Welkom by Universiteit Stellenbosch



Feed the body first – then the mind the body first – then the mindCheryl Benadie<p>When I first started working at the Advancement Office of a Johannesburg university, the possibility of the meaning of “advancement" excited me. The process of moving forward in a determined way sets the cadence of university life, as it breeds new ideas and nurtures talent.<br></p><p>The hope of young South Africans who come through the university gates and eventually graduate with a key to open new doors of opportunity is tangible and electrifying.</p><p>And it's an experience that was lost to me.</p><p>As a first-generation professional (the first in my immediate family to go into white-collar work), there was no money for me to take up the course that I'd been accepted for at university. Nothing was spoken about or discussed – after I got my matric, I knew I simply needed to start working.</p><p>I'd heard about bursaries but neither of my parents had finished matric and there was no one to guide me through the process of enquiry or application. If my boss's husband (in my first job as a journalist at age 17) hadn't told me about correspondence study, it might have taken me a long time to figure out what to do in terms of study.</p><p>Due to my turbulent home environment, I'd grown up to be a fear-filled, self-doubting adult.</p><p>Although the missed opportunity to get a full-time tertiary education still makes me sad, part of me also knows that I probably wouldn't have made it all the way through to the end given my lack of support structures.</p><p>Doing the work that I do now – enabling incredible young people to go the distance and run the race that I never could – feels like poetic justice. Every time that I see one of the bursary students or student interns whom I've worked with excel, it makes me feel like a proud big sister. These individuals hold a special place in my heart.</p><p>Behind the media curtain of #FeesMustFall, on the backstage of campuses around the country, are young people who just want to make something good of their lives. At the root of anger is fear, the fear of coming all that way, fighting through daunting personal challenges, only to have the possibility of crossing the threshold into new opportunity fall through your hands because of a lack of funding, is almost too much to bear.</p><p>The announcement of fee-free education provides a huge relief – but the battle is not over. The gaps in funding mean the danger of potentially running out of food due to the limits of food allowances. How do you go to class, stomach empty, mind trying to feed your dreams while your spirit feels crushed?</p><p>These are not students who are “too proud to ask for help". These are students who just want to be like everyone else – to have a normal day-to-day experience of where you eat, of going to class, of studying hard, of building relationships with your peers and of doing it all again the next day. Once that momentum is broken, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay on track, let alone keep up with the pack.</p><p>University spaces are nurturing grounds for the future workforce and their experience while studying unconsciously spaces their perception of the world. If the inner belief that “I am all alone, no one cares enough to help me" is seeded while in survival mode when studying, they will unconsciously carry that mindset into the workplace, hampering their transition into their professional lives.</p><p>So how do we create a new future?</p><p>The tomorrow that we are waiting for is not in some nebulous reality – it's within us to shape. The stature and academic rigour of Stellenbosch University (SU) draw some of the brightest young minds in the country, eager to develop their potential and be released to transform our world.</p><p>As we contemplate the Nelson Mandela Centennial celebrations and those of SU's own, we have a moral imperative to harness the spirit of youth, not hamper it. Why should students be ashamed of their hunger when they encounter a caring university that wants to provide a real solution to the problems that they're facing?</p><p>I've never gone hungry in my life – but I don't need that to be part of my story to get alongside someone who is. I know what isolation and shame feel like and that's enough for me.</p><p>What is going to move you to help us #Move4Food?<br></p><p><strong><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/CB.jpg" alt="CB.jpg" class="ms-rteImage-2 ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;" />Cheryl Benadie</strong></p><p><strong>Manager: Donor Relations</strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>
Using fitness towards our fundraising goals fitness towards our fundraising goalsKaren BrunsTo celebrate the Centenary of Stellenbosch University, we have achieved yet another first by entering a charity team in the Cape Town Cycle Race, which took place on 11 March. Our Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wim de Villiers, led our team of 65 cyclists, who set off at the charity start time. There were a number of other cyclists who also sported #Maties100 cycling gear, riding for bursaries.<div><br><p>In the early days, fundraisers talked about “a-thon fundraising" to describe charitable running, walking and cycling programmes. In fact, an industry group launched in 2007 was called the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council. A decade on, we refer to peer-to-peer fundraising.</p><p>Today, due to changes in technology and social expectations, we find ourselves in exciting times as the industry continues to evolve. More than ever, the friends, alumni and supporters of non-profits such as public universities want to have a say in how, when and where they'll fundraise. </p><p>As a result, we see a new genre of creative and semi-autonomous peer-to-peer fundraising programmes growing in popularity and featuring do-it-yourself and virtual events. These programmes cater to the desires of a new generation of supporters by providing them with the flexibility to fundraise on their own terms, according to their own schedule, and doing their chosen activity.</p><p>When I look at the global benchmarks on peer-to-peer fundraising, there are quite a few signs to indicate that we're starting our fundraising activities in the right sporting code:</p><ul><li>Research shows that cycling participants outperform those in all other event categories: They raise more money, attract more and larger gifts, and use online tools more often and more effectively.</li><li>Globally, participant loyalty (also known as participant retention) showed a decline in all event categories between 2015 and 2016. In all categories except cycling. This shows that, much like all the other areas of our fundraising activities, there's a need to address both the recruitment and retention of participants for fundraising events. </li><li>Research also shows that some individuals switch between different events offered by the same organisation, challenging themselves while continuing to demonstrate their loyalty.</li><li>Denying the parity principle completely, but along similar lines, a small percentage of star fundraisers account for the majority of event revenue. In a recent study, a mere 3% of 5 000 participants were responsible for 65% of the donation revenue. It's essential to retain star fundraisers – and to coach new star fundraisers.</li></ul><p>What do I mean by star fundraisers? Well, participants tend to fall into four categories:</p><ul><li>Non-fundraisers, who receive no online donations;</li><li>Self-donors, who receive one online donation only, typically a donation to themselves;</li><li>Good fundraisers, who receive two to four online donations; and</li><li>Great fundraiser, who receive more than five online donations.</li></ul><p>We know that participants who ask for money actually raise it. There's a simple, straightforward correlation. As a call to action in our coaching messages to participants, we encourage them to reach out by e-mail (and social media), asking friends and family for donations. We also provide them with sample messages to ensure that they have the right tools to ask for contributions effectively.</p><p>We're really excited by our initiatives in this area of peer-to-peer fundraising. There's so much scope, nationally and internationally. So you will understand why I was yelling my lungs out from the pavement on Sunday 11 March, and I hope that, if you were there, you did too. </p><p>Organisation-driven fundraising – whether traditional running, walking and cycling events or endurance fundraising – foregrounds our thinking around giving days and virtual events; and may well encourage individual-driven fundraising for the University. We see growth in this latter area too – project-based fundraising and personal crowd-funding. These are the new frontiers that challenge a fundraising office such as our own and force us to investigate how we can be enabling while simultaneously surrendering some control. </p><p>As you'll be aware, it can be laborious for a large organisation to strive towards greater agility and nimbleness. Luckily for us, people come wired with a vast capacity for change; it is this innate ability that is often constrained by present conditions. We're working hard at being more empowering so that our staff, students and friends can achieve greater independence and autonomy, while promoting more open communication channels in group activities to ensure continuity, congruency and the fostering of the University's ethos. </p><p>It's more pedal power for us all. May the wind be at our backs.<br></p><p><strong><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Karen_Bruns_small.jpg" alt="Karen_Bruns_small.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1 ms-rteImage-2" style="margin:5px;" />Karen Bruns</strong></p><p><strong>Senior Director: Development & Alumni Relations</strong><br></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong>​​<br></strong></p><p><br></p></div>