The impact of giving

Academics and students from across the University are so enthusiastic to share their experiences of what donor funding has enabled them to achieve. They fully recognise the value of philanthropic support, the flexibility that it can allow, and the reach that it can have in terms of global impact.

Going behind the scenes to meet the people working on some of the University’s most fascinating projects is a true privilege.

Philanthropy Report 2022 - cover image showing Radcliffe Camera

For this year’s Philanthropy Report, which was published earlier this month, we interviewed the inaugural Hillary Clinton Chair of Women’s History, Professor Brenda Stevenson, and Professor Henry Snaith, who is developing low-cost, high-efficiency photovoltaic technology for a clean-energy future.


We learned about Professor Peter Rothwell’s work in setting up the Wolfson Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia and how a legacy gift has provided a lifeline for the teaching of Chinese Mandarin in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. We also heard from students who have been awarded philanthropically funded scholarships that are changing the courses of their lives.

Professor Peter Rothwell - looking out of a window

Professor Peter Rothwell - John Cairns

We were delighted to speak with Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Louise Richardson for this year’s edition, ahead of her departure next month. In a special feature, she explains why fundraising has been ‘one of the most enjoyable aspects’ of her role and reflects on the substantial difference philanthropy makes to the life and work of the University. During the 2021/22 academic year, the University secured over £249 million in donations. 

As well as producing a hard copy Philanthropy Report for donors, we also create a microsite, send an e-communication to those who have signed up for our updates, and amplify the stories through our wider networks and on social media. These communications are an important way of acknowledging the donors who have made all of these individual stories possible and so we take a great deal of care in putting them together – as well as conducting in-person interviews, we also commission photography for each of our features.

Crystal Chika Okwurionu outside the Said Business School - John Cairns

Crystal Chika Okwurionu, recipient of a philanthropically funded scholarship - John Cairns

Whether it’s contributing to Oxford’s research on pandemic threats and climate change or ensuring that some of the brightest students can take up an offer to study here, donations play a significant role in helping us to remain a world-leading teaching and research institution, benefitting society on a global scale.

We love being part of that and being able to share such truly remarkable stories.

Suzy Ingram, Sarah Pakes, Claire Owens, Sophie Beesley

University of Oxford Development Office Communications team