Why Support NSCAD

Since 1887, NSCAD University has formed a chosen family united by its motto: head, heart, hand.

At the start of a new decade, in a period of great unrest, balancing our artistic practice between these three anchors enables NSCAD’s faculty, students and alumni to embrace uncertainty and identify opportunities in unexpected places.

NSCAD is seizing this moment of social transformation and invites artists and makers, as well as allies who believe in the power of art, craft, media and design, to participate in our work as a shared enterprise.

Anna Lisa Shandro (BFA 2020)”

Donor Impact:

NSCAD is the place where donors invest to realize a bold vision of what our world can be if we unleash the power of creative observation and action.

  • empower talented, motivated students
  • ensure finances are not a barrier to participation
  • fund innovative and original research
  • support teaching and artistic practice and research in established and emerging fields
  • facilitate the metamorphosis of our built environment to be more sustainable, accessible, inclusive and functional for all
  • invest in new ways of learning and knowing
  • create opportunities to imagine a different future informed by the past
  • provide economic benefits to the creative sphere and beyond

Ways to Give

Gifts to NSCAD support the next generation of creative thinkers. They help provide financial support to students through bursaries, scholarships and internships, fund programming and outreach on campus and beyond, provide investments in faculty and research, maintain and improve facilities, and to keep NSCAD up-to-date with specialized equipment.

NSCAD relies on individuals in our community to fund important priorities that cannot be sustained through our operating budget. Individual giving provides a means for alumni and friends of NSCAD to help maintain the university’s excellence from year to year. Donors can designate their gifts to a specific need—scholarships and bursaries, the library, galleries, the Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery, Creative Entrepreneurship Lab, community residency programs, facilities, equipment—or simply select the “area of greatest need,” which gives the university maximum flexibility to apply your gift. Typically, individual gifts are spent in the year in which they are received.

Donors can choose to make a one-time donation or set up an automated monthly gift.

Endowments take a longer-term view, focused on helping the university expand and sustain important initiatives that enhance the experience for students, faculty and the community. Donations made to the university’s endowment are done so with the understanding that the capital value of the gift (the principal) is invested, and a portion of investment earnings are available to fund the mission of the university.

Donors may establish named endowment funds restricted to a specific purpose, such as scholarships, bursaries, academic chairs, building refurbishments, library or equipment acquisitions. The original donation is secured and allowed to accrue interest—it is this interest that is dispersed according to the wishes of the donor.

Talk to the Advancement Team: write to or phone 902-444-9600. Download Create an Award – Create an Opportunity: A guide to establishing student scholarships and bursaries at NSCAD University.

Studio-based study results in higher costs for students than a lecture-based university program.

NSCAD University strives to ensure tuition is accessible, however, for many talented students, the price can be prohibitive. NSCAD’s tuition does not reflect the true cost of the experience the university offers.

NSCAD relies on the generosity of its donors who provide student assistance through annual scholarships and bursaries. In 2020-2021, the university offered over $460,000 in financial assistance through its scholarship fund (including endowed funds), with more than 253 internal scholarships and bursaries available to students in that academic year. With your help, we hope to ensure that all students wishing to pursue a career in the visual arts can achieve their goals regardless of their financial circumstances.

Making a multi-year pledge to establish a named award at NSCAD is easier than you think! Contact the Advancement Director for more information.

Talk to the Advancement Team: write to or phone 902-444-9600. 

Leaving a legacy gift is a way in which donors can have a large impact on the university. NSCAD offers many planned giving opportunities—all of which can be tailored to meet your specific financial and estate planning needs. A planned gift can help you achieve your tax and financial goals, as well as your philanthropic goals, and it can help you make a much larger gift than otherwise possible in your lifetime. Please download the NSCAD Planned Giving Guide for additional information.

A tribute gift is a wonderful way to recognize a friend, family member, colleague or inspirational professor. These donations are often made to celebrate a milestone such as graduation, retirement, special birthday or anniversary.

A memorial gift is a meaningful way to remember a loved one’s legacy or to express your appreciation for someone special. Your gift will make a difference in the lives of students today, tomorrow and far into the future.

When a gift is made in memory, in honour or in celebration of someone, a special letter will be sent notifying the individual or family member of the tribute recipient.

Make a memorial or tribute gift.

Projects And Priorities

Current Focus

Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards

Scholarships, awards and bursaries are always an important need at NSCAD University. NSCAD attracts amazing students–and scholarships even further enhance our appeal. Last year alone the university offered nearly $500,000 in funding for students, thereby recognizing their talents and ensuring finances were not a barrier to continued participation in the university community. We offer entrance scholarships and in-course awards, and you can support graduate and undergraduate students studying in a specific field or at a specific stage of their degrees.

Choose from the list of established awards or donate to the general fund!

Special Initiatives

As NSCAD continues to innovate, donors can support new programs: Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery – We are raising funds to finance research fellows, artists in residence and post-doctoral fellows to animate the Institute. This a first in Canada initiative, and we welcome the support of our community to bring Dr. Nelson’s vision to life! Visit the donors and partners page here.

Creative Entrepreneurship Lab – According to a recent survey, 90% of NSCAD Alumni believe their degree was a good investment, but just 50% felt prepared for the economy. The Lab seeks to change that by offering students, alumni and the regional arts community support and expertise to commercializing their talents. From mentoring programs to webinars, the CEL’s supporters will leverage NSCAD’s position at the centre of the arts community to launch artists into the economy. Visit the donors and partners page here.


You give NSCAD and our students the power to create. Thank you for supporting excellence.

To NSCAD University’s many donors, we extend our heartfelt thank you for your generosity and passion for the work that we do.

This has been one of the most challenging periods in our long history. Events have demanded that we apply our creativity to an unanticipated situation and our faculty, staff and students have shown their adaptability.

Your gifts have supported many areas of the university, but overwhelmingly, they have been directed to scholarships and bursaries. Thank you for your part in ensuring that the NSCAD University experience is available and accessible.

To view the NSCAD University Donor Report, please click here.

Donor Profiles

Donor Faq


Advancement Director
telephone 902-444-7215
fax 902-425-3240
Email Kara

Alumni and Events Officer
telephone 902-494-8244
fax 902-425-3240
Email Trina