Inyathelo in the Headlines

Good opportunity for NGO's - 21 Jun 2012 - Voice of Cape

Grassroots organisations, NGO''s and organisations who rely heavily on funding from fundraising now have an opportunity to learn much needed skills on how to stretch their resources to the maximum. Rhodes Business School, in partnership with Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement has opened applications for people wanting to attend Africa’s first ever university-level course in Advancement – the practice of building, maintaining and improving support, skills and funds for an organisation or institution.

The Avancement and Resource Mobilisation Certificate course will take place from 13 to 24 August at the Rhodes Business School in Grahamstown, and will cover key aspects of Advancement, including relationship management, governance, skills capacity, fundraising, marketing, planning, strategy, leadership as well as the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors.

South African case studies and experiences from local and international professionals in the field will also form part of the ten day course aimed at building and sustaining higher education institutions and the non-profit sector in South Africa. According to Nazli Abrahams, manager of Inyathelo’s Advancement Training and Support Unit, the course is aimed at those wanting to professionalise their work in the field of Advancement. “The course is for those involved in making decisions around strategies for resourcing non-profit organisations or higher education institutions, including academics, administrators, CEOs and trustees who are responsible for fundraising, marketing, donor and project management, and community-building,” she explained.

The certificate course will form the basis of a new post-graduate diploma in Advancement being developed by Rhodes Business School and Inyathelo. A limited number of full scholarships and fees bursaries are available and can be applied for when applying for a place on the course. Director of Rhodes Business School, Professor Owen Skae, said fundraising is becoming highly competitive, with an increasing number of organisations chasing ever-shrinking traditional sources of income.

"Universities and civil society need actively to seek more ‘third stream’ funding and support - whether it be through donations, investments, research contracts or other entrepreneurial activities – if they want to survive and thrive, particularly during this time when world economies are performing poorly," he said. According to Skae, "There are, however, many opportunities if Advancement is approached strategically and in a business-minded manner. Our certificate will equip participants with the skills, knowledge and tools to become effective Advancement practitioners that can mobilise the resources needed to secure our future in South Africa."

The planning and development work to design the full post-graduate diploma course is already underway. International Advancement experts such as Tyrone Freeman, Associate Director of Public Service & the Fundraising School at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, have been approached to provide advice and guidance on the framework, structure and content of the course. The US-based Kresge Foundation, which funds various higher education projects in South Africa, is also providing support.

To find out more about the Advancement and Resource Mobilisation Certificate course, contact Leticia Greyling at Rhodes Business School on 046 603 8617 or Nazli Abrahams at Inyathelo on 021 465 6981. VOC