Fine-tuning Advancement Practice

Ruvimbo Valerie Gwatirisa and Jocelyn Collins, Inyathelo Programme Officers

In the run up to the 2015 Inyathelo Advancement Academy, it seems fitting to revisit last years event. This write up was originally published in our 2015 Annual Report. This year, Inyathelo will host 2, two-day Advancement Academies; the first on 1 and 2 September for non-profit organisations; the second on 2 and 3 September for higher education institutions. Both events will be held in Cape Town.

Fine-tuning Advancement Practice

Central to Inyathelo’s approach to building organisational Advancement capacity and contributing to the sustainability of civil society is the provision of a wide range of diff erent learning and training opportunities.

Our flagship event is the annual Inyathelo Advancement Academy which offers practitioners from around the country and across the continent a two-day focused, consolidated skills development and peer-learning opportunity. Packed with a combination of masterclasses, presentations from international and local experts, group discussions and one-on-one specialist advice, the 2014 Advancement Academy programme allowed the 114 participants to focus their own learning and tailor the experience to their specific needs.

For the first time, we incorporated the Inyathelo Non-Profit Clinic through our lunchtime “Take a Seat” sessions. Specialist Advancement practitioners were available to engage with participants by giving one-to-one advice on particular challenges faced by organisations and institutions. Participants were able to access Inyathelo’s resources which could be ordered or purchased on site and some lucky individuals also received hampers and subscriptions to the FundingFinder – Inyathelo’s online donor directory.

Content was shared on leadership and strategies for attracting support, the various approaches to monitoring and evaluation, international perspectives on individual giving, data management and techniques for building sustainable relationships. The two-day large learning event ended with a panel discussion that gave perspectives on the importance of staying relevant as organisations and institutions. It also brought to light some of the challenges of growth, innovation and reinvention faced by organisations when encountering changes in the internal and external environment.