Business development is a strong focus for Fulbright New Zealand, to ensure the organisation remains financially sustainable in the challenging global economic climate and enable “smart growth” of the exchange opportunities available to New Zealanders and Americans. A Business Development Manager has been employed to work with current and potential funders and sponsors, alumni and other individuals to meet these goals.
Chris Turver, who has an extensive background in business development, fundraising, sponsorship and stakeholder engagement, was appointed in March to the new role of Business Development Manager. Chris will build upon feasibility groundwork carried out by Dawn Ferguson on a fixed term contract last year, which has fed into the Fulbright New Zealand Board of Directors’ new strategic plan for the years 2012 to 2016.
Several key work areas have been identified for the year ahead. Chris, along with the Executive Director and certain Board members, will work to secure or improve upon base funding from the New Zealand and US governments, and to deepen our involvement in the NZ-US relationship. Chris will also seek further support to sustain and hopefully expand the successful Fulbright-Platinum Triangle Award in Business programme.
New sponsorship partnerships will be sought to expand the number and nature of Fulbright exchange awards offered. Implementation of new awards will be targeted at fields of strategic importance to the country and/or for which there is under-representation or greatest demand, including in business, law and creative arts, and other fields which are consistently oversubscribed. Sponsors will be sought at both the New Zealand and US ends of the programme, to increase the number of opportunities available and to reduce the large number of very worthy applicants turned away each year.
The field of business is one which has been identified as key to the development of New Zealand’s economy, and an area where Fulbright exchanges can play a key role in building the country’s capability by opening up opportunities for emerging leaders in the business world. “With more reliance than ever on a strong New Zealand economy in an uncertain world, our strong push towards building academic capital must be matched by supporting business capability,” says Fulbright New Zealand’s Chairperson, Helen Anderson.
The Business Development Manager will also work to create opportunities for Fulbright alumni to give back to the programme in meaningful ways. Chris will develop new fundraising and bequest programmes, building upon a groundswell of alumni engagement, support and generosity over recent years. Alumni will be encouraged to help provide opportunities for future Fulbright grantees to follow in their footsteps. In addition to financial giving, alumni are encouraged to open their professional networks to potential sponsorship opportunities. Many of the new award programmes created through sponsorship partnerships over recent years have been initiated or advanced by alumni advocacy of the Fulbright programme. This has greatly benefited the organisation, award recipients and the two countries.