A history of philanthropic support at LSE



1895 - LSE was founded as a result of a bequest to the Fabian Society of some £20,000 by Henry Hunt Hutchinson in 1894.

1912 - The support of Indian millionaire, Ratan Tata, helps to establish the department of Social Science and Administration, as he agrees to fund a research unit to investigate methods of preventing and relieving poverty.

Late 1920s/1930s


LSE received substantial funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and was described as 'Rockefeller's baby'. Areas supported included the construction of new facilities, research, professorships and general endowment. LSE’s relationship with Rockefeller continues to date, most recently having received support for the Global Civil Society programme within the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit. 



1978 - Library Appeal raised over £2 million for initial conversion of WH Smith's warehouse to British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES) -  now also known as the LSE Library - which came into use in 1978.

1979/1980 - The External Relations and Appeals Office was set up shortly after the end of the Library Appeal. Including the establishment of an Alumni Register.



Raised over £2.3 million for UK and overseas student scholarships. This lead to many overseas alumni groups being formed.

1989 - Butlers Wharf Appeal raises over £2 million for a student residence.



1993 - Second Century Campaign began

1998 - Annual Fund founded



2001 - Campaign for LSE launched with a goal of raising £100 million

A second appeal for a further phase of redevelopment for the library closes with over £6 million from alumni, trusts, foundations and other friends of the School. The redeveloped library is opened by HRH Princess Anne.  

2007 - Campaign ends having raised £105 million from over 12,000 alumni, friends, corporations and foundations in 90 different countries.

2008 - New Academic Building opened by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, with £10 million raised towards the redevelopment by alumni, trusts, foundations and other friends of the School under the Campaign for LSE



2011 - The Benefactors' Board is unveiled in the front lobby of the Old Building. It initially details 37 high level donors who have made significant contributions to the School, and is updated annually. 

2013 - The Department of Economics moves into its new home at 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields. The redevelopment of the former Land Registry building is supported by the Annual Fund as well as alumni, trusts, foundations and friends of LSE. 

2014 - The first new building on campus for more than 40 years, the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, opens, housing the Students' Union, LSE Careers and many more services. The development is backed by a landmark gift from an alumnus, after whom the building is named.

2015 - A £30 million gift from philanthropist Paul Marshall – the largest private donation in LSE’s history – creates the Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship at LSE. It will be housed in the Paul Marshall Building, named in his honour in recognition of the landmark gift.

2016 - The largest philanthropic donation in LSE history from Atlantic Philanthropies (£64.4m) enables the School to launch the Atlantic Fellows Programme at the International Inequalities Institute – an ambitious 20-year programme designed to build a global community of leaders dedicated to changing policy, practice and public dialogue around inequalities.

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa is launched, through a remarkable pledge of £10 million from alumnus Firoz Lalji (BSc Economics 1969) through The Lalji Family Foundation, the largest single gift to the School made by an alumnus.

The LSE Annual Fund raises £1 million for first time in its history.


 - The Annual Fund breaks the £1 million barrier once more.

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences renew their support for the Kuwait Program with funding of £2.7m over a five year period.