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Matched funding scheme for voluntary giving 2008 to 2011

We administered a government-led matched funding scheme that aimed to increase voluntary giving to higher education (HE) providers. All higher education institutions (HEIs) and directly funded further education colleges (FECs) in England were invited to participate in the scheme.

Eligible gifts to participating institutions were matched through a fund of £200 million. Such institutions received matched funding according to their place in one of three tiers, each with a different funding ratio and cap suitable for institutions with differing degrees of fund-raising experience.

The scheme - the first in the UK - started on 1 August 2008 and ran for three years. It was open to all English HEIs and directly funded FECs.

We set out full details of the scheme in 2008. This invited institutions to select their preferred tier and confirm their participation in the annual Ross-CASE survey, a condition of entering the scheme.

Claiming and payment

All payments against the three years of the scheme have now been made.

Each institution was eligible for different levels of match depending on the tier they chose to enter at the beginning of the scheme. The levels of giving and match were as follows:

  • Tier 1 institutions received £1 of matched funding for every £1 of eligible donations claimed, up to a cap of £200,000.
  • Tier 2 institutions received £1 of matched funding for every £2 of eligible donations claimed, up to a cap of £1,350,000.
  • Tier 3 institutions received £1 of matched funding for every £3 of eligible donations claimed, up to a cap of £2,750,000.

Audit and good practice

We will audit a sample of all returns submitted across all three years of the scheme. PricewaterhouseCoopers have now carried out an audit of the first and second years of the scheme.

This identified the following examples of good practice:

  • Larger institutions with devolved financial processing allowed faculty-level representatives to receive donations and then pass them on to the central processing teams who assessed their eligibility.
  • For larger donations, some institutions developed a review process involving more senior members of management to ensure the donation met the eligibility conditions.
  • Some institutions accounted for philanthropic donations using separate coding on general ledger accounting systems to make them easier to identify and administer.
  • Good communication between the finance department and those teams that received and processed the donations made it easier to resolve transaction issues or questions around eligibility.

Advisory group and impact assessment

Advisory group

A sector-led advisory group on voluntary giving oversees the scheme and helps HEFCE to work closely with institutions and key sector bodies.

The group consists of representatives from:

Matched funding scheme for voluntary giving 2008 to 2011 advisory group

 Download the Matched funding scheme for voluntary giving 2008 to 2011 advisory group as PDF (6 KB) | Download the Matched funding scheme for voluntary giving 2008 to 2011 advisory group as MS Word (28 KB)

Sector impact assessment of the scheme

In developing the the matched funding scheme for voluntary giving, we have assessed the impact on the HE sector in terms of regulatory burden, equality and diversity, sustainable development and privacy.

Sector impact assessment of the matched funding scheme for voluntary giving 2008-11

 Download the Sector impact assessment of the matched funding scheme for voluntary giving 2008-11 as PDF (75 KB) | Download the Sector impact assessment of the matched funding scheme for voluntary giving 2008-11 as MS Word (132 KB)

Page last updated 23 May 2012

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