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South African higher ed partner Inyathelo receives $225,000 Kresge grant, closing 15-year partnership


The Kresge Foundation Education Program has granted $225,000 over two years to Inyathelo to fund core operating expenses, capping a highly successful long-term partnership between the two organizations.

In the last 15 years, Kresge granted $17.3 million to Inyathelo to support higher education advancement. This support enabled Inyathelo and its higher education partners to develop and implement programs that directly empowered nearly a third of South African universities and other institutions to forge relationships with major donors and attract resources to build state-of-the-art facilities, fund bursaries and conduct pathbreaking research to ensure South Africa’s universities remain strong pillars of the economy and civil society.

Inyathelo Executive Director Nazeema Mohamed said the latest tranche of funding will support innovation in Inyathelo’s Advancement work. This is an integrated, systematic approach to positioning an organization to attract resources, which Inyathelo has pioneered in South Africa.

“We are absolutely delighted,” Mohamed said.  “This support will enable us to grow our technological capability for distance learning, which is highly relevant as we gear up to address the needs of our growing number of stakeholders. The pandemic has ushered in many pleas for assistance from university Advancement offices and nonprofit organizations for training on financial sustainability. The grant will allow us to implement our new strategy, research innovation in the field of financial sustainability and Advancement, and provide general and targeted support to the nonprofit and university sectors.”

“Our long-term partnership and support of Inyathelo was critical to Kresge’s work to improve the higher education ecosystem for underserved students across South Africa by increasing needed private resources for students, faculty and institutions,” said Bill Moses, managing director, Kresge Education Program. “I’m humbled by the achievements of this organization, proud that we have been a small part of that success, and certain that Inyathelo will continue to serve as a partner for higher education institutions and their students for years to come.”

Some examples of Kresge-supported successes with Inyathelo include:

  • The first Kresge Special Initiative (KSI) between 2006 and 2010 helped five high profile South African institutions (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of the Western Cape, University of Pretoria, University of the Witwatersrand and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital) to increase their private fundraising revenue more than threefold.
  • The Kresge Inyathelo Advancement Initiative, which provided capacity building to a new cohort of four universities (Durban University of Technology, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Johannesburg, and the University of the Free State) between 2012 and 2018. The original KSI universities also joined the Kresge Leader University Initiative from 2012-2016 to continue developing their Advancement operations, serve as mentors to the new cohort, and institutionalize professional Advancement practices throughout the sector.
  • Annual research surveys that have reported reliable and consistent information about philanthropic support for South African higher education institutions since 2014.
  • Ten annual retreats for higher education leaders enabled universities to examine issues and share insights on challenges facing the sector.
  • More recently, Kresge funding supported Inyathelo and the Wits Business School to develop a postgraduate qualification in philanthropy and resource mobilization, the first academic qualification of its kind in Africa. The first intake of students starts their studies in July this year.