Research is an essential part of every aspect of society in order to drive changes for the betterment of current and future generations. But research isn’t cheap, and there is a need for funding sources in institutions in order for stakeholders to provide scholars with the tools they need to promote and execute their work.
Because of this critical need, avenues like academic fundraising are often implemented. Academic research is a global endeavor and the competition for funding continues to become more and more advanced, with higher criteria required to receive the funds out of limited resources.
Government grants and other funding sources insist that researchers meet an ever-rising list of requirements to be able to obtain their assistance. Instead of forcing their academic scholars to adhere to this sometimes impossible demand, particularly for newer scholars, some institutions are incentivizing researchers to look for academic fundraising opportunities instead.
How Universities Currently Incentivize and Reward Academic Outreach
The theory of academic outreach is a well-established idea that has been proven to offer a multitude of benefits. Through outreach programs, the institution’s higher education faculty, staff, and students lend their knowledge and skills to the community to aid in solving social and economic needs that must be met. This benefits those in the public arena who are part of the program directly, those around them indirectly, and the institution in that the reputation of their involvement and help increases. This goodwill from the community encourages those who have the means to donate to do so, and others to encourage and vote for policies that help the university continue to provide research opportunities and other programs to their scholars and athletes.
Universities understand that academic outreach programs are a strong way to get a return on their investment, so many of them have specific outreach frameworks and guidelines in place to develop and implement academic fundraising opportunities.
However, faculty and staff incentives are not always directly correlated with these guidelines and are instead an optional part of the individual’s career, diminishing the effect academic outreach could have on the community, the teacher, and the institution.
The Challenges of Academic Fundraising
Even with a specific infrastructure in place to promote fundraising opportunities, there must be institutional and community support. This is a priority that varies between the different universities and local societal structures. The institution often places the expectations of outreach and its detailed implementation into the laps of the faculty.
In a typical academic setting, faculty are already overworked, overwhelmed, and feeling undervalued. When an optional opportunity is bestowed upon them, even if it is beneficial to them and so many others, the willingness to take it on depends on the perspective of the person. Since these outreaches often take place outside of institutional hours, they encroach on the faculty’s personal time. In order for the value of the outreach to be worth this sacrifice, administrators and institutional stakeholders need to assign a relevant reward to incentivize researchers to participate more consistently in academic outreach for fundraising purposes.
The Roles of Everyone Involved
The university’s role in academic fundraising and incentivizing this avenue is often ambiguous from institution to institution. Still, it’s the critical aspect of how well this fundraising opportunity is implemented.
When the university promotes and encourages academic outreach through incentivizing those who participate and engage, actively creating opportunities for community support and donations, it’s more likely that others will take their roles seriously in the outreach.
Without institution support, it’s more difficult for faculty to organize and fund academic outreach programs. Without the institution’s demonstration of the high value of these programs, it’s less likely that faculty and staff will recognize the importance of them. When faculty and staff see the outreach as a burdensome responsibility rather than an occasion of value and benefit to all, they are less likely to want to replace their personal life with the outreach programs. And when the community does not recognize the mutual benefits of working with the institution, they are less likely to support the programs, research, and policies that are important to the university’s success.
It’s an integrated wheel where everyone’s role is just as crucial as the others who are involved. For the success to trickle down, though, the institution must incentives researchers to see the value and engage in academic fundraising through outreach programs.
Adding Time to Your Life for Outreach by Using Impactio
A researcher’s job is time-consuming. You have many hats to juggle and a long list of daily to-dos that don’t need to be added to. But outreach is important to continue to provide funding for your research and for your university to be successful, so what do you do?
The easy answer is to add more time in your day, which is scientifically impossible. But by making the switch to Impactio for your citation and publication data and research compilation, you spend less time behind the computer, giving you more time to tackle the important things like academic fundraising.
With Impactio, users get a program designed specifically for academic experts like you. Impactio lets you easily integrate your work into premade templates and turn them into professionally finished products ready for printing or submission to the publishing medium of your choice.
When you’re ready to add more time to your life by making your day a little easier, turn to Impactio to get the job done.