Brunel University's fundraising activities to support its Urban Scholars Programme have been shortlisted for 'Outstanding University Fundraising Initiative' at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2013.
Launched in 1999, Brunel’s Urban Scholars Programme provides additional academic support for inner London school children perceived by their teachers to have substantial potential but who are at risk of falling out of education before progressing to university.
Funds are needed to support scholars directly, to meet the costs of the Programme and to provide research into the effectiveness of different models of intervention.
The short-listing for this award recognises the diversity of the support secured by Brunel’s fundraising teams. Activities go beyond the standard routes for securing funds and include a mix of corporate and professional support, charitable trusts, foundations, research funding, individual donors and fundraising events.
A significant amount of funding was provided at the start of the Programme by The Moody's Foundation. As well as this vital injection to get the Programme off the ground, The Moody's Foundation has continued to fund the Urban Scholars throughout its life, providing support without which it could not have been sustained.
Over time, the Programme has been able to add funding to support students progressing on to university. For instance, Tata Global Beverages has provided support for scholars beyond the intervention programme and into university. In 2012-13 the company provided eight scholarships to students who had progressed from the Urban Scholars Programme into higher education.
Brunel’s teams also engaged with donor organisations on levels beyond the purely financial. Their employees are offered opportunities as mentors and speakers on the Programme, enriching the experience of the scholars and allowing the mentors to see at first hand the difference that their companies’ donations have made.
The sustained fundraising Programme has been so successful that it is now being used as a model for other university fundraising teams wanting to replicate its impact.
Professor Julia Buckingham, Vice-Chancellor at Brunel University, said: "The work of the Urban Scholars Programme really does transform lives and this couldn't happen without continued financial support. Our fundraising teams have worked incredibly hard to ensure that students are supported both during their time on the programme and on into their university career. They should be extremely proud of their achievement; this is well deserved recognition."
The winners of the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2013 will be announced on Thursday 20th June at Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
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