With the new year, Andriy Kurochka will head the Development Department of the Ukrainian Catholic University. Olha Zarichynska, former head, will now work at the Ukrainian Catholic University Foundation (UCU Foundation) in the USA.
We talked with Kurochka and Zarichynska about the priorities of their work in their new positions.
The new head of the Development Department, Andriy Kurochka has worked at the Ukrainian Catholic University for more than 20 years. For some seven years he was the assistant of Olha Zarichynska, so his new position will bring new challenges for him, but the team is tested and the environment already formed: “Olha and I worked side-by-side for many years. Of course, there will be a re-assignment of responsibilities in the chain of leadership in the department itself, but Olha will continue to be close to the community, simply on the other side of the ocean. Our team is stronger than ever, ready for new, interesting challenges and changes.”
Kurochka also says that many practices in the department have been well developed over the years, so they won’t change. The new head sees his priorities as preserving the team spirit and the desire that each member will grow and develop together with the university.
Olha Zarichynska worked 21 years at UCU, and for seven of those headed the Development Department. She also studied at the Ukrainian Catholic University (then the Lviv Theological Academy) at the Theology Faculty. She says that her most important goal when moving to the USA will be to work for the wellbeing of the university.
“Inasmuch as the main activity of the UCU Foundation is fundraising for the university, my new appointment will continue what I was doing in Ukraine. I will continue to work for the development of our university in cooperation with American partners. I will also continue individual work with benefactors and help organize charitable events, since in the coming years UCU plans to conduct a new fundraising campaign to support the university’s development. There is also now a need to strengthen the team in the USA with someone from UCU. In this way, we hope to be closer to our benefactors abroad, to improve our cooperation and the results of fundraising events.” explains Оlha Zarichynska.
The former head of the Development Department says that her decision to change her place of work and her country was not easy. She admits she never wanted to move abroad, though she had many opportunities when she studied in Canada, Poland, and Germany. “Every time I return home from travel abroad, especially to UCU, I receive here a breath of fresh air. So I will eagerly await my return here, to ‘charge up my batteries’ to carry out future tasks. Though it was not an easy decision, I understand that work in the USA will being new challenges and new opportunities for growth and development, in my personal and professional life.”
Olha Zarichynska says that with the start of her work in the Development Department she noticed an active dynamic in the growth of philanthropy in Ukraine, particularly thanks to UCU: “Our team is perhaps the first in Ukraine to conduct fundraising campaigns to support education. We were able to convince Ukrainian benefactors that their support is exceptionally important for the future of our country. I consider that what motivates entrepreneurs to philanthropy is UCU’s great, common success, in which each donor can also feel their own contribution. I am glad that over these years we were able to make great changes in the approach to understanding what philanthropy is in Ukraine.”
Natalia Klymovska, UCU Vice-Rector for Development and Communication, who previously headed the Development Department and was its first head, adds that, thanks to the team’s coordinated work, the university has learned how to build long-term, honest, transparent relations with benefactors, considering their advice and thoughts: “Our funders are our partners, friends whom we very much appreciate. I always say that fundraising is systemic work. We are in constant contact with benefactors. We invite them to meetings, share news, provide reports. This all demands a personal approach and, it seems to me, such close connections are the greatest thing we have. We would not be able to build such strong, trusting relations without a good team. And I thank Olha for her service, and Andriy, who will take upon himself these difficult challenges. I’m glad that we share common values and are working to achieve one goal.”