Giving from the United Kingdom
In 1821, Scottish-born fur trader James McGill in his will left his Montreal estate and a sizeable financial bequest to establish the University that bears his name. This founding gift established a link between McGill and the United Kingdom that endures to this day.
Today, more than 200 UK students cross the Atlantic every year to study at McGill, while the United Kingdom is home to over 1,600 McGill alumni. For many of these graduates, as well as parents and friends, McGill retains a special place in their hearts.
Making it easier to give back
For McGill alumni and friends living in the UK, the easiest and most tax-effective way to support the University is by channeling a donation to the McGill University Trust. Offline payment info>>
Established in the UK in 1994, the McGill University Trust (Charity Number 1044904) provides UK taxpayers with a tax-effective way of supporting programs and initiatives across McGill, particularly the McGill University Trust UK Trust Scholarship, which offers critical financial support to UK students who want to study at the University. Learn more >>
Your McGill-UK connection
McGill University Advancement has a full-time staff member based in London. Kathryn Muller is Head of Development, UK and Europe, and she is working with regional alumni and friends to build stronger connections and partnerships. Learn more >>
Making your gift
Making your gift
Supporting McGill via the McGill University Trust provides tax benefits to both UK taxpayers and the University. Complete the Donation Form now >>
Upon completing the online donation form, you will receive instructions on how to give through PayPal, direct debit/standing order, Charity Aid Foundation, or by cheque.
If you prefer to download and complete our Donation Form, you can mail your giving information to:
McGill University Trust
PO Box 4044
Bequests and planned gifts
Gifts may be made through your Will to the McGill University Trust. If your estate is liable to Inheritance Tax, you could reduce the amount due by choosing to give money to the McGill University Trust. You may either leave a fixed sum, or part or all of your estate once other gifts have been distributed. You may do this through your Will, or by a declaration to your executors or personal representatives giving instructions as to how you would like your legacy to be distributed.
For further information, please contact mu.trust [at] mcgill.ca (James Nelson).
About the McGill University Trust
Established as a registered charitable trust in 1994 (Charity Number 1044904), the McGill University Trust enables UK-based donors to support students, faculty members and research initiatives in every corner of the University.
A key activity of the Trust is the McGill University Trust UK Scholarship, which awards financial support every year to outstanding young UK students at McGill. Learn more >>
A gift to the McGill University Trust allows donors to obtain the tax benefits derived from the Gift Aid scheme administered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Gift Aid increases the value of donations to UK registered charities by allowing such charities to reclaim basic rate tax on gifts from UK taxpayers; a £100 Gift Aid donation is worth £125 to the Trust. Learn more >>
FAQs About Giving
What is Gift Aid?
When a UK taxpayer gives a gift of money to a charity, they have already paid tax on that money. Because charities are generally exempt from tax, they can claim an amount from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) equal to the basic rate tax paid on that money by the donor. This repayment from HMRC is known as “Gift Aid”. Learn more >>
What tax relief am I eligible for?
If you are a donor who pays higher rate tax, additional tax relief may be possible. Many such higher rate tax donors pass this recovery onto the Trust by increasing their donation by the amount they will recover. Learn more >>
I pay UK taxes but I’m domiciled for tax purposes in another country. Do the tax benefits still apply?
Yes, if a donor lives but is not domiciled in the UK for tax purposes and pays UK taxes, such as income tax, capital gains tax or an annual UK tax charge, the Trust is able to reclaim basic rate tax, up to amount of the annual tax paid, on the gross equivalent value of the donation. For further information, please contact mu.trust [at] mcgill.ca (James Nelson).
McGill University Trust UK Scholarship
Each year, over 200 students from the United Kingdom cross the Atlantic Ocean to study at McGill. They come bursting with potential and excited to join Canada’s most international university, which attracts students from more than 150 countries around the world. By the time they graduate, these students are responsible citizens of the world, equipped with the knowledge, skills and social awareness to have an important impact back at home or in any country their career may take them.
But studying abroad can be an expensive proposition once you factor in tuition, housing, books and other supplies, and the cost of relocating to a new country. The McGill University Trust UK Scholarship plays an important role in helping to attract the very best UK students to McGill and ensuring that they have the financial support needed to focus on their studies.
