Funding community engagement
Given that North-West University views community engagement as an integral part of its core activities, any activity qualifying as either engaged research or engaged teaching-learning may qualify for funding via the university’s appropriate budgetary channels. This, of course, excludes philanthropic activities where students and staff devote their time and skills free of charge outside the ambit of the university.
Although the Community Engagement Office in itself does not sponsor any community engagement projects nor has a budget to fund such activities, interested parties are welcome to contact us for referrals to those institutions within the ambit of the university that could assist with fundraising.
NWU Community Development Trust
The NWU Community Development Trust became operational in June 2009 and serves as a channel to fund projects, oversee the governance of specific projects and to monitor the impact of projects in the broader community. As a not-for-profit entity tasked with overseeing community projects, the Trust is managed by a board of trustees comprised of internal and external stakeholders as well as an observer from each of the three NWU campuses.
Relying on a tried-and-tested internal and external auditing system, funds are ring-fenced and channelled towards a specific project or community with little or no cost to the donor or recipient. One such example would be the joint project governed by a memorandum of agreement the Trust entered into with Mosaic SA – a project that focuses on providing sustainable care for orphaned and vulnerable children and their caretakers. The NWU Community Development Trust has recently refined its strategy to ensure that science is continuously leveraged to the full benefit of sustainable community development.
Serving on the board of trustees are Prof Frik van Niekerk (executive director: research and innovation, NWU), Mrs Beatrix Bouwman (director: community engagement and executive manager of the trust), Mrs Reana Rossouw (Next Generation Consultants and currently acting as the trust’s chairperson), Dr Hendri Coetzee (acting director: community engagement, NWU Potchefstroom), Mr Silvanus Welcome (advancement officer: NWU Vaal Triangle) and Prof Lumkile Lalendle (vice-rector: teaching-learning: NWU Mafikeng). The intention is to appoint an additional two external members to the board in the course of 2016.