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Students playing the french horn in rehearsals in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall

The Big Give Christmas Challenge raises record sum for RCM Scholarships Fund

Wednesday 23 March 2022

The Royal College of Music’s 2021 Big Give Christmas Challenge broke last year’s achievement with a new record of £131,836 raised for the RCM Scholarships Fund.

The funds once again far exceeded the RCM’s target of £120,000 and will contribute to supporting young musicians in their studies at one of the world’s top conservatoires.

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is the UK’s biggest match funding campaign, with 2021 marking the RCM’s 11th year of involvement. The campaign ran from Tuesday 30 November, known as #GivingTuesday, until Tuesday 7 December 2021.

During that week, any gift from £1 to £25,000 made to the Royal College of Music via the Big Give was matched up to a total of £60,000. Out of 928 participating charities in the Christmas Challenge the RCM attracted the sixth highest amount of philanthropic giving, thanks to the tremendous efforts of our supporters.

This year, the aim was to support even more young musicians through the RCM Scholarships Fund. The generosity of the RCM community meant that fundraising exceeded our target, with £121,540 raised plus £11,831 in Gift Aid.

The Scholarships Fund enables gifted music students from all over the world and from all backgrounds to access tuition provided by the very best professors, utilise unrivalled facilities and take advantage of the exceptional opportunities offered by the RCM, rated top institution for performing arts in the UK (QS World University Rankings 2016–21).

Philanthropy has always played an important role in the Royal College of Music's history. The RCM remains committed to its founding principle: that those with talent should have the opportunity to study with us, regardless of their means. This is especially critical in the continuing context of the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to affect our community by leaving a considerable number of RCM students in severe financial hardship.

Founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Alec Reed, the Big Give Christmas Challenge helps UK registered charities raise thousands of pounds for their causes. Since the Big Give launched the campaign in 2008, the Christmas Challenge has raised over £142 million for thousands of charity projects.

For further information on supporting the RCM Scholarships Fund, please contact Marianna Raatikainen, Development Manager (Philanthropy), on 020 7591 4862 or at