The civic universities were built upon charity. The London University sold shares, but if any supporters viewed them as an investment they were speedily disillusioned. Great benefactors and large subscription lists were the primary supports of the colleges, being about equally important at Owens, while subscriptions and relatively small gifts and benefactions built Leeds and Liverpool. Publicity was a vital part of philanthropy. Emulation was necessarily based on an awareness of previous donations; status seekers needed to know that their contributions would become public knowledge. Manchester needed an institution providing a liberal education and opportunity to study the sciences which are the basis of the local arts and industries. The cultural and intellectual elite of Leeds had long entertained proposals for colleges and universities, often via the Philosophical and Literary Society. The associations found at Manchester and Leeds was important at Liverpool. The intellectual and cultural societies were particularly closely linked with education, having created most of Liverpool’s secondary schools.