Page 5 - Thetha Issue 6
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               The new institutional Giving to Mandela donation page   “It’s not just about cutting costs and raising money,”
            allows donors to choose within a category of projects from   says Dr Webb. “It is also a chance to promote the flagship
            a drop-down menu of approved institutional fundraising   academic and engagement programmes and other priority
            projects. It also allows both once-off and recurring   initiatives which call for stakeholder support.
            donations.                                            “To date, the implementation of an effective alumni
               There are also links to faculty or department sites with   giving campaign and international resource mobilisation
            access to the donation platform. This will offer donors   have been hampered by the lack of appropriate
            multiple opportunities for project exposure.       institutional mechanisms to promote these, and to process
               “First-year students arrive with stars in their eyes and   the mobilised funds.”
            a suitcase full of dreams,” says Dr Ossie Franks. He offers   That will now change, and helping a student to reach
            Special Projects Support to the University’s Strategic   for the stars is only one avenue for donors to make a
            Resource Mobilisation and Advancement (SRMA) office, a   difference.  The new fundraising platforms will also offer
            key driver of the new international platform.      channels to support  the ground-breaking new Medical
               Dr Franks has seen all                                               School and Health Sciences hub
            too many student dreams                                                 on the Missionvale Campus, as
            of obtaining a qualification   You can make a difference                well as the pioneering Ocean
            and improving their families’                                           Sciences drive towards a
            lives replaced by worry and   Major gifts or legacy donations are welcome,   “blue economy”.
            anxiety because they cannot   but the idea with these new platforms is to reach   There is also the chance
            afford registration fees, or   out to graduates who may just wish to plough   to contribute to social justice
            cannot graduate due to unpaid   back relatively modest amounts on a recurring   through the University’s Hubs
            student debt.                 basis.                                    of Convergence transformative
               However, he says that         The Nelson Mandela University “My      engagement. Donors can
            donors do not need to be      Contribution” Alumni Fund is an important   make a difference to the Zwide
            extremely rich to make a      component of the package of possible projects   Community Development
            difference.                   to support, as it is a discretionary fund to support   Project, for example, take
               “International research    University and Alumni Association programmes.   action against gender-based
            has shown that small recurring   Regular  or  once-off  donations  from  violence, or support a sewing
            donors can become major gift   alumni  and  friends  of  the  University    project run in collaboration
            donors if properly stewarded.   will go towards developing learning, teaching,   with Manyano Schools and the
            Thus, the long-term impact    research and engagement programmes to     Association for People with
            of this initiative can be     ensure excellence as a leading African university.  Physical Disabilities.
            massive,” he says.                                                         As Dr Webb explains,
               Nelson Mandela University                                            the new systems “provide an
            does, of course, offer financial assistance in the form of   opportunity to promote resource mobilisation initiatives
            bursaries, merit awards, Vice-Chancellor’s scholarships,   across the institution, align with best practice in the
            and study loans. However, with the national economy   higher education sector, promote efficiencies, integrate
            squeezed more than ever due to the pandemic,       our resource mobilisation activities, and ensure we
            universities are struggling to meet the demand for   have systems and processes in place that support our
            financial assistance.                              sustainability imperative.”
               There is also a need to mobilise resources for university   It has been a team effort, with colleagues in ICT,
            priorities like research and engagement. Engagement   Communications and Marketing, Finance and Legal
            functions, in particular, need appropriate resourcing, as   Services working alongside key stakeholders such as the
            these generally do not enjoy government funding.   Alumni Association and Deanery.

            In service of society                                E   To find out more regarding the institutional
            SRMA Senior Director Dr Denver Webb points out that      projects, contact Dr Denver Webb,
            Nelson Mandela University’s strategic positioning as an
            embedded university in the service of society has meant   Contact Paul Geswindt for the Alumni My
            that innovative ways of resourcing current priorities and   Contribution Fund,
            future sustainability need to be found.                  Give to Nelson Mandela University:

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