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Alumni and staff make record-breaking donations to Annual Fund

Students on beach

Students on a field trip which was partly funded by the Annual Fund

The Annual Fund has raised over £2.3million in gifts and pledges since it was established in 2004. Donations, from alumni, staff and friends of the University are used to support a broad range of projects and student financial support.

The Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) has this week completed its 13th Annual Fund telephone campaign, raising a record-breaking £220,000 for a range of projects that would otherwise not be possible at the University.

For five weeks, current students telephoned graduates to update them on University life, and to seek their support for the Annual Fund. Over 600 alumni chose to make a gift to the Annual Fund, with donations ranging from single contributions of £20, to regular Direct Debits of £1,000 a year or more.

Stella Balderston (BA Archaeology, 2002) said: "I was delighted to receive a telephone call from a very pleasant young lady who is studying Archaeology - the same degree I did at Reading as a mature student. I enjoyed myself so much at University, and I am pleased that my gift, along with everyone else's, will enable more people of all ages to come to the University of Reading."

But it's not just alumni who have been generously contributing to the Annual Fund: over 40 members of staff from across the University have so far made a donation. Every pound raised is used to support students and enhance both their learning and social experience.

Previously, staff could donate to the Annual Fund via their bank, but now the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) have set up 'Give As You Earn', a system that will allow staff to give through payroll, before tax.

Becki Mckinlay, Annual Giving Manager, is hopeful that the new simple payment system will see an increase in staff donors: "With over 700 members of staff that are also alumni, we hope that with the new system more staff will be encouraged to make a gift to the Annual Fund. If 25% of staff gave £4 a month we would raise an additional £50,000 to support students each year. I hope that my colleagues will understand the importance of the Annual Fund and join me in making a monthly donation."

The Annual Fund has raised over £2.3million in gifts and pledges since it was established in 2004. Donations, from alumni, staff and friends of the University are used to support a broad range of projects, as well as provide essential financial support for students. 80 projects have been funded to date, ranging from meteorological equipment to software for Spark newspaper.  The University of Reading Annual Fund is one of the most successful in the UK, with more thank one-third of alumni choosing to make a gift when asked for their support in our telephone campaigns.

In making a regular gift to the Annual Fund, staff will directly help students and in doing so, encourage others to support the University, including businesses, trusts and foundations. Reading alumni have proved that many people making a modest monthly donation makes a huge difference, and DARO hope staff will share this view and make a difference by donating to the Fund.

Staff donors will be welcomed to the Blandford Club, which recognises those that share our commitment to supporting students financially, academically and socially, both now and in the future.

For further information about the fund, please visit http://www.reading.ac.uk/alumni/support or contact Becki Mckinlay, Annual Giving Manager - 0118 378 5238, r.j.mckinlay@reading.ac.uk

To download a Give As You Earn form, please visit http://www.reading.ac.uk/humanresources/rdg-only/forms.htm using Charity Commission number x8145 and ‘University of Reading' as the charity name.

If you have any questions relating to the form, please contact Becki Mckinlay. Forms should be returned to the Development and Alumni Relations Office, Blandford Lodge, Whiteknights. 

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