South African non-profit organisations (NPOs) and higher education institutions (HEIs) face ongoing funding challenges – but this is being addressed with professional training that is creating a growing cadre of qualified practitioners who can better attract much-needed resources.
Inyathelo, The South African Institute for Advancement, has just held an accredited short course to build professional knowledge and practice (Cape Town, 17-22 July). The programme was developed in partnership with Rhodes University’s Business School and covers subjects ranging from communication and marketing to external relations and fundraising.
“To date, 87 professionals in the HEI and NPO sectors have trained for the Certificate in Advancement and Resource Mobilisation. The course was held for the fifth year and the results can be seen in more effective interventions and increased donations,” said Inyathelo Programmes Director Nazli Abrahams.
“The course uses Advancement as an entry point to sustainability. This is an holistic approach that optimally positions an NPO or HEI for donor funding.”
Research undertaken on behalf of Inyathelo showed that 11 universities received a total of over R1.2 billion in philanthropic income during 2015. This was R515 million higher than recorded for 10 universities in the first (2013) sample. (Source: Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education, 2016).
Ms Abrahams said that the course’s six modules focus strongly on managing relationships for long-term sustainability, rather than short-term fundraising transactions, and are designed to meet South African needs.
“The training we deliver is based on a body of scholarship that is grounded in African realities and experiences. It is suited to the multiple African contexts in which our NPOs and HEIs operate.”
She said that Inyathelo and its partners plan to develop a specialist postgraduate university qualification, making Advancement an area of professional study in Africa.