Shelagh Gastrow is an advisor to the higher education, philanthropy and non-profit sectors in South Africa. She was Founder and Executive Director of Inyathelo : The South African Institute for Advancement from 2002-2015. She subsequently worked as a Director of GastrowBloch Philanthropies (Pty) Ltd (2015-19).
Whilst at Inyathelo, Shelagh developed a programme for higher education advancement that was funded for 10 years by the Kresge Foundation. This programme assisted nine institutions and one hospital to establish their advancement operations. She also provided advice on advancement to a number of institutions that were not part of the programme, including universities in other African countries. After leaving Inyathelo she continued to assist various universities with workshops and advisory services to the Vice-Chancellors and Directors of Development.
Shelagh has also designed and delivered a range of programmes to strengthen civil society organisations and has provided holistic advisory and mentoring services to leaders in the sector, including support relating to strategy, financial sustainability and board governance. She has written widely about philanthropy and the civil society sector, has produced fundraising tool kits, governance training materials and how-to pocket-books whilst contributing to chapters in various publications.
Shelagh’s work in the philanthropy sector included the development of a South African philanthropy network that led to the formation of the Independent Philanthropy Association South Africa(IPASA). She served on its secretariat from 2015-2019 and was editor of the IPASA Annual Review of South African Philanthropy from 2019-22. She has convened conferences relating to philanthropy in South Africa and has assisted individuals, foundations and financial services companies in their quest to further their philanthropic interests.