THE Tshwane University of Tech nology TUT quadrupled its donor income in the last five years to R64.9 million by the end of 2017. In addition, the institution grew the number of fund raising and development staff from six to 11 and compiled a huge alumni database of more than 150 000 people. These are just some achievements of the five year partnership between TUT and non profit trust Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement. The programme is based on long term capacity building for university fund raising offices and was funded by the Kresge Foundation in America. Inyathelo programme director Nazli Abrahams said the collabora tion with TUT began in 2013. It was founded on a multi layered approach known as Advancement, which incor porated elements such as governance, leadership, relationship building and financial management. "Advancement encourages institu tions to work in an integrated way and to build capacity to attract resources for long term sustainability" Abra hams said.
The Kresge Foundation allocated TUT an initial grant of R2 137 000, fol lowed by annual performance based bonus grants. The programme was underpinned by capacity building workshops, training and development, mentoring, leadership retreats and conferences through Inyathelo. Mari Booysen, director of the TUT advancement and partnerships office, told the Pretoria News: "The Kresge Inyathelo Initiative not only provided an opportunity to re estab lish our brand, improve our public image and build a more positive repu tation, but moreover provided a case for institutionalising the concept of Advancement at TUT." She said key achievements included repositioning the office under the leadership of the vice chancellor and principal's office and involving coun cil and other university leaderships directly in fund raising initiatives. The alumni relations office estab lished a workable alumni database and began communicating and inter acting better with alumni.
The office has launched its first TUT bursary and scholarship fund, a platform for alumni to support flag ship projects. "It encourages high net worth individuals, council members, executive management, staff, students and companies, trusts and founda tions to donate. We have more than R6m in the fund, with individual giv ing growing," said Booysen. The TUT website has also been revamped. The main university pages maximise the TUT brand and there is a social media platform for alumni to re connect with their alma mater. "We maintain a conscious presence in the social media space, with a following in excess of 3 700 across all platforms. In addition, the university can now receive online donations." While the Kresge Inyathelo pro gramme concluded in December, 2017, its legacy lives on, said Booysen.