During its anniversary year in 2010, the Institute conducted a number of activities with the dual aims of increasing the public profile of its activities and consolidating its financial security. The fundraising activities had specific objectives linked to teaching and research, key among which was to establish an African Student Bursary Fund. These bursaries are for students who will further Africa’s ability to conserve its unique biodiversity, either by completing the Conservation Biology MSc course, or through dissertation study. Students are an integral part of any research activity and contribute directly to the country’s intellectual capital and problem-solving capacity. The Institute therefore wishes to maintain a position whereby we are not forced to turn away first-class students because of a lack of funding.
Increased financial security for students means little however, unless we have the funding to ensure that those additional students can undertake their research. We are therefore ‘auctioning’ a number of ongoing research projects for funding, largely because although we have achieved successful growth, primarily in student numbers, we have also unfortunately reached a point where excellent research is having to be put on hold because of a shortage of research funding. Therefore, a second key aim of our fundraising activities is to establish an African Bird Conservation Fund, with conservation being interpreted in its liberal form.
In particular, we hope to identify and meet with potential large-sum contributors who might be interested in contributing endowment funds for the long-term support of one or more additional staff members. Although the funding requirement here is high, this is potentially the best way to have a large impact on the Fitztitute’s future.
For more information on the Institute’s fundraising strategy or on how you can support the Institute, please contact Dr Rob Little at E-mail email@example.com or tel: +27 (0)21 650 3291.