Funding, Education, March 8, 2021, 7:27 p.m.

African innovation: Launch of Wits philanthropy and resource mobilisation postgraduate diploma


Students and professionals with a strong interest in philanthropy and fundraising can now apply to study for a prestigious specialist qualification.

Named the Postgraduate Diploma in Management in the field of African Philanthropy and Resource Mobilisation, it is the first academic qualification of its kind in Africa.

The course is offered by The Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) at Wits Business School. It follows years of planning and collaboration by Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement, to professionalise this sector with the support of the organisation’s funders and partners.

This course provides an opportunity for students to develop critical thinking and leadership skills, as well as core competencies as managers in the philanthropy and non-profit sectors.

The diploma provides a comprehensive overview of the complex world of grant-making and grant seeking. It allows learners to understand the thinking that shapes resource mobilisation and donor decision-making. It also suits those leaning more towards academia and research, as they can continue their studies to doctoral level at CAPSI.

The diploma covers one year of fulltime study, with six core courses and a choice of three electives.  The topics include organising and managing resource mobilisation; measuring and reporting performance for not-for-profit organisations (NPOs); marketing and communications; working with communities and ethical leadership. Candidates also have an option of three electives to choose from philanthropy and fundraising in African educational institutions; Philanthropic foundations; Philanthropy and public policy and innovations in philanthropy.

The deadline for course applications is 31 May 2021. Admission requirements are a Bachelor’s degree (NQF 7), although non-degreed individuals with working experience will be considered in exceptional cases. The cost is R84000. The course starts in June this year.


Suitable diploma candidates would currently hold positions such as senior education officers (including principals and officers of education institutions); officials of Advancement units at higher education institutions; non-profit sector managers; grantmakers; fundraisers; development practitioners; public policy officials; community foundation managers; corporate social investment/responsibility managers; and consultants.


Diploma development

Inyathelo, a non-profit trust founded in 2001, has laid the foundation for philanthropic and fundraising studies over two decades. Many of its educational interventions have been enabled through financial support and involvement from the Kresge Foundation, a philanthropic private foundation with its headquarters in Michigan, USA.

The Kresge Foundation has funded two multi-year Inyathelo programme initiatives that support institutionalising Advancement at universities, showcasing community and individual philanthropy, and philanthropic research. These have included workshops, research reports and networking events for university leaders.

Several years ago Inyathelo established a week-long accredited annual certificate course with Rhodes University to help education institutions and NPOs to manage their fundraising opportunities and processes optimally.  Coursework was based on the concept of Advancement, a multi-layered approach that encourages organisations to work in an integrated way to attract resources for long-term sustainability. Some 100 professionals in the higher education and NPO sectors have received this certificate.

Inyathelo and CAPSI then entered into a partnership in 2019 to discuss the professionalisation of the field of Advancement, fundraising and grant management and to review the integration of theory with practice. The new diploma course structure is the product of a stakeholder workshop organised by Inyathelo and CAPSI in 2019, with considerable input by leaders in education and philanthropy. This was funded by the Kresge Foundation.

“We would like to thank Bill Moses, managing director of the Kresge Foundation’s Education Program, for his wisdom, intellectual contribution and financial support,” said Ms Mohamed.



























Picture: Nazeema Mohamed, Executive Director of Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement.

Advancement practice

“The work that Inyathelo has done in the field since 2002 has grown a cohort of Advancement practitioners and a community of practice. Through exchange programmes and learning opportunities, as well as core funding from Kresge for laying the foundations of Advancement capability, Inyathelo has contributed to several universities boosting their philanthropic income. This has funded bursaries and scholarships, as well as investment in infrastructure that will benefit current and future generations.

“We envisage that our current work with the US-SA Higher Education Network and the Department of Higher Education and Training, Science and Technology and Universities South Africa, will contribute to further institutionalising the field of Advancement in South African universities and on the African continent.”

The research findings of the latest Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education (ASPIHE), conducted by Inyathelo, based on data from the 2018 calendar year, indicated that eleven South African universities raised an impressive R1.61 billion of philanthropic support in 2018.

“While these findings are promising, the Survey has also alerted us to skewed systems of philanthropic giving in the South African university system, pointing to the need for more research on the patterns of philanthropic support. We are confident that researchers and postgraduate students at CAPSI will address these research questions,” said Ms Mohamed.

“We need to continue the research on African philanthropy and Advancement while at the same time growing the pool of practitioners working in the area of resource mobilisation and philanthropy.”

Ms Mohamed said the launch of the diploma was a very proud moment for Inyathelo and the many supporters who had given unstintingly of their time and expertise to make this postgraduate qualification a reality.

“We have high hopes for the graduates. They will receive the training, capacity-building and strong networks that will stand them in good stead to address the many educational and development challenges we must overcome to build a more egalitarian, productive and healthy society.”

Course enquiries: 0861 000 927 | | Download the brochure at  Register for an online information session on Tuesday 9 March 17h00-18h00 here.

























Picture: Dr Bhekinkosi Moyo, Adjunct Professor and Director of The Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) at Wits Business School. CAPSI is offering the Postgraduate Diploma in Management in the field of African Philanthropy and Resource Mobilisation.