Taking on tomorrow's challenges

The Tilburg University Fund Foundation wants to contribute, in its own unique way, to the quality of society today and in the years ahead. A real challenge! For that reason, we are fundraising to increase the impact of Tilburg University on society both at home and abroad.

Through its teaching and research, Tilburg University is making a lasting contribution to a better world. The University Fund aims to increase Tilburg University’s impact on society through its continuing contributions. Both close to home and far away. Now and in the future. Our fundraising allows us to provide additional financial resources for research, education, and scholarships. In this way, we also increase the impact of our donors. Precisely because our focus is on fundraising, we can channel our energy into the most efficient and effective way of executing our plans. Everyone who makes a donation is important to us.


The objectives of the Tilburg University Fund Foundation are as follows:

1. The objective of the University Fund is to promote education and research at Tilburg University, as well as the University’s impact, and all matters associated with this objective in the broadest sense.

2. The University Fund endeavors to achieve this objective by: a. fundraising; b. independent, careful management and allocation of funds acquired; c. making financial resources available to Tilburg University and its staff, students, and alumni; d. engaging in any other activities that relate to or benefit the foregoing in the broadest sense. In practice, this comes down to carrying out fundraising programs to promote giving, such as phone campaigns, the Middle and Major Donor Program, named funds, and acquiring bequests. The funds are used to finance scholarship programs (including scholarships for students from all over the world), research projects (such as the Zero Hunger Lab), and educational projects (such as the Pre-Bachelor’s Program for refugees).

In its fundraising activities, the Development & Alumni Relations Office (DARO) assumes the role of initiator and facilitator for the Tilburg University Fund Foundation. It oversees the active demand for funds, but is also supply-driven. The Board is assisted by an investment committee, which provides advice on the use of the funds raised. The Audit Committee supports the Board in forming an opinion on the financial statements and interim financial reports.

Our core values


Every person has the same value. Everyone should receive the same opportunities. Equality in our view exists at an individual and collective level. The value that we provide contributes to social equality. We are convinced that together we can create a better world. We are making a contribution. With complete conviction. By partnering with the University, we have an opportunity to play a role in creating a more equal world.


Because we are passionately committed to our work, we are able to achieve a great deal. When you do something you believe in, you ensure that everything glows with energy. Our work is not commonplace. The bond we have with our donors is no ordinary one. It is founded on the heritage of the University and our boundless commitment. When we tell people what we do — but more importantly why we do it — it makes a tremendous impression. Because we explain the impact our activities have. What they mean to people. The progress that they achieve. Close to home and far away.

Distant goal

We are determined and single-minded about the way ahead. Our activities, our programs, our objectives all lead to the distant goal: the world of tomorrow. That is not a vision, but a realistic view of the future. By constantly setting clear targets and meeting them, we are working our way towards this goal. Committed, energetic, with courage and enthusiasm. This is our contribution to the University’s tradition of learning and sharing knowledge.


We have a sense of urgency. That is why we want to make a difference. What we do is essential and we share that awareness with all those involved. We are happy to take up the challenge of achieving our goals. It demands intense commitment and care. We support our activities unconditionally and make clear why they are so crucial.

Results achieved

In the past year, Tilburg University’s alumni network continued to grow to more than 80,000 alumni. More than 5,900 degrees were conferred. Due to coronavirus restrictions, it was again necessary to award these degrees in walk-through graduations or delayed ceremonies.


Not only the graduation ceremonies but alumni activities as a whole were again put to the test by coronavirus. Many were postponed, some even to 2022, and others were cancelled. Fortunately we were able to bring our community together in real life in the fall. During Coach Café, Psychology Café, and Entrepreneur Café, we brought nearly 300 alumni from different generations into contact with pre-alumni (students) in person. Unfortunately it was again necessary to hold the International Career Café online. It perfectly complemented the other online events that took place in 2021, such as contact events, held jointly with the Friends of Cobbenhagen, the job market for young people in collaboration with Studium Generale, and an event with Nuffic aimed at alumni of Dutch universities in southern Africa. A notable feature was the “serious game” of the Zero Hunger Lab for donors to the University Fund, which not only gave us a chance to meet each other but also provided an excellent opportunity to get to know the Zero Hunger Lab.

Unfortunately the Thank You event for loyal donors could not take place. In October, however, we were able to celebrate the Women of Bethany congregation’s donation of €1,050,000 (donated at the end of 2020) at the formal launch held at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology in Utrecht.


Ties with alumni were also maintained through email and social media. With three donor newsletters, six alumni newsletters, and two editions of Tilburg University Magazine – on the themes of New Common and Entrepreneurial Thinking – we reached more than 50,000 alumni.


The volunteer program continued to grow as part of ‘online 2021’ and once again managed to bring together knowledge and generations. More than before, the program offered students and recent graduates a chance to boost their professional careers without physical contact, and we managed to get many alumni involved as volunteers within the educational system. Alumni become involved as mentors, visiting lecturers, members of the alumni panel, and coaches at various events.

Phone campaign

The annual phone campaign was conducted from home again this year. Students called alumni from their dorm rooms, asked about their experiences after graduation, and offered them the opportunity to be actively involved with the University as volunteers and/or donors. In addition to the phone campaign with the student team in October and November, a student assistant made calls to alumni throughout the year asking them to renew their donations to the University Fund. With this new component, the phone campaign raised a total of €151,092. In addition to many small donations, we also received a number of large donations this year, including €100,000 for interdisciplinary research on religion and sociology.

Christmas fundraiser

We ended the year with a special Christmas fundraiser. We hung ribbons on the campus Christmas tree for all donors and volunteers as a show of gratitude for their contributions. Our scholarship students wrote their wishes on the ribbons. In addition, staff, students, and alumni could also have ribbons bearing their wishes hung on the tree for a small donation. Despite the lockdown we thus created a little Christmas cheer on campus and raised over €800. The donations benefit the Zero Hunger Lab, helping to fulfill their wish to relieve hunger in the world.

Results achieved

With all the activities of the University Fund, including Have a Seat, programs for medium and large donors, the phone campaign and smaller promotions and contributions, a total of €441,227 was donated this year.

The future

By coordinating the phone campaigns and active donor relations (the “Middle and Major Donor Program”), we aim to acquire more new donors across all three donors segments (regular, middle and major) in the year ahead. We also aim to achieve more growth within these groups. In 2022, we will continue to focus on donor relations with a view to acquiring substantial donations from private individuals. In addition, we will focus attention on parties such as capital funds, corporate funds, religious orders, and congregations which have a similar mission and identity to Tilburg University and with which cooperation should be easy to achieve.

We are participating in a nationwide campaign by University Funds to raise awareness of support for research at universities. Greater emphasis will be placed on the design and implementation of a program for medium-sized donors. We also hope to be able to focus more on the foundations of our fundraising structure (also known as the bottom of the giving pyramid) by developing propositions for students and small donations, in order to secure growth for the future. Tilburg University's new strategy for the University's centenary also offers prospects for alumni involvement and fundraising.