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Corporate and foundation partnerships

Philanthropic support from corporations, trusts and foundations

The goal of the Corporate and Foundation Philanthropy team is to foster meaningful and mutually beneficial long-term engagement with local, national and international companies and charitable organisations.

Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. It inspires creativity, identifies new challenges, drives new ideas, and raises aspirations and ambitions for students, staff and partners alike.

To help our partners achieve their goals, we offer an expert service for philanthropic relationship management that provides a seamless transition from initial exploration to a long-term, mutually productive relationship.

Philanthropic partnership with the University of York can:

  • Boost the reputation of your company among York students, staff, alumni and the local community
  • Connect you with York’s inspirational and life-changing researchers and innovators
  • Offer valuable connections with the University’s extensive network of regional, national and international partners
  • Achieve exceptional leverage and impact from your philanthropic investment

Our relationship with York has given us the opportunity to work with a highly skilled team of professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge in the sector and a keen interest to collaborate with partner organisations with the ultimate goal to benefit students, academics and the communities they are in.

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities

Current partnerships

The University works with over a hundred company and foundation partners. Here are just a few examples:


Santander Universities has worked closely with York since 2011, and we are proud that our partnership has enabled over 500 students from all backgrounds to undertake valuable work experience, develop their entrepreneurial skills or sporting ambitions, and travel and study abroad. Highlights have included include:

  • Support for the creation of Oppo, an award-winning healthy ice cream manufacturer founded by a York graduate

  • Stuart Hosie won a Santander Elite Sports Scholarship for rowing in 2016 and is now training at Leander Club and aiming for the Olympics

  • The foundation of a new international summer study centre for York students at George Washington University in the US, attended by 24 students undertaking a course on justice, equality, and civil rights  

  • Funding to support over 160 internships in local and regional SMEs

Centre of Applied Human Rights (CAHR)

The Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) has a focus on the real-world challenges of putting human rights into practice and protecting human rights defenders at risk. A focus on human rights defending and defenders shapes all the Centre’s work. The work of the Centre is international in breadth and draws on the University of York’s rich tradition of interdisciplinarity.

The Centre’s vital work is made possible thanks to the enduring generosity of many funding bodies and supporters in York and around the world. In particular, the Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Open Society Foundations have been sustained and transformative financial supporters.

Since it was established in 2007, the Centre has had 24 staff, taught 351 postgraduate students, hosted 34 Chevening scholars, been supported by 58 volunteers, had 15 Advisory Board members, hosted 75 human rights defenders from 44 countries, been funded by 25 funders, and has hosted one academic journal.

York Festival of Ideas

York Festival of Ideas was launched in June 2011 as a partnership between the University of York, and a number of organisations around the City of York. Its objective, then and now, is to enhance York’s reputation as a city of ideas and innovation through offering the highest calibre of public events to local, regional and visitor audiences. The Festival now attracts audiences of over 40,000 and works in partnership with more than 120 local and national organisations.

The delivery of a predominantly free festival is underpinned by the support of these partners, which have included the Holbeck Charitable Trust, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Virgin Trains East Coast/LNER, Shepherd Group, Waterstones, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the French Embassy, the C & JB Morrell Trust and many more.

To find out more about partnership with the University of York, please contact Paul Tyack, (paul.tyack@york.ac.uk) Associate Director and Head of Corporate and Foundation Philanthropy.