The renewable Scholarship is awarded to full-time undergraduates starting their studies in any of McGill’s 11 Faculties and 300 courses of study. Students must be British nationals residing in the UK entering McGill for the first time, who demonstrate exemplary academic achievement. All students who meet these criteria are automatically considered for the scholarships (applications are not required). Learn more >>
Bringing McGill to the UK
Over 5,500 McGill alumni live and work in the UK and Europe. They bring their expertise to technology start-ups, international NGOs, educational and arts institutions, the financial sector and much more.
McGill is committed to making this substantial and important alumni network even stronger and now has a full-time staff member in the region to work with graduates and other partners.
Kathryn Muller is McGill University Advancement’s new Head of Development, UK and Europe, and is based in London.
“My mandate is to meet with alumni, create stronger connections to the University and look for ways to collaborate with alumni and friends in the UK and Europe,” says Kate. “By staying in touch with members of our community closer to their home, we’re able to create opportunities for collaboration through internships, student exchange and recruitment, research and industry partnerships, volunteerism and philanthropy.”
Prior to her UK assignment, Kate worked in development for McGill in Montreal as well as in the University’s Faculty of Arts. She is a former Executive Director of the McCord Museum Foundation, a museum of Canadian history in Montreal, and holds a PhD in Aboriginal History. She is now eager to take on this new role for McGill.
Alumni in the UK and Europe with questions, suggestions, or ideas for collaboration, partnerships and networking opportunities should feel free to contact Kate – she looks forward to hearing from you.
Get in touch with Kate at kathryn.muller [at] mail.mcgill.ca. If you have questions regarding the website or online giving to the McGill University Trust, please contact mu.trust [at] mcgill.ca.
McGill and the UK: partners in success
As long as there has been a McGill University, scholars born and trained in the United Kingdom have played an invaluable role in its success.
Stephen Leacock, born in Swanmore, England, in 1869, became a leading professor in McGill’s Department of Economics and Political Science and Canada’s pre-eminent humorist.
In 1915, Dr. Wilder Penfield, a McGill neurology and neurosurgery professor and former Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, revolutionized our understanding of the human brain by improving a daring surgical technique that allowed patients to remain awake and describe their reactions while the surgeon stimulated different areas of the brain.
British neuropsychologist and McGill professor Dr. Brenda Milner, PhD’52, DSc’91, has been shaping the field of cognitive neurosciences for over half a century.
Today, an enduring affinity continues to exist between McGill and the United Kingdom. Over 200 new students from the UK choose to attend the University each year, while the more than 1,600 alumni who live there are proud to be part of McGill’s global community of more than 250,000 graduates from around the world.
McGill also boasts the largest number of Rhodes scholars of any Canadian university – 138 as of 2015 – providing yet another avenue for some of the brightest young minds in the world to hone their talents on both sides of the Atlantic.
Supporting Rhodes scholars are passionate benefactors such as McGill graduate John McCall MacBain, BA’80, who made a landmark $120-million donation through his foundation in 2013 to support the Rhodes Trust. His gift is strengthening the world’s most prestigious international awards program by expanding it to students in new countries such as China, Brazil and Russia.
Just as the Rhodes Scholarships enables talented Canadian students to study at Oxford, the UK Trust Scholarships are essential to empowering top British students to benefit from a McGill education.
At the forefront of innovation
The inquisitive spirit that drove Dr. Penfield’s work continues to foster groundbreaking research between McGill and its partners in the UK.
The Brain@McGill initiative, for instance, is an international research network that brings together hundreds of neuroscience experts and students from McGill and three of the world’s leading centres for neuroscience, including the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. Learn more >>
McGill’s Faculty of Religious Studies has teamed up with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to establish the Initiative in the World’s Religions and Globalization. The Initiative seeks to broaden understanding of the world’s religions and their relationship to the social, political, economic and legal changes that come with globalization. Learn more >>
These groundbreaking collaborations serve to strengthen ties between McGill and the United Kingdom and underscore the significance of the McGill University Trust.