News in brief: Building capacity to increase giving from the African continent

26 May 2021

In bold steps taken to increase capacity and fundraising efforts on the African continent, advancement staff in the Africa University Zimbabwe and Nashville Development Offices including the university Executive Cabinet received training on Endowment Management. The training was led by Dr. Rhodes Logan, Vice President of Horizons  Stewardship (who spoke to the importance of increasing the giving profile and giving capacity of Africa so as to reinvigorate the core principles of Ubuntu and African philanthropy) and Associate Vice Chancellor Dr. James H. Salley who reiterated the rich history of giving that has allowed Africa University to realize and reach the transformative levels it has attained in its almost 30 years of existence.

Associate Vice Chancellor Dr. James H. Salley

Such trainings are in line with Africa University’s strategic focus on empowering communities and the people of Africa through leveraging the wealth of talent, opportunities and skill that exists locally and regionally. The importance of endowments to the growth and sustainability of higher education institutions was stressed in addition to the practical applications of fundraising best practice with a specific focus on the African context.

An endowment is the aggregation of assets to support  research and development activities in perpetuity. This allows for alternative revenue streams that also provide more opportunities for  universities to offer scholarships and financial aid to students from disadvantaged backgrounds while ensuring and maintaining exceptional quality.

Dr. Logan said,

” Our calling as advancement staff and members of the Africa University community is to bring others to this mission for the university and Africa. It is a sacred pact where we work together for the development and growth of the institution.”

Dr. Rhodes Logan- Horizons Steward

Fundraising capacity among  African universities has long been a concern on the continent due to the threat to institutional sustainability , viability and operations that a chronic lack of funds can pose. Macro- economic factors such as stagnant economies, unemployment and volatile socio- economic environments also play a critical role in diminishing capacity across the board. Africa University seeks to lead from the front in creating a new model for the cause of African philanthropy and reinforce that Africa is at a turning point where the continent and her people must mobilize internally to ensure the continuation of its educational institutions upon which its future so heavily relies.

The endowment training is the second in a series of advancement education workshops that will create trainers who will pass on skills and  knowledge to the larger Africa University community of staff, faculty, students and alumni.