In collaboration with our French partner, Fondation de France, the TGE team interviewed Ms Rebecca Allaigre, Director of Philanthropy of SKEMA Business School, a French TGE beneficiary and not-for-profit establishment of higher education that has as mission to train the business leaders of tomorrow.
TGE team: Could you introduce SKEMA Business School in a few words?
SKEMA Business School (School of Knowledge Economy and Management) is a private and not-for-profit establishment of higher education and research that was founded in 2009 as a result of the merger between the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce (Lille) and CERAM Business School (Sophia Antipolis). We have three campuses in France – Lille, Grand Paris, and Sophia Antipolis – and several campuses around the world in Brazil, China, the US and South Africa. We also develop a research and resources center in Canada. We are multi-accredited, offering more than 70 programmes, ranging from undergraduate level to doctorate and executive education, along with 190 academic faculty members and over 500 professors in total.
This year, 10,000 students are enrolled (representing more than 130 nationalities); 40% of them are non-French students. We are steadily rising in the rankings – our Master of Finance is ranked third worldwide [Financial Times 2022].
We currently have 54,000 alumni in 145 countries.
TGE Team: Is cross-border giving an important part of your fundraising strategy? If yes, which countries do you target?
Absolutely! As we are historically an international business school with French roots, most of our alumni are French. However, if we want to appeal internationally, we must be able to facilitate the procedure for those donors who want to make a cross-border gift in support of our school, while being able to take advantage of local tax incentives. This is why TGE is the perfect option. In the short-term, we are focusing on France, of course, but also Switzerland, the UK, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
TGE Team: What do you think about the concept of a TGE Online Giving Platform? How does it fit with your fundraising efforts?
It is easy, clear and it covers our needs perfectly. While working with the TGE team, the implementation of the whole process was very easy and was done quickly.
TGE Team: Do you think having an online giving TGE page will help you overcome some of your current challenges?
Yes, for sure. The challenges that we face are two-fold. First, it is to encourage giving to a private school in France. In addition, as I have been working in the non-profit sector for more than 20 years, I have learned that at every step of the fundraising process, we must make it easy for the donor to make a gift. At my former organisation, after introducing the online giving option and the collaboration with TGE, the number of individual donors quadrupled. So yes, this online platform plays a central role in capturing donors and encouraging them to donate.
TGE Team: What are the next steps for SKEMA Business School? Your projects for the future?
The Dean of SKEMA Business School, Alice Guilhon, is a visionary. In philanthropy, it is important to have a visionary leader because you can share this vision with your donors, making them want to be part of the project. At SKEMA, Alice Guilhon has created the ‘SKEMA way of learning’ with the goal of becoming a disruptive school with an innovative way of learning. This also facilitates a better understanding of students and companies’ expectations.
SKEMA is creating the business leaders of tomorrow. We’re able to succeed in this mission by understanding the expectations of companies and students of today’s generation, and bridging them.
We are currently in the midst of a strategic plan called SKY25 that has three development priorities.
The first priority, as mentioned earlier, is to provide a disruptive model of education by being an “avant-garde” business school.
Our second priority is to establish SKEMA as an impactful player in the world, to make students owners of their journey and the necessary transitions that will shape the environment, and to give them in their professional and personal journey a civic vision of the world. We are doing this through the creation of 100% hybrid programmes; new lessons (AI, fintech, ethics, CSR, etc…); and SKEMA Publika, an independent think tank addressing political and societal issues connected with public policies.
The third priority is to position SKEMA as a “glocal” institution, a combination of a global and a local school. Though our international campuses, we are truly invested locally in every region. This means a transformation of our organisation – our culture of work, our infrastructure, and even our professors are evolving to set up new ways of learning and tools.
Thanks to the involvement of donors, helped of course by TGE, we will be able to achieve our goals and plans!
In conclusion, as a fundraiser, I see my job as more than merely gathering donations. I try to educate people about philanthropy. I think this is what TGE is doing very successfully by raising awareness about philanthropy in our society and giving people the knowledge needed to make a difference. TGE and online giving have helped democratise philanthropy. That is what we are observing today. It is opening philanthropy to the world.
To learn more about SKEMA Business School: