Aiming for 25 million euros in donations

The University of Helsinki has launched its fundraising campaign marking its 375th anniversary year.

The University intends to collect 25 million euros in donations by the end of 2016. The Government’s matched-funding scheme will multiply, even quadruple, the effect of these donations.

The fundraising campaign is off to a speedy start, with a total of 6.45 million euros collected since the beginning of November.

The Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation is donating 3 million euros to support the University's strategic goals. The Foundation is a long-term supporter of the University’s research and internationalisation efforts. In addition, the Foundation is donating 100,000 euros for the Helsinki Challenge competition.

The Metsämiesten Säätiö Foundation has promised to donate a total of 800,000 euros to the University over the course of four years to support the University’s agriculture and forestry programmes.

The Foundation is hoping to boost Finnish expertise in international forest policy.

“International forest policy is becoming increasingly complex and is having an impact on the competitiveness of the Finnish forestry sector," said Ilpo Tikkanen, chair of the board of the Metsämiesten Säätiö Foundation at the handoff of the donation deed on Thursday, 18 December.

Dean Marketta Sipi agrees: “Internationalisation is very important for us. Already more than one fifth of our students graduate from one of our six international Master’s degree programmes. We still need support for the teaching and research in these international programmes," she says.

The Brita Maria Renlunds Minne Foundation is donating 2.1 million euros to the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences to develop teacher education. The Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, in turn, will receive a 350,000 euro donation from the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation.

Governmental matched-funding programme boosts the campaign

Through its matched-funding scheme, the Finnish Government will grant up to three euros for each euro donated to the University between 1 November 2014 and 30 June 2017. However, its total contribution to Finnish universities collectively cannot exceed 150 million euros.

Chair of the campaign committee and chair of the board at Cargotec Corporation, DPhil Ilkka Herlin considers the 25 million euro goal realistic despite the gloomy economy. He hopes companies will also donate.

“All of Finland would benefit from closer cooperation between universities and companies. The two parties could even apply for EU funding for their joint projects,” he says.

Chancellor Thomas Wilhelmsson is leading the University of Helsinki 375th anniversary year fundraising campaign. The campaign committee features alumni and friends of the University of Helsinki who are influential in political decision-making, business, the media and non-governmental organisations. The committee is chaired by DPhil Ilkka Herlin. The University of Helsinki will celebrate its 375th anniversary in 2015.

Helsinki Insight 375