Homegrown philanthropy

February 28, 2008

We owe the North Americans a huge amount for their enthusiasm, drive and willingness to promote university fundraising as a noble cause ("The art of asking", 21 February). But it would be wrong to imply that British fundraisers have been absent from the scene.

The pioneers in the late 1980s and early 1990s included Bill Squire, who as the University of Cambridge's first development director in 1988 helped to raise £160 million, and the late Henry Drucker, an American who had lived in Britain since 1964, with his £340 million "Campaign for Oxford". Both campaigns dramatically changed the UK's perception of what could be achieved through philanthropy.

And at the University of Bristol, development director Alisdaire Lockhart led the "Campaign for Resource", which raised £85 million between 1990 and 2002. The 16 members of the development team, of which I had the pleasure to be a member from 1993 to 2002, were all British.

Miles Stevenson
Director of development
University of Sheffield

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