Philanthropists give over R1.7 billion to 11 local universities

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Dr Jones said: “As the aggregate amount received by the two categories of institution increased at much the same rate, the unfortunate conclusion must be that, over and above the gross inequality in donor income, neither the development and fundraising apparatuses of the HDIs, nor indeed the giving policies of donors, underwent meaningful transformation during this five-year period.” He added that: “The inequities in donor and grant-maker contributions to different institutional types perpetuate, and possibly even exacerbate, cycles of student disruption and institutional destabilisation which, in turn, increase donor and grant-maker reticence to invest in particular institutions. It is very clear that the funding community needs to take a hard look at its policies and practices in relation to financial aid for students.”

Nazeema Mohamed, Executive Director of Inyathelo, said: “Worth mentioning is the rise in local philanthropic support, particularly through the #FeesMustFall crisis. This indicates that the #FeesMustFall impact on universities was understood as an issue of national concern, with South African philanthropists stepping in to support universities. The challenge, though, is the distribution of the support across the sector and to understand the reasons for this particular pattern.”

Advancement and capacity building

Inyathelo has worked with the Kresge Foundation for over a decade to help build Advancement capacity in selected universities. This multi-layered approach encourages universities to work in an integrated way to build and manage relationships with key stakeholders and to attract resources for long-term sustainability.

“Much of what we know and have done in the area of Advancement was made possible by the Kresge Foundation’s investment in Inyathelo and South African universities,” said Ms Mohamed. “Given the complex challenges facing the higher education sector, and the need for urgent and constructive input, we are deeply appreciative of this long-term commitment that has led to greater clarity and understanding.”

“When we started this work in 2006, few South African universities of any type were raising private funds,” said Bill Moses, Managing Director of Kresge’s Education Program. “This report suggests that giving has changed dramatically over the succeeding dozen years. Private philanthropy can never replace government and tuition support, but it can help support university excellence and reduce pressure on annual fee increases. The challenge facing South African universities is to reach and engage more donors and to help more HDIs build their own advancement operations.”

To read the full ASPIHE report

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