Local institutions must come up with strong academic development plans to attract private funding, says a top Toronto fund-raiser. Jon Dellandrea, vice-president and chief advancement officer at the University of Toronto, also said motivation and mobilisation of the faculty was important. 'The challenge for institutions is really to get their aspirations and academic priorities right and then to get their vice-chancellor and staff working. The vice-chancellor has to be the voice and embodiment of the institution but you cannot expect him to do all the work,' said Dr Dellandrea, who shared his fund-raising experience with vice-chancellor Tsui Lap-chee and 60 faculty members at the University of Hong Kong this week. Toronto has raised more than C$1 billion (HK$5.92 billion) since 1997, with the help of a 45-member professional team. But Dr Dellandrea said the culture of donating to universities had only started to emerge in the 1980s. 'The issue was not about persuading people to give money, but persuading them what we were trying to do was important,' he said. Toronto also obtained C$350 million in government matching grants. Dr Dellandrea said in the case of Canada, it was the students who benefited because much of the matching money was for endowed scholarships, when tuition fees in Canada were on the rise. In Hong Kong, a total of HK$500 million is available for matching in the second phase of the government's $1 billion matching fund scheme. Legislator Cheung Man-kwong said at the Legislative Council education panel meeting this week that the government should extend the period in which each institution was entitled to the minimum matching guarantee. Education chief Arthur Li Kwok-cheung said the idea was worth considering but it needed the agreement of all university heads. The University Grants Committee also gained approval to raise the minimum guarantee to $45 million and the ceiling of matching grant for each institution lowered to $250 million from $275 million.