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It’s the final countdown

WEDNESDAY, JULY 31, 2019

After three years, New Zealand’s largest-ever fundraising campaign is coming to an end.

For all our Futures was publicly launched in 2016 to ensure the University of Auckland was in a place to help answer to some of the biggest questions that affect society today: Can we dramatically improve cancer survival rates? Can we restore our unique natural environment? Can we build a robust modern economy?

Every dollar raised in the For All of Our Futures campaign has been earmarked to make a tangible difference - from establishing scholarships, to taking cancer drugs to clinical trials, to housing 328 Little Blue Penguin pairs, to supporting science and mathematics teachers in schools.

Donors, trusts and foundations, alumni, staff, and friends of the University have contributed towards the campaign which is expected to reach the $300 million target. The campaign closes on 31 October.

New Zealand ranks third in the 2018 World Giving Index, which measures activities such as helping a stranger, donating money and volunteering time. In 2014, New Zealanders gave nearly $3 billion, a little over half of it from individuals, 40 percent from trusts and foundations, and 3 percent from businesses.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said that philanthropy was about investing in or supporting activities to enhance the human condition; one person or organisation being generous to many.

“For All Our Futures has benefitted from substantial endowments and gifts from business leaders and philanthropists, through to smaller and equally generous one-off and annual donations. The majority of the gifts have been made for a specific purpose, from funding academic positions and research projects, to supporting scholarship initiatives.”

“The University of Auckland plays a critical role as New Zealand’s foremost research institution, and with the help of donors, we have been able to achieve real research breakthroughs. This includes the development of new approaches to cancer therapy, establishing New Zealand’s first Medsafe-approved laboratory to manufacture melanoma vaccines for trial, and developing innovative chemical technology to generate cancer vaccines.

"With Auckland Hospital, we have established the Auckland Cancer Trials Centre which offers patients access to early phase anticancer treatments, and the Auckland Regional Tissue Bank that collects, stores and curates cancer samples from across the Auckland region, making them available for current and future research.

“We have also been able to vastly increase our support of students, particularly those from disadvantaged communities but also those of outstanding ability. This has included putting the NCEA science and maths curriculum online, free-to-air, to support teachers and students in low decile and rural schools. We have been able to develop mentoring programmes in low decile schools, where Māori and Pacific students predominate, to support those students to be successful in secondary school and go on to tertiary education. More generally, over the course of the campaign, philanthropy has allowed us to nearly treble the number of scholarships funded by donors who have stepped up to support a wide variety of students."

Professor McCutcheon says this is only a tiny sample of the impacts of the campaign. He looks forward to sharing more of the important programmes, research, and student support made possible by the generosity of people from New Zealand and around the world in coming months, and to thanking everyone involved when the final total is announced on 21 November.

Every day for 100 days, the outcomes (or impacts) of the donations will be shared on the For all our Futures Campaign website.

ends

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