Recent graduates take up the challenge
The willingness of young alumni to give back to the University as part of the ‘Challenge Fund’ is reinventing traditional preconceptions of the typical donor. Launched in November 2009, the Challenge Fund is an initiative that encourages recent alumni (graduated since 2005) to donate to the University of Sydney, by matching every dollar from a specific fund gifted by a small number of generous alumni.
Since its launch the Challenge Fund has been used in six separate appeals, including three successful telephone programs, and by the end of 2010 had received a total of 901 gifts. It proved a major incentive for young alumni considering their first-ever gift to their university, and has greatly expanded the cohort of alumni support.
By the end of 2010, the combined effort of the campaigns and matching funds had raised $86,184. The majority of donations were for student scholarships and support; a reflection of the bond that recent graduates feel towards current students at the University.
Adrian Vandenbergh (BA ’05, BE ’05) sums up his reason for becoming a donor: “As a recent graduate, running a budget while studying is not a distant memory. I enjoyed my time at the University and would like future students to enjoy theirs.”
Gifts were also allocated to the University’s work with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, the faculties, the museums and art gallery, the library, research and the Compass Project.
The University is indebted to the benefactors of the Challenge Fund for providing a means to attract the next generation of donors and ensure its long-term sustainability.
We would also like to thank our new graduates for their generosity, and welcome them into our donor community.