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What is advancement?

CASE defines advancement as the activities encompassing alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and allied areas. Higher Education institutions around the world have been looking at advancement as a way of diversifying their sources of incomes and deepening their relationships with their communities.

The need for more diverse income sources have become pertinent in circumstances where governments have been less willing to invest in Higher Education. In the past, institutions of higher learning around the world have depended on the support of religious organisations, royalty or the communities which they served. In the American tradition of philanthropy, Harvard University was famously bequeathed a sum of money by John Harvard in 1638, that helped to grow its oldest institution of Higher Education.

Patterns of philanthropic giving and traditions of giving to institutions of Higher Education differ throughout the world. What counts as a worthy cause for some may not be for others. Advancement professionals are often faced with the prospect of making the case that Higher Education is a ‘cause’ worth giving to.

How has African Higher Education engaged with philanthropy?

As well as relying on government sources of income, universities across Africa are:

  • Raising money through alumni relations
  • Working with businesses
  • Raising money from foundations and trusts