The University of KwaZulu-Natal Foundation is the formal fundraising arm of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). The UKZN was formed on 1 January 2004 as a result of the merger between the University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal. The new University brings together the rich histories of both the former Universities. As part of this rich history, the Foundation record dates back to 1949 when the then Natal University Development Fund was established and weaves through 1999 when the University of Durban Westville Foundation came into being. Subsequent to the merger, the name was changed in 2003 to the University of KwaZulu-Natal Foundation Trust to reflect the name of the merged institution.

To provide a professional fundraising service which supports the development of UKZN and addresses the needs and aspirations of our donors

Legal and Fiduciary responsibilities for the Foundation and its activities rest with a Board of Trustees, which comprises members of the University Executive Management, members of the University Council and Convocation, and representatives from the broader community. The Board of Trustees meets four times annually, or more frequently if necessary. The Audit and Risk Committee and the Remuneration Committee are sub-committees of the Board, which meet at least two times annually, or more frequently if necessary. 

Our Approach


The Foundation establishes and cultivates relationships with prospective donors on behalf of the University and as such serves as a principle conduit for philanthropic donations aimed at supporting the strategic development needs of the University.

In its drive to secure donations for the University’s development, the Foundation forges relationships with individuals and alumni as well as establishes alliances and partnerships with corporates, trusts, foundations and other grant-making bodies across the world.

In selecting projects to support, the Foundation prioritises University initiatives that are responsive to societal, environmental, economic and technological needs of local, provincial, national and international communities, which the University serves.
The Foundation runs regular public fundraising campaigns to give individuals, including staff, students, alumni and the general public to support our projects.

As the conduit for all philanthropic donations to UKZN, the Foundation receives, receipts, records and reports on all such income.

Utilisation of Donor Gifts​

As a public university, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) relies on fee income and state subsidy to fund its operations. However, the development of infrastructure and the pursuit of its strategic vision requires philanthropic contributions, which expand the boundaries of knowledge and knowledge production.

UKZN Foundation accepts gifts that do not result in any economic benefit (with the exception of tax relief) nor confer full or part title/control to any product/deliverable/intellectual property in return for funding. In honoring the philanthropic intent of its donors, the UKZN Foundation ensure that donations are allocated to the cause for which they are intended. The Foundation raises funds for the following:

There are large numbers of academically deserving students who cannot afford to attend University and are unable to secure other forms of funding. Donor funds are used to provide full or partial bursaries to such students. Donors can stipulate specific criteria for the selection of students and they stipulate what conditions need to be met by the students to continue receiving support from the donor.

UKZN prides itself on its ability to generate knowledge and to convert it into a meaningful and measureable community-based projects. To this end, UKZN promotes projects in all its Colleges, which make a difference in the lives of communities ranging from farming, to land use management, to HIV museums, to civil society to art and culture and others.


The University provides access to students with disabilities. Additional funding is required to ensure that the environment is accessible and safe for students with different disabilities. Donor funding is also used to procure specialised equipment to allow disabled students to succeed at University.