Philanthropic donations from alumni, staff and friends can make a considerable difference to a university’s financial viability – and to ensure that higher education institutions (HEIs) maximize such opportunities, Inyathelo (the South African Institute for Advancement) recently held a workshop for 20 fundraising professionals.
The workshop, which took place at Inyathelo’s Cape Town office and drew representatives from around the country, examined the link between targeted campaigns and annual funds in a multi-faceted fundraising portfolio.
“The workshop examined the challenges that HEIs face, and explored the best practices and current trends in drafting a framework for an annual fund campaign,” said Inyathelo Programmes Director Nazli Abrahams.
“As Inyathelo helps institutions to develop an integrated and proactive approach to attracting and raising donor investment (an approach known as Advancement), this workshop was an important addition to our key offerings,” she said.
“Inyathelo remains committed to assisting HEIs to strengthen their long-term financial sustainability through programmes that develop both strategic ability and operational capacity.”
Alumni relations, communications, marketing and fundraising are core disciplines associated with this approach.
The Kresge Foundation, a US philanthropic foundation, recently awarded Inyathelo a grant of US$857 734 (about R11, 1 million) for the Kresge-Inyathelo Advancement Initiative (KIAI) aimed at building South African universities’ Advancement capacity.
“Our annual research has shown that senior fund-raising and support staff already attract around R2 billion every year for HEIs,” said Inyathelo Executive Director Jessica Rees-Jones.
“In the context of the national crisis in university and student funding, it is essential to build professional practice in the Advancement field in order for HEIs to be sustainable in the long term.”
Caption: Ronica Ramsout, Assistant Director: Institutional Advancement, University of the Free State; Lori Yersh, independent consultant with The Intelligent Advantage in Canada; and Tertia de Bruin, Project Coordinator: Institutional Advancement, University of the Free State.