The University of Southampton leads the UK in cancer immunology research. Building on this unrivalled expertise and recent breakthroughs, we are raising £25m to open the UK’s first dedicated Centre for Cancer Immunology at Southampton in 2017. The world-leading Centre will enable us to expand clinical trials, explore new areas and develop life-saving drugs.
Working hard to achieve this ambitious fundraising goal is a campaign team that brings together staff from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (ODAR) and Communications and Marketing. We asked four members of the team:
- What is your role within the campaign team?
- What do you enjoy most about working on the campaign?
- What is your proudest achievement?
Joanna Watts, Senior Development Manager
- I am a fundraiser, working with individuals to secure high-level gifts.
- Meeting new people and getting to know them – I love hearing a person’s story. My role involves building partnerships with alumni, donors, academic colleagues and our clinical trials patients and the number and variety of interactions is very rewarding.
- I always feel very proud when I can tell colleagues in the campaign team that we have a new pledge for support. Each time a donor commits to a new gift I think of little Xano or wonderful Patricia – two of our clinical trials patients who are cancer-free after immunotherapy treatment – and I feel proud of the role we are playing in enabling more success stories like theirs.
Katherine Carter, Annual Giving Manager
- My role is to inspire our alumni, staff, current students and the wider community to get involved by showing their support with regular or annual donations, or by helping to raise awareness for our cause through sponsored fundraising activities.
- Seeing what our supporters can help us to achieve when they all pull together to make a difference. Individual annual gifts to the University are relatively modest, but together they contribute quite a lot to the overall total. So far this year, gifts at this level have contributed over £100,000 towards the campaign, which is a fantastic result.
- Personally, I’ve been really proud of how receptive our alumni, staff and students have been towards the campaign and seeing it succeed through their involvement. The enthusiasm that we are seeing from these communities is amazing and I’m very proud to work with these groups to create a culture of philanthropy that will benefit the University both now and in the future.
Susanna Brenchley, Communications Officer
- I support the team’s fundraising by advising on and controlling key campaign messages, planning activity across audiences and channels and producing high-quality support materials, from the website to brochures and exhibition boards.
- Having the chance to work with and meet an amazingly diverse group of people. The enthusiasm and passion of the ODAR team is extraordinary and meeting the talented scientists behind the research always leaves me feeling even more motivated. But I think it is the patients that I have interviewed, photographed and got to know that truly inspire me – it really is a privilege to hear their personal cancer survival stories firsthand.
- My proudest moment is probably seeing the look on people’s faces when they watched the campaign’s thank you video, first shown at the public launch event in London. The video shows all the people that are touched by the campaign or who have helped in some way. We wanted it to be full of emotion but focus on the positivity of the campaign. I think we achieved that.
Alan French, Data and Reporting Officer
- As part of ODAR’s Data and Analytics team I help to manage the database, which holds details of our alumni and other supporters. For the campaign I have been working with the events team and our fundraisers to make sure they have the information they need on event attendees and past, present, and future donors to the Centre.
- I’ve enjoyed being able to get involved with things such as the recent University-wide bake sale to celebrate the launch of the campaign; it’s really great to see that ODAR’s enthusiasm for the campaign is reflected across all the different faculties and professional services.
- I think it’s amazing that we’re already over halfway towards the fundraising target for the campaign in such a short space of time! Having graduated from the University myself, I’m proud to be part of the alumni community that is helping to support this project.