A new digital wall acknowledging the support of donors and volunteers to the College has been unveiled in the main Malet Street building, comprising of two monitors that are continuously updated. One screen will acknowledge the support of volunteers and donors, including those who have bequeathed money to Birkbeck. The other will use engaging animations to provide information on past projects and the latest fundraising efforts.
A forthcoming project set to feature is the annual Telephone Campaign. Around 4,000 alumni will be called over four weeks this Spring, and the running fundraising total will be on displayed at the end of each calling night.
The purpose of the wall is to raise awareness among students and staff of the importance of philanthropy to the College. Birkbeck has a long and proud relationship with its alumni based on goodwill and commitment. In the last financial year donations exceeded £5 million, with individual gifts ranging from £2 to £1.4 million, and over £1m was left in legacies.
Donors who give £1,000 or more not only have the pleasure of seeing their names on the wall, but will also become members of one of three giving circles, where they can enjoy additional rewards of recognition, including exclusive event invitations and an annual update report detailing how their funds have been used.
Donations to the College – no matter how large or small – have helped to support students in all disciplines and at all levels of study. Contributions have also helped to facilitate world-class academic research and have contributed towards the improvement of teaching spaces and equipment.
Besides cash donations, some former students choose to support the College by volunteering their time and expertise. Opportunities to interact with current and prospective students include mentoring, speaking on employability panels, giving advice or just sparing the time to talk and share experiences at networking events.
One such event was a new initiative, Careers Clinic: a collaborative program between the Alumni Relations and Birkbeck Talent teams, that pairs students with a qualified volunteer alumnus to receive one-to-one, bespoke CV and careers guidance to help raise their career aspiration and grow their confidence.
As Birkbeck approaches its bicentenary in 2023, it is scaling up its ambition to establish itself as a world-class research and teaching institution, whilst staying true to its core mission of breaking down barriers and providing evening university education to all. The ongoing support and generosity of the alumni community are vital factors in helping the university achieve its aims. Visitors stopping by the new digital donor wall will be able to see and reflect on the impact that donors have had, and current students may be inspired to continue their connection through giving, after their time in the classroom has ended.