Centennial Challenge Grant Initiative: Petra Christian University’s New Office Boosts Donor Engagement

“Ricky has always been a mentor who keeps OIA’s torch burning bright by providing guidance, ideas, and networks to advance Petra’s growth.”

One of the United Board’s ongoing strategic priorities is to encourage our network institutions to become financially self-reliant through alumni engagement and fundraising. This effort includes a grant initiative to help colleges and universities establish a full development function.

Petra Christian University in Indonesia demonstrates the success of this approach. In 2018, Petra established its Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) and recognizes the roles the United Board and our Executive Vice President, Ricky Cheng, have played in both its formation and continued success.

Ricky at the Advancement Workshop in
Petra Christian University in 2019

“Ricky has been instrumental in encouraging the university to become proactive in its outreach efforts to engage students and alumni,” says Ms. Meilinda, the founding Director of OIA. “Ricky highlighted that Petra has to actively seek and forge relationships with parties that share our mission and vision to further develop Petra as a quality higher education institution.”

Since then, the United Board has continued to work with OIA to put their development efforts into practice. In January 2021, the United Board initiated its Centennial Challenge Grant (CCG) Initiative, a donation matching scheme for Petra and other selected institutions. With added impetus provided by the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Petra, OIA raised over $40,000 from their alumni and friends in just six months, which qualified it to receive the maximum matching funding of $25,000 under the CCG scheme.

“Thanks to United Board’s support in breathing life into this young department, OIA is now a fully functional feature of the university,” says Meilinda.

Petra OIA receiving a donation

In just a few years, OIA has assembled a network of 528 donors in its database. It promotes fundraising through seminars, workshops, auctions, charity concerts, and meetings with alumni. To date, OIA’s fundraising efforts have helped secure scholarships to support 60 Petra students and also funded the purchase of two buses worth a combined 1.75 billion rupiah (US$123,000) from partner companies to serve Petra.

On the friend-raising front, OIA is supporting both alumni and students affected by COVID-19. The OIA has organized vaccinations for 3,000 students, alumni, and staff families, with backing from the Petra Foundation and the university’s alumni association, KANITRA. OIA also set up Plasma Petra, a platform that connects plasma donors with those who need plasma for their COVID-19 treatment.

Meilinda comments that the work of OIA is never-ending, but she and her team are motivated by the positive impact that OIA brings to Petra and its stakeholders. In recognition of the importance of OIA’s role, Petra’s senior management is increasing the number of its staff from four to six.