Imagine if you were rewarded for helping to raise funds for students in need! The University of Pretoria (UP) has found a creative way to do this by partnering with over 400 reputable brands to create the UP Alumni Online Mall – where UP’s sizeable alumni community can score large discounts on their monthly shopping while proceeds from subscription fees help fund needy students at the University.
The University of Pretoria (UP) has launched the UP Alumni Online Mall, a first-of-its-kind in South Africa shopping hub aimed at the University’s more than 300 000 alumni around the world.
The UP Alumni Online Mall was launched digitally on Thursday 7 September 2023 with deals from over 400 top brands, that provide products and services across South Africa and globally. The UP Alumni Online Mall allows UP’s alumni community to shop at discounted rates from leading brands dealing in food, insurance, gym and lifestyle services, health, motoring, entertainment, travel, fashion, accessories, sports products, homeware, beauty products, gifts, and children’s products and services.
What makes this experience even more unique, though, is that proceeds from the subscription fees will go towards the UP Alma Mater Fund, which helps needy students finance their studies.
“It is heartbreaking to learn that there are still a lot of students who walk into UP’s Student Funding office with lost hope and are considering deregistering because they cannot afford to pay for their education,” said Samantha Castle, UP Alumni Relations Manager. “What is even more painful is that these are mostly students in the ‘missing middle’, which means they come from families that earn just enough to disqualify them from National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding, but not enough to afford bank loans to fund their education. Having an appreciation of this frustration and the fact that our alumni community is aware of the hardships students face trying to acquire an education in South Africa, we were inspired to look for an innovative way to combine two imperatives: Raise funds for students, while simultaneously rewarding our alumni-donors. The UP Alumni Online Mall is meant to complement the initiatives UP has in place to restore the future of defeated students who would otherwise drop out of university and see their chances of finding employment and reaching their goals through education decrease.”
The UP Alumni Online Mall’s benefit packages are designed to be appealing to three types of alumni: New Graduates (those with one to three years out of university and who need to build a solid financial base by saving on rent, utilities, and groceries); Seasoned Graduates (five to 20 years out of university and who have more disposable income and a desire to improve their living conditions through family, housing, and lifestyles upgrades); as well as Veteran Graduates (20+ years out of university and who can afford to travel and purchase luxurious items and retirement savings services).
“As much as we say, ‘Save big, stay connected and leave a lasting legacy’, this is really an easy-to-use win-win product that will save our alumni as much as R1 250 per month in grocery and well-being coupons redeemable at leading retail stores nationwide for just R150 a month and, as such, our goal is to get 1 000 annual subscriptions and raise at least R1.5 million,” Project Manager Lubuto Kalanga said. “Just imagine the positive impact we can have in the lives of young people, who are the future of this country. Our alumni community will get to leave a lasting legacy while carrying on with their day-to-day business. Who would not want to save up to 20% on gym fees at Planet Fitness and enjoy buy-one-get-one-free movie tickets at Ster-Kinekor and NuMetro, as well as discounted local and international accommodation, flights, and car hire? This was not easy to accomplish, but we believe we have done something very unique and almost unreal.”
The UP Alumni Online Mall has a link where UP alumni can gain access through a click on the “JOIN TODAY!” button. They can then fill in their details and make an online payment of R150 a month via debit order, or a once-off payment of R1 800 for the year. Once they’ve subscribed, users will then be able to log into the online mall and get discount coupons which they can use either in-store or online (or sometimes both). An integration with UP’s internal database of alumni will verify the applicant’s graduate status using their ID number or passport number (for international alumni).
“We are excited about being able to provide a valuable service and much-needed savings to our alumni, while also allowing them to help our most needy students, thereby contributing to the creation of the stronger country and continent we dream of,” Castle said. “We wish our alumni happy shopping and big savings!”
>> Visit the UP Alumni Mall here: https://www.up.ac.za/alumni/article/3167399/alumni-online-mall