University Fundraising in Britain is an account of the culture change in British universities as people from all walks of life rallied to the cause of maintaining the quality of teaching and research through fundraising, in the face of the unprecedented expansion of student numbers. It recounts how a few individuals began to adapt professional fundraising to an academic environment, describes the impact of transatlantic ideas of ‘best practice’ and their adaptation to local circumstances through the work of a few individuals from the UK and North America, and how the academic leadership, government policy and influential volunteers came together to expand philanthropy as an important source of revenue in colleges and universities throughout the UK.
It documents the expansion of student numbers in the USA and UK and the differing financial models supporting the higher education sector. When New Labour found the existing funding model of higher education to be unsustainable, one response was to seek new ways to kick-start university fundraising, and to encourage philanthropy. University leaders were quick to respond and to follow the early pioneers such as the universities of Edinburgh and later Oxford and Cambridge. The result was a significant increase in non-governmental sources of income and a new profession of university fundraisers.
William Squire was the first development director at the University of Cambridge and the book incorporates many of his personal experiences in the changing world of university fundraising.
Whilst University Fundraising in Britain is a work of social history that primarily focuses on university fundraising, many parts of the book apply wherever there is a need to attract funds for all kinds of charitable and cultural activities. The book has a foreword by Sir Adrian Cadbury, former Chancellor of Aston University and a well-known industrialist and philanthropist.