Harding Challenge: one year on

Harding Challenge: one year on

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    Photo credit: Ihsan Aslam (Sir Cam)

The first year of the Harding Challenge has unlocked £2.7 million for students in need across collegiate Cambridge

As an undergraduate from a modest background, I greatly appreciated the opportunities and support Trinity Hall gave me, which have made a pivotal difference to my life. So when I read about the Harding Challenge I knew it was the perfect opportunity to become a new donor and contribute something back. 

James Jamison (Trinity Hall, 2008)

All around the collegiate University, the Harding Challenge is gaining momentum. Those who have never given to the University before, or those who have not given for a couple of years, have been inspired by the opportunity to see their gift have an even greater impact.

The Harding Challenge was created in 2019 as part of the transformational gift from David and Claudia Harding to the University and St Catharine’s College. It is the first collegiate-wide matching scheme of its kind in Cambridge’s history. Funds raised will support students across the entire University collegiate community who need it the most.

Guy Munz Jones had never given to Cambridge before but had been considering supporting student travel bursaries to Asia, having benefited from a similar bursary himself when he was at Selwyn College — an experience that had a profound influence on his life and career. On hearing about the Harding Challenge, Guy was galvanised to act and was delighted that his gift was eligible for the match: "It was really amazing to hear about the Harding Fund. I feel very good that my contribution can support disadvantaged students from the UK travel to Asia as part of their studies, which is an extremely worthy cause."

Trinity Hall’s first Giving Day in November 2020 raised funds to help students during the College’s 670th year. “Give TogeTHer” was a huge success raising more than £340,000. As a key focus of the giving day was student support, the Harding Challenge featured prominently in communications. As a result, 129 first-time donors and 158 eligible lapsed donors were inspired to give. This has made a difference to undergraduates and postgraduates at Trinity Hall and enabled more than £82,000 to be unlocked from the Harding Challenge to support those students in greatest need.

James Jamison (Trinity Hall, 2008), a donor to Give TogeTHer was inspired by the opportunity to double the impact of his gift: 

“As an undergraduate from a modest background, I greatly appreciated the opportunities and support Trinity Hall gave me, which have made a pivotal difference to my life. So when I read about the Harding Challenge I knew it was the perfect opportunity to become a new donor and contribute something back. Gifts are targeted to financial support for undergraduates, which is exactly what I want, and there is the bonus of knowing the value will be matched pound-for-pound thanks to the Hardings' generosity and vision. I feel that this scheme is helping nudge the university in the direction of a more inclusive future.”

What has been done to support undergraduates?

The funds unlocked by generous donations eligible for the Harding Challenge have already been put into action. Already more than 200 first-year students facing challenging financial circumstances have been given a grant of £1000 to assist with purchasing necessary resources and equipment. Given that the majority of their university studies so far have been online, the need for reliable technology has never been so important.

Could you be part of the Harding Challenge?

Following an opening year which saw many generous donations, eligibility for the Harding Challenge has now been expanded. If you are a new donor to the collegiate University, or have not given since July 2018, and would like to give to any aspect of 'All the best' — our student support initiative — your gift will unlock, pound for pound, a contribution to a special fund for undergraduate financial support.

To take advantage of the Harding Challenge now, and multiply the power of your donation, please contact your College.

Contact your College

Find out more

If you'd like to find out more about the Harding Challenge, please contact Andrew Paterson:

Andrew Paterson

Senior Associate Director — Student Support

andrew.paterson@admin.cam.ac.uk

+44 (0)1223 332288