly of decisions by the Annual Fund team in GED.

The University benefits hugely from the impact of alumni volunteering. Alumni volunteers can bring invaluable advice, skills, expertise and life experiences to support your project.

To find out more about alumni volunteering contact Emma McFadyen at or on +44 (0) 1392 725632. 

  • Applicants must submit the Annual Fund Project Report Form in which they will explain how the funds have been used in order to reclaim the money from GED. This report must include where possible the following:
    • Photographs or videos of the project (where appropriate)
    • Full information about how the money was used
    • How the fund has benefitted the department/college/wider University
    • Feedback and quotes from students who have benefitted
    • Feedback and quotes from any alumni volunteers involved in the project
  • Projects must publicise the support they have received from the Annual Fund e.g. displaying the logo on materials, equipment, websites, social media, internal publications etc., to ensure appropriate recognition of alumni support and to help raise awareness of philanthropy amongst students. Funding is awarded on the condition that staff, students, and other individuals involved in this project must be made aware that it is supported by gifts from donors to the University. Future donor support for the University of Exeter is reliant on raising the profile of the importance of philanthropy and demonstrating to donors the impact of their giving. Donors wish to see their gifts having direct and immediate impacts for our students. The Annual Fund team can provide support and guidance throughout the process to achieve the best possible outcome and ensure that donors feel appreciated.
  • Failure to submit the required information, or deliver on the agreed promotion and publicity of alumni funding, may result in funding being withheld. 
  • Funds awarded can only be claimed on presentation of appropriate proofs of purchase along with details of the cost code to be credited.
  • Funds must only be spent for the purposes for which they have been awarded.
  • The University of Exeter will only make payments of grants if it has sufficient funds.
  • Funds must be spent within the academic year. If funds have not been drawn down within this period, approval for projects may be withdrawn and the funds reallocated.

If you have been awarded an Annual Fund grant for a project and are ready to reclaim funds, please complete an Annual Fund report and return it to . Funds cannot be reclaimed until reports have been received.

Please note that funds can only be reimbursed for money spent and proof of expenditure will be required. This is to ensure that funds are being spent in line with donors’ wishes.

Please see the Annual Fund Reimbursement FAQs for more information. 

For more information about applying for funding, please contact the Annual Fund team (