Donor Impact Report 2017

Message from the Vice-Chancellor and President

Throughout our shared history, donors like you have contributed to new opportunities for countless students, provided richer teaching environments, and powered world-class research.

In 2017, donors continued their legacy of support by contributing to life-changing projects at The University of Queensland. Thanks to this generosity, 32 deserving students,some of whom overcame homelessness and refugee status to attend university, were supported through the new Aspire Scholarship program.

Together, we also reached a key milestone with the Young Achievers Program as it celebrated 71 students supported through to graduation. Donor funding also accelerated world-first clinical trials in a variety of areas, including patient trials for a new rheumatoid arthritis treatment and a trial to determine the amount of exercise required to reverse brain ageing.

In 2017, you also helped us make history with the launch of UQ’s first philanthropic campaign. Not If, When – the Campaign to Create Change is an initiative that aims to connect donors with the causes they are passionate about and increase the impact we can achieve together.

Now more than ever, donors shape the world our children and grandchildren will live in. As your partner in creating change for our community, Queensland, Australia, and the world, we connect you with the people and resources that only a world-leading teaching and research institution can provide.

When it comes to support for our students, researchers and teaching, every gift, regardless of size, has an impact, is noticed and is appreciated.

Thank you for everything you have done in 2017. I hope that together, we can continue to ensure our greatest days lie ahead.

Professor Peter Høj
Vice-Chancellor and President

Not If, When – the Campaign to Create Change

What is the campaign?

Over our 107-year history, the partnership between donors and UQ has had an extraordinary impact on our community, Queensland, Australia, and the world.

While we have come a long way, there is so much more to do and so much more that requires urgent support. We want to ensure that individuals, families and organisations who share our values and vision choose UQ as their trusted partner to achieve their vision for a better future.

The Not if, when campaign is an ambitious philanthropic effort to achieve this transformational impact. It is the first comprehensive philanthropic campaign in the University’s history and will continue for several years as we collectively strive to achieve our common goal for a better world. Like you, we will not stand by and hope for the best. We firmly believe that by proactively taking action, together, our greatest days lie ahead. Not if, when.

What are the campaign priorities?

The goal of the campaign is to galvanise the community and our alumni, and to help raise the significant funds required for three key priorities:

• Empowering student success through lifechanging scholarships, work experience and study opportunities.

• Transforming teaching and learning by attracting and retaining the best academic
leaders and providing innovative and effective learning environments.

• Driving discovery and impact because from science and sustainability to health and humanities, UQ research outcomes have had
and will continue to have a significant impact on people’s lives, all over the world.

Campaign progress

Thanks to our generous donors in 2017, we have reached $323.8 million out of our target of $500 million by the close of 2020. This report details just a few of the ways this funding has already helped deserving students, progressed potentially life-saving research, and transformed teaching and learning.

There is still so much more we can achieve together and we look forward to continuing this journey with you.

65% towards our target









Investing in our future

2017 endowment performance 

Just as philanthropy has been integral to the University creating positive change in society for more than a century; we want to ensure its transformative impact will be felt for many generations to come.

While many of our donors want their gift spent immediately for their chosen cause, others prefer an endowment approach. This method involves steadily growing an investment fund that in turn delivers dividend payments, creating funding certainty for the beneficiary.

$218 million in the UQ investment portfolio






The investment strategy used by UQ’s designated fund managers is to achieve a long-term return of 6% plus the Consumer Price Index (CPI). With UQ’s current dividend payments being 4.5% plus CPI, it means that together we can deliver a lasting benefit to students, teaching and research.


10.4% return for the year ending 31 December 2017






In 2017, the return on this investment portfolio was well above industry standards, and it is the University’s intent to grow the principle to one that rivals our peer institutions around the world. We are seeking donors who share a similar vision to provide impact in perpetuity to help accelerate the growth of this initiative.

2017 overview

4,202 donors, including alumni, industry and those from the wider community, continued to choose UQ as their trusted partner to support the areas and causes they are passionate about. In 2017, their generosity resulted in $67.6 million being raised to support areas across the University.

Graph 4

An Tran, 2017 Aspire Scholarship recipient, studying dentistry at UQ

“I couldn’t have done it without the scholarship. It helps me juggle all the demands of dental school and the cost of living expenses. It also allows me to stay in touch with my parents, who live in Victoria, and honour their commitment to getting a university education.

“My parents are refugees of the Vietnam War and my father, who is my hero, had to fight tooth-and-nail for his education.

“Australia welcomed him with open arms and so he has instilled in me the importance of giving back.”

Giving to a cause

We invite you to tell us about your passion – whether it’s protecting environments, nurturing futures, supporting families, enriching lives and culture, or tackling injustice – so we can provide the tools to make your vision a reality. 

We’ll bring our expertise and determination, and work side by side with you to accelerate toward success. 

By working together, we can confidently say, ‘Not if, when’.

Gift Box

Thank you!

The University of Queensland acknowledges the support of its donors.

With the support of donors, UQ is able to create change by empowering student success, transforming teaching and learning, and driving discovery and impact. These achievements are only made possible because of the generosity of our donors, alumni, friends, industry partners and foundations.