Working with companies, trusts and foundations

Key contacts

What we can help with

The Office of Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni (OPPA) supports you with philanthropic funding. Funding is philanthropic when it is:

  • a gift – whether from an individual, a company, a trust or foundation, a lottery fund, or an overseas government agency
  • not given by the UK or EU government – including agencies like HEFCE, research councils and NHS trusts
  • not a quid pro quo – the intent must be to give, not to receive exclusive benefits, rights or operational control in return
  • not corporate sponsorship – ie the company gets tangible marketing, hospitality or event benefits in return.

For more detail, see this guidance document: Definition of philanthropic sources and philanthropic intent.

How we can help

Click an item in the list for a brief summary.

Accepting and processing gifts

  • It is very important that gifts are accepted using the right account codes and work orders, so that the full gift stays ringfenced to you and appears in University reports.
  • We can advise on this and other aspects of gift administration.
  • A Gift Agreement is needed for any gift over £5,000 – we can arrange this.
  • More…

Applying for funding

  • Sources of funding for research projects include companies, charitable trusts and foundations.
  • We can investigate trust and foundation funding options and help with your applications.
  • You can find out about upcoming trust and foundation opportunities by signing up for our Trusts and Foundations E-News.
  • We recommend you also contact the Research and Enterprise Office, research councils and your department’s research administrator. 
  • More…

Developing relationships

  • We can help plan and facilitate your first contact with a company or trust.
  • As contact develops, we can help to design a tailored approach to progressing and deepening the relationship.
  • For a corporate visit, we can arrange a programme of meetings, working with the Research and Enterprise Office.
  • More…

Stewardship and reporting

  • We ‘steward’ (acknowledge and thank) donors in partnership with Departments.
  • As part of stewardship, we work with Finance and you to prepare reports for donor organisations.
  • We work with you to ensure supporters see the results of their gifts and to properly recognise their contribution across the University.
  • We also administer invoices, thank-you letters and the collection of payments.
  • For large gifts and grants, a bespoke stewardship plan is needed.
  • More…

What we do

We assist with building relationships with companies, trusts and foundations who support research and students.

We help with identifying and approaching new supporters, accepting their gifts and grants and reporting on progress.

A key part of our work with supporters is ‘stewardship’ – acknowledging them and thanking them for supporting the University.

We work in close partnership with the Research and Enterprise.