Board brings international dimension to Aalto fundraising

The Fundraising Advisory Board, established by Aalto University in 2022, provides advice and assistance for creating networks to find potential new donors
Tukiryhmän jäsenet piirissä keskustelmassa.
Members of the fundraising board visiting the Design Factory. From left: Hannu Seristö (Aalto), Bruno van Dyk, Antti Herlin, Verneri Mäntysaari (Woamy), Sari Baldauf, Kalevi Ekman (Aalto) and Risto Siilasmaa. Sinikka Heikkala (Aalto) is seen from behind.

Aalto University is looking to expand its fundraising internationally and increase the euro revenue it receives from fundraising. The Fundraising Advisory Board has been set up as a means towards achieving this goal. Though fundraising is the primary focus, dialoguing with Advisory Board members is also valuable for developing the university’s interactions with the wider society. 

The board’s members are invited by the Aalto University Board with a view towards those Aalto stakeholder representatives who are broadly networked internationally and who are seasoned experts in their respective areas. Members who have served on the fundraising board since its inception include Risto Siilasmaa (chair), Chair of WithSecure; Nathalie Ahlström, President and CEO of Fiskars; Sari Baldauf, Chair of the Board of Directors of Nokia; Kyunghyun Cho,Professor at New York University; Antti Herlin,Chair of the Board of Kone; and Miki Kuusi, CEO of Wolt. The board appointed the newest member of the Fundraising Advisory Board, Bruno van Dyk, at its meeting of 15 March 2023. Van Dyk is strategic advisor for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. The Fundraising Advisory Board convenes twice annually, and between meetings its members are actively engaged in Aalto’s fundraising.

The Bioinnovation Center exemplifies the societal importance of the innovations that can be achieved through donor collaboration. Its foundation by Aalto was made possible by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, which granted over 10 million euros to establish the centre. This centre for interdisciplinary research and learning is accelerating the transition to a circular economy and a bioeconomy and creating opportunities for sustainable economic growth in Finland.   

Most of Aalto’s activities are financed with public funds, primarily from the Ministry of Education and Culture. In real terms, the state’s funding for 2022 was 35% lower than in 2010, the first year of Aalto’s operations, and accounted for just over half (56%) of Aalto’s overall funding. Thus, funding from other sources is increasingly significant, and expanding the funding base will help the university’s long-term economic planning. 

Further information: 

Director Teppo Heiskanen, Advancement and Corporate Engagement, Aalto University 
[email protected], tel. +358 50 363 3223

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