"South Africa appears to be a nation of givers: over half of respondents (54%) gave money to charities or other causes, a third (31%) gave food or goods to charities or other causes, while slightly less than a fifth (17%) volunteered time for a charity or cause, in the month prior to being interviewed. In addition to giving to formalised institutions or causes, slightly less than half of respondents told us they gave money and/or goods (45% respectively) not to formal charities but directly to the poor – street children, people begging on the street and so on."

"The Giving USA 2019 report by the Giving USA Foundation and the University of Indiana Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has just come out. The good news? American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave $427 billion to U.S. charities in 2018, according to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018. We Americans are very generous to our churches and charities. In good times, we give a bit over 2 percent of our national GDP to charities. The bad news? 2018 was a down year. Adjusted for inflation, total giving declined 1.7 percent.

Frankly, we have been expecting this news ever since the U.S. tax overhaul went into effect in early 2018. All is not lost, though. At TechSoup, we of course follow technology closely, and we have some ideas on how you can use digital fundraising techniques and tools to thrive in recessionary philanthropic times.

Read more on TechSoup

Gill Bates, the chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Southern Africa, reports that the 2017 CAF World Giving Index shows that that in trying times, South Africans still tried to help where they could. “There is a new surge of energy on the continent and in South Africa, within the philanthropy, development and corporate social investment space, which is exciting to see,” says Bates.

The annual CAF World Giving Index looks at how and why people around the world give to charity. It’s compiled from data from 139 countries, representing 95% of the world’s population. The report includes questions about three different types of giving behaviour --  helping a stranger, donating money, volunteering time -- and ranks each country accordingly. 

"Research shows that women, whether wealthy or not, outpace men at similar income levels when it comes to charitable giving. But female donors respond to different fundraising tactics than male givers do, and few nonprofits are actively working to attract and cultivate women supporters."

Read more in The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Despite challenging economic circumstances, the South Africa Giving 2017 report reveals that individuals in South Africa – particularly the younger generation – continue to give of their time and money to assist individuals and communities in need.

Detailing the different ways that people in South Africa donate and volunteer, this report covers how much money on average is donated by individuals, which causes people give to, how people like to give, as well as what motivates people to give.

Donors pool philanthropic funds to gain collective impact through their giving and thus increase the total impact on the project. This type of collaboration allows for the Sharing of ideas, the joint planning of responses to issues of mutual concern, engagement with other donors that focus on related issues and the building of networks and alliances.

Organizations may have a programme or service that works but need investment from various donors to make the programme a reality. Donors thus have the opportunity to form strategic alliances which allow them to leverage their philanthropic giving while adding greater benefit to the project or programme.

Community philanthropy is an approach to development, based on the belief that community members often have the best understanding of what is needed to improve and aid their community. It is the process of gaining the support of community members, leveraging community resources and determining the local use of external resources in order to address challenges or improve the quality of life within that community. Trust is built through community collaboration and participation, as well as by providing some level of shared power in the decision-making process. It has been found that community members are more likely to commit to a project on a long-term basis if they have a level of ownership in the project.

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Guidance for corporate community engagement professionals to steer their international strategies and navigate differences across regions.

Giving Around the Globe: 2017 Edition is a treasure chest of insights and best practices on how business can be a force for good.The four topics highlighted are:

  1. How technology can be used to improve employee engagement. 
  2. How businesses can use their advocacy power to uphold human rights and good ethics. 
  3. How the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be used as a road map for defining long-term business goals and recalibrating the positive contributions of business to society. 
  4. How businesses can deal with the rapid growth of voluntary disclosure and become a proactive force on critical issues. 

There are many high net worth individuals involved in philanthropy. According to the The Global Philanthropy Report, there are 15 million millionaires and close to 2,000 billionaires globally. Many of them have launched some form of philanthropic structure to enable them to make a financial investment, thereby improving society in one way or another.

Many high net worth philanthropists start a foundation - a non-governmental, non-profit organisation which makes donations, known as grants, to NPOs,  either to fund a specific programme or to contribute to general operating expenses.  A foundation can also be called an endowment or a charitable trust.

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'It’s more than 50 years since Neville Isdell graduated from the University of Cape Town (UCT), but he’s remained forever grateful. And on Thursday, UCT announced that the 76-year-old former chair and CEO of Coca-Cola had made his second $1m-plus donation to the university. Last time the money went to the UCT Rugby Football Club, where Isdell took over as president this year. The latest donation of $1.24m (about R18m) will be spent on researching new medicines for infectious diseases at the UCT Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D. “I am excited about playing a part in helping to achieve African solutions to public health challenges on the continent and across the world,” Isdell said.'

Read more in Times Live

Impact Investing

Through Impact investing, the investor’s aim is to make a profit while having a positive environmental or social  impact on the world at the same time. The focus is usually on funding things like sustainable agriculture, clean technology development ,affordable healthcare or housing and improved education or employment opportunities. Microfinance projects are also popular in many emerging economies. Impact investing is often is done through debt, private equity or fixed-income securities.  There is usually no time frame, with investors supporting the project for as long as it takes.

Venture Philanthropy:

Venture philanthropy is slightly different to Impact Investing as it focuses purely on social impact while usually (but not always) making a profit. The primary goal is the improvement of systems and sectors as opposed to promoting and funding individual organizations and projects. Its emphasis is on capital building rather than funding operational expenses. Because of this, there is a strong emphasis on performance measurement. The focus is usually on medium-term projects with the engagement period being an average of five to seven years. Most venture philanthropy investments are done through a private equity firm or foundation.


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Individual giving refers to people from a variety of economic and social backgrounds giving of their funds, knowledge and time towards a common good. Individual donors account for more than three-quarters of charitable donations every year and most non-profit organisations rely on individual donors for ongoing, regular support.

Much individual giving is done through viral fundraising.  In recent years this has been evident through the rise in popularity of Crowdfunding, a financing method that involves funding a project with modest contributions from a larger group of people, rather than seeking large sums from a small group of investors. These funding campaigns are typically conducted online through specific crowdfunding sites, usually working in conjunction with the various social network platforms. The basic premise is to convince enough people to contribute to reach a target figure. Crowdfunding is successful as it allows the individual an effective way to support a cause - no matter how big or small the contribution.

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by Mzamo Masito, Sarah Collins, Didi Mogashoa 

Philanthropy is most often associated with big names and big money, the distant domain of foundations and billionaires. But, in Africa, a culture of giving is part of the fabric of our lives and our communities. The word ‘philanthropy’ is derived from the Greek terms ‘to love’ and ‘human being’. Understanding philanthropy in this broader sense – as a simple love of humanity – opens many opportunities for ordinary people to get involved in helping their communities on a small scale, and to understand that what they are doing is indeed philanthropy. Creating and supporting sustainable solutions is not restricted to large financial investments; it is also a matter of building on community values.

"When we discuss philanthropy within the African continent, too often the focus is on the wealthiest class of Africans and the large contributions they can make. However, what matters more when it comes to charitable giving is the potential for billions of aggregate dollars from millions of small givers.

For instance, two million Somalis abroad send home $1.4 billion, the equivalent to 23 per cent of the country’s GDP, and higher than any amount of foreign aid. Overall, African diaspora’s contribution amounts to $63 billion per year. Communities use it for education, homebuilding, land purchases and farm improvements, all critical enablers of social transformation.

We cannot ignore the philanthropic potential of their contributions. Imagine if the African diaspora redirected $315 million or 0.5 per cent of their annual transfers, to civil society organizations."

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