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The investigation of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the University of KwaZulu-Natal Foundation’s fundraising efforts.

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TThe study investigates the extent to which the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the fundraising efforts of the UKZN Foundation. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has made a devastating impact on the lives of many people and the economies of many countries. The pandemic affected a lot of sectors in the economy including the higher education sector. The University of Kwazulu-Natal was under pressure to ensure they provide the required tools to carry out online learning and teaching. The UKZN Foundation, which remains the fundraising arm of the University of Kwazulu-Natal, had a responsibility to appeal to both existing and potential donors to support the university in light of the pandemic and the demands that came with it. The UKZN Foundation had to formulate strategies and plans to ensure they alleviate the pressure from the university by appealing for more funds. The outbreak of the pandemic affected the state funding for universities substantially, the education department had to reallocate funds so to prioritize challenges brought about by the outbreak of the pandemic. The outbreak caused universities to undergo a serious financial strain. Universities had to review their budgets so to ensure they remain afloat and can carry their day-to-day costs. Due to financial pressures experienced by the UKZN in light of the pandemic, thirdstream income became a priority to support university needs. Despite organizations holding back, as far as pledging is concerned due to Covid-19, the UKZN Foundation is still required to appeal, and source funds to support the university. This study’s objectives centred around establishing whether the UKZN foundation was able to achieve its income and donor targets in light of the Covid-19 pandemic; exploring the extent to which the foundation has been impacted in meeting project demands; investigating whether the foundation’s stakeholders and relationship management have been affected by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and establishing if the foundation was able to remain in alignment with the requirements of the UKZN strategy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. iii A qualitative research method was adopted for this study and interviews were conducted with external donors, UKZN foundation management staff, and other UKZN employees. The findings from the study indicate that despite the economic pressure brought about by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, the UKZN Foundation was able to raise a substantial amount of funds to support the university to provide effective remote teaching and learning in the light of the pandemic. This study shows that the pandemic brought a lot of challenges to the academic sector and that the University of Kwazulu-Natal endured a lot of financial pressure. Despite the economic pressures, the UKZN Foundation was able to appeal to donors to support the University of Kwazulu-Natal. The UKZN Foundation was instrumental in supporting the university with its remote learning and teaching funding requirements.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.