Record year for philanthropy in 2018

Victoria University of Wellington and the Victoria University of Wellington Foundation had their most successful philanthropic fundraising year to date in 2018, receiving donations (including cash, multi-year pledges, realised bequests and gifts-in-kind) totalling $32 million.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, the University is able to offer more life-changing scholarships, fund additional strategic projects, attract and retain world-class academics, and undertake more research for the betterment of society.

Philanthropic gifts can be used to support current needs, or they can be invested in the endowment managed by the Victoria University of Wellington Foundation to earn income and provide an ongoing source of support.

Philanthropic support is integral to the University’s vision of being a world-leading capital city university and one of the great global-civic universities.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says “The University greatly appreciates the financial and volunteer contributions of our community and the hard work of the Trustees of the Foundation under the dedicated and very able leadership of Craig Stevens. Philanthropy allows us to innovate beyond business as usual and invest in programmes for the benefit of individuals and society; from addressing major challenges such as climate change to providing the next generation of leaders with the means to achieve their goals.”

Last year, the University launched Great Futures, a philanthropic scholarship programme aimed at increasing the number of scholarships available to students who face increased barriers to participation and achievement in tertiary education.

In 2018, $1.8 million was raised towards Great Futures, resulting in over 400 students being offered philanthropic scholarships and prizes to support their studies from 2019.

Great Futures represents a tangible commitment to two fundamental aspirations of Victoria University of Wellington’s strategic plan—to provide a student experience that is second to none and to secure the intellectual potential put at risk through experience of disadvantage.

The University is grateful for the support of our alumni, whose donations to the annual appeal will provide Great Futures Alumni Appeal Scholarships to 15 students from backgrounds of hardship.

2018 saw an increased number of alumni engage with the University, contributing their time to support students and participate in alumni events. The sixth and largest ‘Alumni as Mentors’ programme took place with 115 pairs matched—and alumni attended more events both here in New Zealand and internationally.

Lead gifts from the T G Macarthy Trust and the Lottery Significant Projects Fund totalling $6 million were made in 2018 towards the planned national music centre in central Wellington which, once completed, will be home to the University’s New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO). The centre will provide an excellent foundation for musical performance, education, culture and the arts in Wellington and strengthen New Zealand’s international reputation as a major destination for arts and culture.

A fundraising campaign, led by former Wellington Mayor Dame Kerry Prendergast, sees Victoria University of Wellington and the NZSO committed to raising $30 million towards the fit-out of the national music centre. In 2018, the total funds raised reached $10.4 million.

Patricia Danver, Executive Director of the Development Office and the Foundation, says “We are thankful to our donors for their generosity and leadership in supporting our students, projects and research programmes”.

“We look forward to sharing the impact of philanthropic support throughout this year, and continuing to raise funds for the University’s teaching and research and make a positive difference within our community.”