How it Works

You can help us in one of three ways: funding a Scholarship yourself, getting together with family or friends to fund a Group Scholarship, or donating a smaller amount that will go to fund a book or books as part of a ‘Bookshelf Scholarship’.

We Passionately Believe

  • Students from lower-income households aspiring to go to university deserve greater financial support than they receive post-2016
  • Directing Scholarships to the school we went to, or the community we live in, makes donations more personal and powerful
  • We can all be philanthropists – it’s not the preserve of millionaires

Fund a Scholarship Yourself

Our Scholarships are for £275, around the average cost of a student’s first year Reading List. We hope you feel able and inspired to fund a student yourself. Your gesture will help a student and will make a difference (87% of last year’s Scholarship winners said the award made ‘a big difference’ to their first year of study). If you nominate a school or college – your old school perhaps, or one in your community – we will contact them and ask if they would be willing to award the Scholarship to a high-achieving student (most, but not all, schools are happy to). Just let us know which school or college you’d like it directed to. We will let you know (in October) where the student is going on to study, and what subject, so you get a strong sense of who your Scholarship will help. Your generosity will help someone follow in your footsteps.

“He has shown amazing grit, determination and resilience in overcoming a huge amount of early trauma to excel in his studies. He has shone at school, working hard for himself whilst helping others. He has over-achieved in everything, and he is a true example that it's not where you come from that matters, it's where you're going!”

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Get together and fund a Group Scholarship

We recognise that a £275 Scholarship represents a significant donation, but why not group together with old school friends, old university friends, family or friends in your community, and fund a group Scholarship. If you can contribute £275 in total we can award it in your name – a nod to the Class of ’92, or Parents of Springfield for example. Get together and be inspiring. We will let you know (in October) where the student is going on to study, and what subject, so you get a strong sense of who your Scholarship will help. If you donate this way, please reference each individual donation with a unique identifier e.g. ‘Exeter Class of ’92’, or ‘Alan Smith family donation’, so we know to pool them together.

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Bookshelf Scholarships

We would like to see a Reading List Foundation Scholarship awarded in every state-funded school or college in England. To make progress towards this we value every donation, however large or small. If you would prefer to fund a ‘book’ rather than a whole Scholarship, we will put your donation towards one of our many collective Scholarships across England.

“Her resilience, despite regular setbacks, has been truly phenomenal and her ability to get up and go, at the worst points, has been inspirational. She will really benefit from the Scholarship.”

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The majority of our donations are channelled through Charities Aid Foundation. However, if you would prefer to donate a different way please give us a call, email or write to us.  Cheques can be made payable to The Reading List Foundation, and contact details can be found here.


A Gift Aid declaration form that can increase the worth of your donation by 25% can be downloaded here.