Karen Bruns, Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations at Stellenbosch University (SU), has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the newly created Higher Education Fundraising Forum (HEFF), a new Community of Practice established within Universities South Africa (USAf).
USAf's Communities of Practice are fora comprising of specialist professionals from various disciplines pertinent to running a university. These groups meet on a regular basis to share knowledge and information, to network and foster collaboration of public universities on national initiatives, and to support one another by discussing common concerns and devising collective solutions for specific problems.
The objective of the Fundraising Forum is to promote fundraising best practice in the South African higher education sector. This will be done through the sharing of information and knowledge resources; promoting collaboration between higher education institutions in South Africa; addressing local, regional and global challenges of research, innovation and development; and promoting joint academic projects.
"It is a great privilege to represent Stellenbosch University on this Forum. It affords me the opportunity to promote debate on national fundraising initiatives and issues and have a say in the development of policy and practices in response to national and international fundraising standards," said Bruns.
"In our current national and international context, greater collaboration is key - and this is exactly what this Forum will bring to the table," she added.
The establishment of this Forum has garnered positive responses from professionals operating within the local and international fundraising spheres.
Nazeema Mohamed, Executive Director of Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement in the institutional and non-profit sectors, said to have this Forum feature within USAf will assist in institutionalising good practice. “Well done on setting up the Higher Education Fundraising Forum as a USAf Community of Practice. This Forum is greatly needed in the sector."
Bill Moses, Managing Director for The Kresge Foundation's Education Programme, noted that he is glad to see the development of this group. “According to a recent Inyathelo survey, there are nearly 200 advancement professionals in South Africa today, so HEFF has a nice potential pool of members."
“It's so nice to see many familiar names [on the Executive]. Please keep us abreast of HEFF's activities in the future. There will likely be areas of collaboration, particularly around vehicles for fundraising platforms," said Hafeeza Rashed, Senior Advisor of Communications and Outreach at the King Baudouin Foundation in the United States.