The return on Lord Sainsbury’s investment is fantastic. Over 60 Fellows are repeat entrepreneurs and 280 businesses founded by SMFs are still going strong. Over 40% of SMFs currently hold executive board roles and 33% have non-executive roles. Engineers with business skills are a powerful wealth creator and force for good. SMFs have influenced many lives by providing jobs, apprenticeships, mentoring and innovation.
Last year we developed a plan to raise an initial capital of £5 million. Eventually, we need to build an endowment of £10m which will make SMF self-sustaining, allowing the scheme to continue in perpetuity. Lord Sainsbury is demonstrating his unwavering commitment via a ‘pound for pound’ match on all cash gifts for the next five years.
We have made good progress to date, raising over £1mm this past year. SMFs, we need your help. We’d like you to consider giving back the worth of your scholarship, which is now £30,000. I know it’s a big ask but we can make it surprisingly easy for you.
There are many ways to support our fundraising by giving a lump sum, by planned giving over time (monthly, quarterly or annually), by donating assets such as shares and through leaving a gift in your Will. Or, a combination of any of these. All giving methods have significant tax advantages for UK taxpayers and we have also set up facilities for non-UK taxpayers to have similar benefits. And of course all this will be matched.
We hope all SMFs will be happy to consider the various ways to give by having a conversation with others who have lead the way – our fundraising team. We know that not everyone is in a position to help through donating, today. We are a broad group. For a start, I think some in the room are still on the receiving end! This isn’t a short-term, one-off campaign. We need to raise a lot over an extended period. We would welcome the opportunity to talk to you and explore ways in which you could join in to support SMF.
Now that we have good momentum in the SMF group. We have plans to also fundraise outside the SMFs and would welcome any suggestions for organisations or corporations from our guests this evening.
Finally I thank all of our donors, many of whom are with us tonight. Included in this number are all the members of our fundraising team; who have already given or pledged over £225,000 (and with gift aid and the match, results in nearly £500,000.) Just the turn out this evening shows you all know the relevance and importance of SMF. I invite you all to take this opportunity to give-back and support today’s young engineers. We can create an endowment that means this multi-generational programme will be here for many decades yet.
To learn more about supporting SMF contact Cathy Breeze at cathy.breeze.smf.org.uk.