Organisation helps universities last

Two of the professional fundraisers who participated in the Inyathelo workshop in Woodstock and a former programme coordinator. From left are Precious Ncongwane, Silvanus Welcome and Khairoonisa Foflonker.
Two of the professional fundraisers who participated in the Inyathelo workshop in Woodstock and a former programme coordinator. From left are Precious Ncongwane, Silvanus Welcome and Khairoonisa Foflonker.

A Woodstock-based organisation held a workshop for 20 fundraising professionals from universities across South Africa. The workshop of Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement examined the link between targeted campaigns and annual funds from different institutional portfolios.

One of the professional fundraisers, Silvanus Welcome from North-West University, says the workshop is for the improvement of institutional fundraising.

“There is a need for sustaining the universities’ day-to-day finances and due to capacities at different institutions it becomes difficult to rely on the annual budget and it therefore raise the importance of having a successful fundraising strategy. That is where the advancement goes in – to provide more options to raise the money. Every institution has fundraising advancement but it differs in the implementations and strategies used and also the stage at which that institution is,” says Welcome.

Inyathelo programmes director Nazli Abrahams says the workshop examined the challenges that higher education institutions face and explored best practice and current trends in drafting a framework for an annual fundraising campaign.

“As Inyathelo helps institutions to develop an integrated and proactive approach to attracting and raising donor investment through the approach known as advancement, the workshop was an important addition to our key offerings. [The organisation] remains committed to assisting higher education institutions to strengthen their long-term financial sustainability through programmes that develop both strategic ability and operational capacity,” she says.

According to the organisation, annual research has shown that senior fundraising and support staff attract around R2bn every year for tertiary institutions.

Inyathelo’s management believes that in the context of the national crisis in university and student funding, it is essential to build professional practice in the advancement field so that tertiary institutions can be sustainable in the long term. Alumni relations, communications, marketing and fundraising are core disciplines of this approach.

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