UP launches Giving Day campaign to raise additional R100m over three years

Posted on May 31, 2022

The University of Pretoria (UP) has launched a campaign to raise an additional R100 million for four major projects.

The Giving Day campaign is being undertaken to supplement UP’s day-to-day fundraising projects, and will culminate on 25 July, when a major event is planned for students and staff to make contributions. This event will be held again in 2023 and 2024, with a view to it becoming an annual feature.

The campaign is championed by UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe. “The main aim is to raise funds, but also to increase the culture of philanthropy at the University,” he said. “Giving can be done through mentoring, participating as guest lecturers or sitting on boards; it can take many other forms.”

Giving Day banner with crying graduates

UP encourages any donation, no matter the amount. “Giving needs to become part of everyone’s mindset at UP,” Prof Kupe said. “We also encourage other stakeholders, such as the alumni body, to give back to their alma mater.”

The initiative will target staff, students, alumni, the Executive Committee and the University Council, the highest decision-making body. The campaign also has an international outlook, and will look to alumni abroad, UP’s foundations in the UK and the US, large corporations and high-net-worth individual relationships.

Prof Kupe said the campaign aligns with UP’s strategy to:

  • enhance access and successful student learning;
  • strengthen the University’s research, international profile and global engagement;
  • foster and sustain a transformed, inclusive and equitable University community;
  • enhance institutional sustainability; and
  • strengthen the University’s social responsiveness and impact in society.

He added that the funds raised will be used for student support; this includes tuition fees, and costs associated with accommodation, textbooks, food and devices. “We have many academically deserving students whose families cannot afford their study costs,” Prof Kupe said.

Several other key projects will be highlighted as part of the campaign. Funding will be allocated to:

  • the Faculty of Veterinary Science’s Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital, a one-of-a-kind institution in Africa that provides world-class practical training to final-year veterinary and veterinary nursing students, as well as a valuable service to the greater veterinary and pet-owning community;
  • TuksSport, which has produced athletes of national and international stature through high-performance coaching, sport science and medical support, and sound sport management – funding is needed to continue creating a platform for talented UP athletes across more than 30 sporting codes; and
  • a range of research projects, across all faculties, that contribute to South Africa’s sustainable futures.

Prof Kupe explained that government subsidies and income from student fees is not enough to sustain UP’s high quality of education, excellence and research that addresses local and global challenges. “UP has always relied on third-stream income but is now intensifying its fundraising initiatives in order to improve on its world-class facilities.”

“We are looking to raise ‘new money’, so either funds specifically given to the campaign from existing donors or from new donors,” said Hernan Finkel, Deputy Director of Relationship Management and Fundraising in the Department of Institutional Advancement. “We will not be counting what we raise during the year from our usual course of business to the campaign target.”

Finkel added that philanthropy is centred on kindness and concern for the common good. “We would like to see more of this at UP and from the external and internal community.”

He added that several donor events are being arranged, and that when students return from the winter holiday on 25 July there will be a fun day with a carnival-like atmosphere where they will be encouraged to contribute to the campaign. The UP community is invited to start contributing earlier.

To participate in the campaign, visit https://givingday.up.ac.za/   

Published by Hlengiwe Mnguni

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