Donations by schools

This is from a message broadcast to teachers in September 2016.

As you know, we’re funded by a number of academic organisations and by the Independent Schools Modern Languages Association. (There’s a list of our supporters here). Most of the work behind the competition is done for free by volunteers, so the £7,500 we get from our supporters has been enough to cover our costs such as Round 2, the International Olympiad and the new portal. But it won’t cover a couple of things we’d very much like to be able to do:

  1. produce more supporting material for you, such as teaching material, and a searchable database of available puzzles and teaching material.
  2. send two teams to every International Olympiad even when travel is expensive (as it was this year, meaning that we could only send one team). This would double your chances of getting a pupil into the UK team, and our chances of winning medals. Most other high-scoring countries send two teams, so at present we’re at a disadvantage.

Our regular supporters have all recently increased their donations and have told us that they can’t give more, so we’ve spent a lot of the summer thinking and arguing about alternative sources of funding. The obvious source is our participating schools, but we’d very much like to keep the competition completely free to both schools and pupils because we recognise that a compulsory charge (as in the Maths Olympiad) could prevent some of you from taking part. So we’d like to invite your school to make a donation to a reserve fund (to be used for #1 and #2 above).

How much?

We’re hoping to raise £2,000, which works out at £15 for each of the 130 schools that did take part in the 2016 competition. Alternatively, you could consider:

  • a hypothetical but reasonable £3 entry fee for each candidate at Advanced level.
  • the hypothetical average cost of £800 for sending one of your pupils to the International Olympiad.


  • If possible, please pay by BACS directly into the UKLO bank account (08-92-99, 65396322)
  • Please also send an email with the payment details to Laura Tomlinson, who will record your payment and send an acknowledgement (though she may handle payments in batches, so the acknowledgement could be delayed).
  • If you prefer to pay by credit card, please tell me so that we can explore the mechanics of setting up the necessary infrastructure.

If this appeal works, we’ll keep it as an annual request for donations; but if it doesn’t, I’m afraid we may have to levy a compulsory charge for some services.

We also welcome offers from schools to join our list of regular supporters.


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