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The Foundation Circle

Created to mark the College’s 150th Anniversary in 2019, the Foundation Circle recognises donors who have given £1,500 or more in a financial year. Members are invited to a special event to see first-hand the impact of their donation. They are also listed in our annual Donor Impact Report. 

What is the Foundation Circle?

2019 marked Fitzwilliam’s 150th year, and to celebrate this special anniversary a new donor group was created to recognise donors who have given £1,500 or more in a financial year. Gifts at this level are the solid foundation of all Fitzwilliam’s activities: they support students experiencing hardship, they fund our outreach activities, they support the supervision system and they underpin our continued investment in the fabric of the College.

Although major donations may offer transformative moments in the College’s history, it is the wider community of donors who collectively have the power to sustain continued growth. Through creating this Circle, during the anniversary of our foundation year, we both recognise the enormous value of this type of gift, and hope to inspire donors to become more involved in our work here at Fitz.

Do I have to support a particular area?

Donors are invited to give to the Fitzwilliam project they feel most passionate about, but the College seeks to offer guidance on the areas of greatest need.

This year, as Fitzwilliam looks back to its founding principles, we are focusing our attention on supporting students with the significant financial costs of undertaking a degree. 

The Bursary Fund awards Fitzwilliam bursaries to undergraduate and postgraduate students in financial need. Around 30% of Fitzwilliam students now receive hardship bursaries, and the Fund was created in response to the increasingly uncertain future faced by today’s students, with rising tuition fees and maintenance loans meaning that most will take on substantial debts to fund their university education. The fund is expendable and gifts are dispersed in the year they are received, making an immediate impact on students.  

Other projects donors can give to include:

  • Widening Participation and Access
  • Teaching and Research
  • Building for the future
  • Fitzwilliam Experience

For more information or to make a donation, please contact the Development Office

How do I make my donation?

You can donate online or download a gift form and return it to the Development Office along with your means of payment. Alternatively, you can contact the Development Office to donate over the phone by credit or debit card, or make a bank transfer.

Do I have to donate £1,500 in one lump sum?

No, the Foundation Circle recognises donors who have given £1,500 or more in the space of a financial year, so you can make your donation in the form of one gift or multiple gifts. A monthly donation of £100 plus Gift Aid would qualify a donor to become a member of the group, as would a quarterly donation of £300 plus Gift Aid. You can set up a regular donation online. You will be a member of the Foundation Circle every year your cumulative gifts in that year are £1,500 or more.

Do I have to give every year?

No, the Foundation Circle recognises donors who have made a significant contribution to the College in one particular year. However, you will be recognised for every year in which you donate £1,500 or more, and because supporting our students is an ongoing priority here at Fitzwilliam, we are particularly grateful to donors who make a regular commitment. 

Will Gift Aid count?

Yes! Foundation Circle gifts are recognised gross, including Gift Aid. So, providing you are a UK taxpayer, your gift of £1,200 in one year (or £100 per month/£300 per quarter) will result in £1,500 for Fitzwilliam once Gift Aid is added. If you pay Income Tax at the higher or additional rate you can claim additional tax relief through your tax return, further reducing the cost to you while retaining the full benefit for Fitzwilliam. 

What benefits will I receive?

The benefits of membership are designed to connect you more closely to our work. You will receive an annual Donor Report and an invitation to a special event to see first-hand the impact of your generosity. In April 2022, this was a lunch and drinks reception at College, followed by a performance of Mozart's Cosi` fan tutte by the College's own singers and musicians. 

You will also be listed in a special section of the Donor Report (subject to your approval).