The Kresge Foundation’s first annual site evaluation visit to evaluate the successes achieved by the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Advancement Office and Partnerships (AOP) in 2013, took place on Monday, 3 March. The University became one of only four grantees among the 16 South African universities who competed for the sought-after Kresge Foundation multi-million rand grant to reinforce philanthropic support and advancement efforts last year.
The US-based Kresge Foundation made $2,5 million (R22 million) available to TUT, the Durban University of Technology (DUT), the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Free State (UFS) over a five year-period as part of a joint initiative with Inyathelo. Inyathelo: the South African Institute for Advancement that supports the long-term financial sustainability of higher education institutions in South Africa.
According to Mari Booysen, Director of TUT’s Advancement Office and Partnerships (AOP), the money will be made available in annual tranches. Each of the four grantees received an operational grant to the value of $150 000 (approximately R1,3 million) for the first two years. “The partnership is based on the principle of setting milestones and linking an annual matching or challenge grant to it. The next challenge grant to the amount of $50 000will only be made available in 2014 if Kresge is satisfied that the milestones as set out and agreed upon for 2013 have been accomplished successfully. The final report is due by the end of March, but the general feedback from the evaluators was positive and very encouraging,” Booysen explained.
She said the initial operational grant of R1 321 367 isused towards building capacity within the AOP. “This was done, among others, by developing and implementing better systems, processes and structures. Furthermore the AOP organogram was aligned in support of the strategic objectives and upgrading of our database which assisted in addressing our first focus for the year – that is to implement initiatives to foster alumni relations and mobilise this important constituency, with the aim of cultivating former students to become donors of the University.”
She continued to highlight other major strategic milestones that were achieved in 2013. “The development and approval of an Institutional Advancement Plan (IAP 2014-2019) is definitely an important achievement. The aim is for the plan is to guide the University and ensure that it remains focused in its efforts to solicit philanthropic funding.
“Further to this, the Terms of Reference of the proposed Donor Advisory Committee (DAC) that will assist, advise, and support the AOP in its fundraising strategies, have been developed and served at an Executive Management Committee (EMC) meeting in February 2014 for final approval.
Booysen also elaborated on the establishment of a Development Projects Screening Committee (DPSC). “’Following the drafting and approval of the Terms of Reference, the DPSCs inaugural meeting was held in September 2013. The committee’s second meeting will take place in March 2014.”
“Other important focus areas for the past year were to improve the AOP’s international fundraising efforts, increasing bursary and scholarship support for deserving TUT students, as well as individual giving and industry and corporate funding which constitutes the third and fourth focus areas,” she explained.
“We are very motivated about EMCs approval for the establishment of a TUT Bursary and Scholarship fund that will be launched later in 2014 as part of TUT’s 10-year celebrations. It is foreseen that this initiative would assist TUT to establish a sustained financial vehicle less reliant on Government funding, in future.” The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private national foundation that seeks to improve the quality of life of future generations through its support of non-profit organisations working in its seven programme areas, one of which is education.