A record year for philanthropy

Thanks to the generosity of donors, philanthropic initiatives at Victoria University of Wellington are changing lives.

Last year was the most successful year for fundraising for the University and the Victoria University of Wellington Foundation to date, with donations of $32 million. The positive impact of that philanthropy is being seen across the University.

Great Futures, the University’s philanthropic scholarship programme, was launched in August 2018. Donors contributed $1.8 million towards scholarships and prizes, offering more than 400 students essential support with their studies. Donations from alumni will provide Great Futures Alumni Appeal Scholarships to 15 students from backgrounds of hardship.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says, “Great Futures represents a tangible commitment to two fundamental aspirations of Victoria University of Wellington’s strategic plan—first, to provide a student experience that is second to none, and second, to secure the intellectual potential put at risk through experience of disadvantage.”

Grant says not only do scholarships make a financial difference, but they “demonstrate to a young person that somebody not only cares about them, but also believes in them and has confidence in their ability to succeed”.

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, also attracted significant support in 2018, including lead gifts totalling $6 million from the T.G. Macarthy Trust and the Lottery Significant Projects Fund. The total funds for the centre raised reached $10.4 million. The centre will provide a 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.

Executive director of the Development Office and the Foundation Patricia Danver says she looks forward to securing further philanthropic support to make a positive difference within our community. “Philanthropy plays a large role in addressing the knotty problems of our society by providing support that helps solve, not just alleviate, them. We are thankful to our donors for their generosity and leadership in supporting our students, projects, and research programmes.”