Feather Fund gives dreams flight

Annette Willemse -- Thu, 12/03/2015 - 12:45

Feather Fund gives student dreams flight

Public institutions such as universities are experiencing increased funding pressures, and the North-West University is no exception. 


Mr Silvanus Welcome in discussion with a potential donor Mr  Welcome addressing guests at the recent Donor Brunch


Having said this, and taking note of the increasing number of exceptional academic achievers enrolled at the University –of which many are unable to afford tertiary education, the financial stress experienced by a growing percentage of students affects their ability to focus on their studies adversely. According to Mr Silvanus Welcome, Senior Fundraiser at the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), this challenge requires an inventive and empathetic response to guarantee sustainable financial support for South Africa’s next generation of professionals.

The NWU Vaal Feather Fund represents an example of one such a response. The fund was established in 2012 as a strategic intervention to aid students whose financial situation may prevent them from graduating (because of outstanding fees). During a recent Donor Brunch hosted by the Campus, emphasis were placed on the importance of an intervention such as the Feather Fund as well as on philanthropic partnerships, corporate giving and the vesting of a culture of giving amongst staff, alumni, business and industry as well as other role players within the private and public sectors.

“Due to the changing international political environment, traditional sources of income, such as state subsidies and tuition fees, are no longer enough to maintain institutions of higher learning,” explained Mr Welcome and added that institutions worldwide, including the North-West University, now have to explore other sources of funding.

More about the Feather Fund

The fund, which started out as an alumni driven initiative, is now administrated across all sectors of the Campus community through the Fundraising Office. According to Mr Welcome, the Feather Fund represents one of the major building blocks of a sustainable and worthwhile future for the Campus and the community it serves. “Through the Feather Fund, our campus aims to assist those students who have passed all their modules but are unable to graduate due to outstanding fees. The fund will ensure that students who have shown their sound academic ability and have demonstrated their financial need, will be assisted.” It is the intention of the Feather Fund to ensure that students become economically active as soon as possible after they have graduate.

Ways to give to the Feather Fund

There are several ways in which you can make a contribution to the fund:

  • Staff salary deduction
  • Cheque or cash deposits
  • Debit orders

If you have any queries about the Feather Fund or Fundraising at the NWU Vaal please do not hesitate to contact Mr Welcome  on 016 910 3104 or email: Silvanus.welcome@nwu.ac.za