Impact of giving

Cambridge turns philanthropy into impact. Now more than ever, our work takes place on a global scale. We build computers in Cambridge, grow tomatoes in Mexico, nurture leaders in Africa, empower education in India, and help protect cultures, languages and species across the planet.

Impact of giving

Philanthropic impact stories

Find out how Cambridge is working to solve the challenges we face in today's world. None of the examples described here would be possible without Cambridge’s philanthropic supporters. Their philanthropy sets the brilliant minds working at Cambridge free to pursue new ideas and change the world.

 
 
 
 
 
A scientist conducts a chemical test
Catalysis plays a vital industrial and economic role in enabling us to turn relatively inexpensive materials into high value products.
Anonymous crowd in New York City.
In order to continue providing world-class education and to conduct world-class research with the potential for global impact, Cambridge needs to attract outstanding academic staff. Here are two examples of how philanthropy is central to all that we have yet to achieve in the field of public health.
Seen left to right are: James Prothro, Professor Judith Lieu, Bobby Jamieson and Sookgoo Shin
Our graduate students are tomorrow's innovators and leaders. Your philanthropy allows them the freedom to concentrate on their studies, challenge the status quo and find ways to make the world work better. Here are two examples of how your gifts support graduate students.
Graphic showing soundwaves reaching the ear
How many is too many, and how few is too few? There is a number, yet to be identified, that could be key to an improvement in hearing for millions of people.
Amsterdam Stock Market. Photography by Perpetual Tourist.
When John Maynard Keynes wrote that ‘the social object of skilled investment should be to defeat the dark forces of time and ignorance which envelope our future,’ he could have been talking about philanthropy, and in particular the philanthropy of Bill and Weslie Janeway.

Testimonials

Discover why philanthropy matters and how it makes Cambridge better still. Hear from our donors about their philanthropic motivations and from those who have been supported by such gifts during their time at the University.

 
 
 
 
 
The Dawsons in front of the Senate House
When Peter and Christina Dawson endowed the Jean Thomas PhD Award at St Catharine’s College they made a permanent and profound contribution to the lives of countless young scholars.
Rebekah Scheuerle
Rebekah Scheuerle is a second-year Gates-Cambridge Scholar at St John’s College. She is undertaking a PhD in the BioScience Engineering Group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.
Gifford Combs is shown at his admittance to the Guild of Benefactors
Ask Gifford Combs, MPhil (Queens’ 1983), what type of projects he likes to support philanthropically and he will use an interesting word: “orphans”.
Sir James Dyson
Sir James Dyson tells us what inspired him to give to Cambridge and why the world needs engineers.
Charlotte Owens is pictured with College friends
Charlotte Owens (Selwyn 2014) is an undergraduate Philosophy student. She is from Brighouse in West Yorkshire and is the first student from her sixth-form college to go to Cambridge University. She was encouraged to apply after participating in the HE+ programme in 2013.

Gift announcements

Cambridge owes its world-leading excellence in research and teaching to the generosity of its supporters. Our history is synonymous with a history of far-sighted benefaction, and the same is as true today as it has ever been.

 
 
 
 
 
Polish language, literature and culture will be a permanent feature of the University of Cambridge’s research and teaching following the signing, today, of an agreement with the University of Warsaw.
San rock art, Drakensberg
A deeper understanding of Africa’s past will be enabled through a new Professorship of the Deep History and Archaeology of Africa in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.
R Derek Finlay, seen with Professor Dobson and the dedication plaque
A gift from a Cambridge alumnus will support fundamental research into the causes of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, enabling new approaches to combat them.
Sir David Attenborough in conversation with Dame Alison Richard (Chair, Cambridge Conservation Initiative)
The Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) has received an additional $1.5m of funding from one of its strongest supporters, Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. The funding will be used to support innovative collaborations that integrate research, education, policy and practice for the conservation of the natural environment.
One of the world’s most successful inventors – with over 400 patents to his name – best known for his bi-metal kettle controls used in two billion devices worldwide, is yet again turning his attention to philanthropy at his alma mater, the University of Cambridge