Government Matched Funding Scheme
04 Aug 2008
The University of Cambridge and its Colleges welcome the UK Government’s matched funding scheme to encourage philanthropic donations to English universities. Oxford and Cambridge have agreed with the Government that they will use the scheme to encourage greater participation by alumni and other supporters in their respective institution-wide fundraising campaigns.
Under the terms of the scheme, collegiate Cambridge will receive £1 for every £3 raised in eligible donations during the three-year period of the scheme (1st August 2008 to 31st July 2011). The Government will set a “cap” on the total matched funding available for any single institution. At present it appears that the cap for Cambridge will be £3 million. All donations received from ‘new donors’ are eligible, be they from individuals, companies, trusts or foundations in the UK or overseas. (‘New donors’ are defined as donors who have not made a gift to a specific College or to the University in the three years before the start of the scheme. A previous donor to a College can be counted as a ‘new donor’ to the University and vice versa.) The matched funding received from the government will be used by the University and Colleges for student support, to ensure that Cambridge remains at the forefront of teaching, learning and research.
Read answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning the Government Matched funding scheme.
Government Matched Funding Scheme for Donations to English Universities:
Frequently Asked Questions
Collegiate Cambridge welcomes the UK Government’s matched funding scheme to encourage philanthropic donations to English universities. The Government has set a cap of £2.75 million on the availability of matched funds for Cambridge in aggregate over the three years 2008/9–2010/11. In order to achieve this goal the Colleges and the University will have to demonstrate that they have received in cash at least £8.25 million (including gift aid) from “new” donors (i.e., donors who have not made a gift to a specific College or to the University in the three years before the start of the scheme) over the three year period. All donations received from new donors are eligible, be they individuals, companies, trusts or foundations in the UK or overseas.
How does the scheme apply to Cambridge?
Cambridge and Oxford Universities have had to negotiate their own, bespoke arrangement with the Government to ensure that their dominance of fundraising in the English university sector does not distort the objective of the matched funding scheme to encourage all universities to take fundraising seriously. For the purposes of the scheme, Collegiate Cambridge will be treated as a single entity. The arrangements for allocating government matched funding within Collegiate Cambridge have been agreed between the Colleges and the University.
Which gifts are eligible for matched funding?
All gifts to a College or the University from new donors during the period of the scheme (1 August 2008 to 31 July 2011) are eligible. For the purposes of the scheme, a new donor to a College is defined as a donor who has not made a gift to the College concerned in the three years before the start of the scheme (even if they have made a gift to the University) and vice versa in respect of eligible gifts to the University. Donations from UK and overseas individuals, companies, and all but the largest trusts and foundations are eligible. For a list of trusts and foundations excluded from the scheme, please contact the CCDG or CUDO.
Are legacies included?
No. Both legacy pledges and legacies received on the death of the legator are specifically excluded from the scheme.
How will the scheme work?
At the end of each year of the scheme’s operation, each College and the University will be asked to provide a total for the funds given by new donors during the previous 12 months including appropriate allocations of gift aid. The qualifying value of any one gift will be capped at £250,000 to prevent a few very large gifts distorting the figures for either the Colleges or the University.
For each College and for the University, the total figure for qualifying gifts must be clearly auditable if required. It is not currenly the intention to ask Colleges for detailed lists of new donors and their gifts, but such lists will have to be produced if requested by government .
The total funds received by Collegiate Cambridge from new donors will then attract government matched funding at the ratio 1:3 (£1 from the government for every £3 raised by Collegiate Cambridge from new donors).
There is a maximum cap of £2.75 million in matched funding available to Collegiate Cambridge during the lifetime of the scheme. It is possible that Collegiate Cambridge will reach its cap (i.e. £8.25 million in eligible donations) before the end of the scheme. The precise timetable for payment of matched funding has yet to be determined by the Government.
When the matched funding is received by Cambridge from the government, it will be divided between the Colleges collectively and the University in the same ratio as the qualifying donations. For example, if the Colleges collectively raise two-thirds of the qualifying donations, the Colleges collectively will receive two-thirds of the matched funding.
The Colleges have agreed that the matched funding received by the Colleges collectively will then be allocated between the 31 Colleges using the same formula as for the Colleges’ Contribution, i.e. in inverse proportion to the size of College endowment.
Can I tell an individual donor that his/her donation will be matched?
No. Colleges and the University can tell their supporters that all gifts from new donors during the period of the scheme will help Collegiate Cambridge to attract the maximum available matched funding from the government. However, as it applies to Collegiate Cambridge, the scheme cannot guarantee a match for each qualifying gift, because Collegiate Cambridge is treated as a single institution and because the cap for Cambridge is low relative to our fund-raising performance.
Can matched funding be used for any project?
No. It has been agreed between the Colleges and the University that all the matched funding received by Collegiate Cambridge will be used for student support – i.e. bursaries and graduate studentships – since this is an area in which the Colleges and the University alike have funding needs, and which is broadly supported by donors.
What are the benefits of the scheme for an individual College, especially a richer College?
The principal aim of the scheme is to encourage new donors. If the scheme can be shown to be a success, it will also demonstrate to the government that matched funding and a favourable tax regime for philanthropic donations can have a positive impact on the University sector as a whole. It is hoped that this pilot scheme will translate into a more permanent and attractive scheme. The Government were keen to see Oxford and Cambridge participate in the matched funding scheme and will look carefully at its impact on participation of new donors in our more mature fundraising environment.
Is there any more information available?
The matched funding scheme is managed by HEFCE on behalf of The Government. You can read the FAQ’s but these need to be read carefully in the context of the special arrangements agreed with Cambridge and Oxford. The University Development and Alumni Relations Director and the Chair of the CCDG would be happy to answer any additional questions that may arise.