The fundraising section in the Development & Alumni Department has two main functions: fundraising for the priority projects and campaigns of the University of Cape Town, and donor stewardship. Fundraising takes place across the university, with the department working with over 50 fundraising initiatives at any given time. The nature of fundraising projects are diverse and are aligned with the strategic objectives of the university, viz. advancing African scholarship, health and innovation, artistic excellence, developing global leaders, promoting social justice and strong governance systems.  

Fundraising portfolios within the team include: corporates, foundations, trusts, individual giving, legacy (planned giving), stewardship and proposal-writing. There are international offices in New York, Toronto, London and Sydney. A more recent fundraising portfolio added to the team’s mandate is European fundraising. The fundraising needs across the university are wide-ranging, ranging from bursaries (undergraduate and postgraduate), fellowships, Chairs, academic programmes, infrastructure, operational costs (including staff salaries), as well as endowment. A significant proportion of the donations provided to UCT come from international donors (over 60%), in particular the USA and UK. There is therefore a strategic focus on growing the pool of South African, especially alumni donors. Alumni giving, importantly regular giving, is mainly encouraged via the annual appeal, Annual Fund, and Affinity (including faculty) appeals. 

Once donations have been received, it is extremely important to keep donors stewarded through timeous and appropriate acknowledgement, donor reporting, inviting donors to events. Individuals who have indicated they will leave a bequest to the university are invited to join the Legacy Society. As a public higher education institution, all donations to the University of Cape Town are tax-exempt, and as such donors receive Section 18A tax certificates. The international offices have also been established as independent entities, so that donors located in these regions can make tax deductible donors when donating to UCT via these entities.