We rely on your giving to help us create an enriching learning environment and support a diverse and talented student body. Every gift contributes to enhancing the student experience and fulfilling our academic and educational purposes.

Our fundraising is built on four pillars, all equally important: student support, teaching and research, College life, and buildings and environment. If you are planning to make a gift to the College, we encourage you to donate to the ‘Unrestricted’ Fund; this gives us the flexibility to allocate money where it is most needed in any of these four areas. However, there can be matched funding available for some targeted donations, so please contact us if you feel passionately about supporting a specific objective.


Learn about our four fundraising priorities

Student support

We are committed to attracting and admitting the brightest and best students, whatever their background, and helping them to achieve their academic and social potential.

Philanthropic gifts contribute to:

  • providing bursaries to undergraduates with limited financial means through the Cambridge Bursary Scheme
  • operating a hardship scheme for all students in financial need
  • our outreach programme to raise educational aspiration, and to attract outstanding applicants who might not otherwise have considered entering Higher Education
  • graduate scholarships, to help us attract the best graduate students, regardless of financial circumstances
  • wellbeing activities and pastoral support, to help students manage stress and other mental health challenges, and flourish academically and socially
  • travel, research, and professional experience grants

Student support: maximising the impact of your donation

The Harding Challenge

If you’re a new donor and your gift to Sidney is targeted at student support, you will unlock an equal amount from the Harding Challenge fund to go to undergraduate students in greatest need across Cambridge. The Harding Challenge fund is part of David and Claudia Harding’s £100 million gift to collegiate Cambridge’s student support initiative, announced in February 2019. Their wish is to inspire new donors to collegiate Cambridge, resulting in greater support for students throughout the University. All donations of up to £100,000 from new donors are eligible. To participate in this challenge and benefit students at Sidney and across the University, please contact us or make a donation now.

Cambridge bursaries

The Cambridge Bursary Scheme, run in partnership by the Colleges and University, offers financial support to many UK students studying for their first degree in the form of non-repayable bursaries, tailored to their household income. If you fund a maximum bursary of £3,500, the University will give half the cost of a bursary to Sidney’s student support fund, meaning that your gift of £3,500 is worth £5,250. To discuss further, please contact us.

Teaching and research

The central aims of the College are to promote academic excellence through research, and to create and disseminate knowledge for the benefit of society.

Donations help us to do this through:

  • Research Fellowships, which are awarded to outstanding early-career academics, allowing them to develop their research and/or teaching before taking on a full academic post
  • Funding new and existing academic posts in key areas where we would like to expand our teaching and research
  • Research grants, which can be made available to fund or contribute to research projects in any discipline
College life

Sidney Sussex is a place of learning, but also a home for students and a place for personal growth, stimulated by friendship, interests, and a range of opportunities.

We are seeking funds to support these extra-curricular aspects of College life, including:

  • Sports and societies, including traditional team sports, subject-based societies, and a range of student-led initiatives
  • The Sidney Sussex College Choir, which tours internationally and has developed a strong reputation in performing and recording Renaissance music
Buildings and environment

Sidney’s beautiful buildings and gardens, developed over the centuries since 1596, are an oasis of calm in the centre of Cambridge and conducive to learning and reflection. Your support helps to ensure that we continue to provide excellent, accessible facilities and a sustainable, high-quality built environment. 

Our fundraising priorities are:

  • Environmental sustainability, as we endeavour to implement sustainability practices in the light of the climate crisis
  • Facilities, including new and improved student accommodation, library resources, gym and sports facilities, and music practice rooms
  • AV and IT support for teaching and research throughout the College
  • Accessibility for people with disabilities, which is crucial to achieving our aim of inclusivity