Edinburgh Local

Friends and Alumni are giving back

We value enormously the contributions of many people who give back in countless ways to the University.

Cakes and treats for the fundraiser
Cakes and treats for a fundraiser

We are extremely fortunate that our Friends and Alumni continue to support us in many different ways.  They attend our events; offer our students work placements, internships or job opportunities; join the Friends of our different Collections; welcome international students to our city; and generally take a warm interest which we very much appreciate.

Many of our supporters are inspired to back our lifesaving research into medical conditions which they or a relative (or even a pet) have suffered from, while alumni often want to contribute to scholarship funds so others can benefit from the education they appreciated.  

We never cease to be amazed at and admiring of the creativity people show in fundraising.  We are so grateful for the time and commitment of hundreds of Fantastic Fundraisers who have baked, cycled, hiked, knitted, swum, climbed, quizzed and danced to support a cause dear to their heart.

Bucket collections at work, raffles, marathons, bag packing and a 10k river swim have all raised funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease.  For the same good cause, Kelvingrove Community Tennis Club organised a Wimbledon-themed friendly tennis tournament for players of all abilities with a delicious tennis tea complete with strawberries and cream.

Our medical students wrote and performed a musical to raise money for the Anne Rowling Clinic which carries out research into diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.  Others supporting the Clinic chose to run marathons and half-marathons, walk, or organise football tournaments and online auctions.

We can identify a huge range of projects and activities to which people might wish to contribute.  For example, Poppy Jayne and Will took on the Three Peaks Challenge in Wales to support the BSL Science Glossary; the student Rock Gospel Choir sang for scholarships for refugee students; Jocelyn went zorbing in aid of dementia prevention and Geraldine abseiled down the David Hume Tower to raise funds for epilepsy research.

The abseil took place on a beautiful early autumn morning. Together with the generosity and kind words of so many donors, I was incredibly pleased (and relieved) that I’d done it.  And I was considered a cool mum at the girls’ primary school, for one day anyway . . .

Geraldine Giannopoulos 

Almost any hobby, occasion or challenge can be turned into a fundraising activity.  Law students baked, walked and organised a Burns Supper to support our Free Legal Advice Centre; George braved the Firewalk to contribute to bursaries and scholarships; others asked that, instead of wedding gifts or funeral flowers, friends and family contribute to a medical research fund at the University in memory of someone they loved.

Many of the fundraising challenges people set themselves are intensely personal.  One recent example was Jay Grainger who watched his beloved grandfather’s decline through oesophageal cancer which meant he could no longer eat solid food. Jay persuaded family and friends to join him in a 7-day diet of liquids only, which not only gave him an insight into his grandfather’s condition but also raised funds for the Anne Forrest Fund’s research.


From once-in-a-lifetime challenges to small events there are countless ways to raise money for your chosen activity at the University. Whether you are sporty, creative, entrepreneurial or just up for a challenge, your contribution and commitment make a real difference.  Rest assured that 100% of the money you raise goes through our Development Trust directly to the cause you support and is put to use straightaway.

Kerry Mackay, Community Fundraising Officer, University of Edinburgh

Find out more

If you want help in identifying a good cause or organising an event, or simply want some advice on where to start, please contact Kerry Mackay at kerry.mackay@ed.ac.uk or on 0131-650 9221.

If you don’t want to organise your own event, then take part in one of ours: a coast-to-coast cycle ride, Trekfest in the Peak District, a Supernova evening with the Kelpies in November, or a sports quiz at Murrayfield. 

Fundraise Your Way: https://www.ed.ac.uk/development-alumni/fundraise-your-way