Two students wearing smart, black attire, holding their cello's, smiling at the camera.

The Big Give: Giving Back to Royal College of Music (RCM) Students

Monday 18 March 2024

In its 14th consecutive year participating in the UK’s largest online match funding campaign, the Royal College of Music has again exceeded its fundraising target in the 2023 Big Give Christmas Challenge.

Running for a week from 28 November to 5 December, the Royal College of Music set an ambitious target for the 2023 campaign of raising £120,000 to support life-changing scholarships for our talented musicians. During the campaign week, all donations to the RCM Scholarships Fund were doubled by generous match pledgers, meaning that every gift went twice as far.

The introduction of the Royal College of Music’s first-ever telethon was pivotal in this successful campaign. A team of four student callers, all RCM scholarship holders, took to the phones during the campaign week to speak with RCM supporters and alumni worldwide, asking them to consider supporting the campaign.

James Emerson, a Masters vocalist, Sir Gordon Palmer Scholar supported by the Big Give Scholarship, stated," I absolutely loved every moment of the Big Give campaign and really enjoyed being able to speak to donors and supporters of the College. As I am still quite new to London and the RCM, it was wonderful having so many conversations and connections with people, which I hope will continue."

With the help of our supporters, alumni and the wider RCM community, a grand total of £134,763 including Gift Aid was raised. The College was also delighted to have received its highest-ever number of individual donations, with over 150 people supporting the campaign. More than 50% of College students receive financial support for their studies each year, and the funds raised through the Big Give are used to remove barriers to access and allow some of the world’s finest young musicians to study at the Global No. 1 institution for the performing arts.

Of 1,077 charities participating in this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge, the RCM was ranked ninth for the most money raised during the campaign and was fifth among charities supporting young people, as well as reaching the top spot for all arts organisations. Against a backdrop of increasing financial insecurity for so many students, this philanthropic investment means that we can continue to support the world-leading musicians of tomorrow and the future of music. Sincere thanks to everyone who supported this appeal.

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

This news item appears in the 2024 Spring edition of Upbeat magazine.

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