Three students from disadvantaged backgrounds can now receive bursary support thanks to a major Giving Tuesday campaign.

Using the global day as a hook, Solent University launched a week of ‘giving back’ and were able to raise over £3,000 to fund bursaries to help the next generation of students.

The bursaries are part of a newly introduced scheme which aims to raise funds to award students from the local community who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Elizabeth, a mature student from Southampton, was one of the first recipients of the new bursary.

Speaking in a promotional video made especially for Giving Tuesday, she said: “I would really say thank you to those supporters because without their help I would not have gone that step further in my adventure here at university, so thank you very much.”

Ruth Andrew, Alumni Relations and Fundraising Officer, said: “The campaign worked wonderfully for us in creating a giving culture.

“Giving Tuesday was our first ever campaign for the new scheme, and it really helped put the word out there. We are so proud of the amount we have raised, especially because we are a small team.

Campaign asks and easy wins

She said the university’s fundraising campaign had four asks: for people to share the message, make a donation, participate in other ways including sporting events, or promote opportunities for alumni volunteering.

Ruth added: “Our fundraising team itself is quite small, so planning wise there wasn’t an awful lot of capacity. But having buy-in from senior members of staff really helped. We helped them draft social media posts, and also contacted alumni on social media, making it as easy as possible for people to spread the message.”

And it worked- aside from the money raised, the team at Solent University were able to raise awareness and engagement with the cause.

As a result, 23 of Solent University students, staff, and alumni, signed up to a running event to raise funds for the Local Student Bursary Scheme– in addition, 9,000 people engaged with their social media posts and their promotional video was viewed 2,000 times.

The university now plans to raise enough funds to support a further 20 local students in autumn 2019.