Celebrating International Day of Charity 2017

We mark this year’s International Day of Charity by highlighting the vital work of two charities led by alumni of St John’s, before discussing the College’s own status as a charity, and our major £100 million campaign

Alumni stories

GlobalGiving UK | CEO Eleanor Harrison (1998)

GlobalGiving is a non-profit that connects donors and companies with grassroots projects around the world. GlobalGiving believes that local people know best what is needed locally. However, local organisations can be vulnerable because of lack of awareness, lack of funds, and lack of skills, so GlobalGiving exists to provide them with the fundraising proficiencies, and the means and opportunities they need to become strong, self-sustaining entities with a positive future. The charity is currently supporting local partners on the ground helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the victims of the mudslide and flooding in Sierra Leone.
Since studying at St John’s College, Eleanor Harrison OBE has accumulated a wealth of experience in leading teams in the non-profit sector around the world. Prior to becoming CEO of GlobalGiving UK, Eleanor was the Executive Director of Action for Children in Conflict, a grassroots charity working with street and other vulnerable children and their families in Kenya, for five years. She has worked for the Refugee Council in the West Midlands; with young people in Uganda on HIV/AIDS issues; with rural schools in Western Kenya; taught in Bosnia; and conducted research work in Australia and the UK for charities. Eleanor was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship Award (2009) for her community service work, and a Groundbreakers Scholarship (2013) for emerging women leaders in the charity sector. She holds an MA in International Relations, University of Queensland and an MA in Social & Political Sciences, University of Cambridge.

Autistica | CEO Jon Spiers (1999)

Autistica is a charity which both funds and campaigns for medical research to offer autistic people and their families the chance of a long, happy, healthy life. Discover more about Autistica in the latest issue of Johnian News.

Jon Spiers is CEO of the charity, having worked for several years as a consultant advising senior leaders in charities, pharmaceutical firms and biotech. He studied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge and spent a year while here as RAG President, raising over £100,000 for a range of local and national charities.

Are you a Johnian working for a charity in the UK or abroad? Let us know what you’re up to by emailing development@joh.cam.ac.uk — or by updating your details on the Johnian website

New Court at St John’s College, Cambridge. Photo Ben Minnaar

Our story

St John’s College is a charity, and we rely on the support of our alumni and friends to maintain our preeminent position and contribution to the world.

Through our £100 million Free Thinking campaign, the College is taking vital steps in protecting our core values: equality of opportunity, excellence in teaching, and the nurture of research.

The campaign seeks to significantly increase the generosity of the means-tested support our home undergraduates receive, while also enabling the establishment of new Master’s and PhD scholarships, along with Research Fellow posts.

To discover more and to support Free Thinking, please see johnian.joh.cam.ac.uk/free-thinking