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The Wrong Reasons to Start a Non-profit Organisation

Jill Ritchie
While most NPOs are established for the right, sound and moral reasons (such as a person or a group of people being so moved, so outraged or so hurt about people or animals suffering or environmental degradation, that they ‘do something about it’), not all organisations are established in response to such emotions and real needs. It can and does happen that people (often just one person or, eff...

SAPPIN offers new WhatsApp support platform to help parents and caregivers of young children

Parentline SA is an easy-to-use WhatsApp support platform offering comprehensive advice on parenting issues and challenges to parents throughout South Africa. Parents can easily join the user-friendly WhatsApp chat to receive instant access to parenting support, expert advice, and insights into the world of parenting. Currently focused on 0-6-year-old children, the support line, established by...

Interview: Ruen Govinder: Founder and Executive Director of Hashtag Nonprofit and digital consultant

Ruen Govinder
Hashtag Nonprofit is an online magazine for people working at and serving nonprofit organisations. A popular section on our website is our #Classifieds, which advertises consultants and service providers specialising in the in the nonprofit sector. This interview series aims to unveil the stories and motivations behind those who specialise in uplifting and guiding the nonprofit community. To...

How to avoid "Groundhog Day" at your nonprofit organisation

Ruen Govinder
The "Groundhog Day phenomenon" refers to the 1993 film where Bill Murray's character is caught in a time loop, re-living the same day over and over again. At nonprofits, this painful re-living happens not through any magical forces, but due to poor organisational practices around documenting institutional knowledge and facilitating handovers between staff members. In my 20 years as a digital c...

How to answer the salary question

Bruce Tait
The question that most candidates dread, usually comes close to the end of an interview: “So, what is your expected salary?”. . . . Best practice tells us that disclosing the salary before candidates reach interview is the fairest and most effective way to recruit.   Most non-profits are coming around to this way of thinking, but in South Africa the majority of roles advertised stil...

Fundraising Events in the UK

Jill Ritchie
Don’t even consider arranging a fundraising event in the UK if you don’t have a drawcard to guarantee that it is sold out, or at least a large, active and dedicated UK-based volunteer events committee. I was alarmed when I contacted several UK event organising companies about their services. I restricted this search to those offering services to non-profits. I had to plough through fancy advert...

How a POPIA exemption can help your nonprofit

Sicelo Kula | Michalsons
How can nonprofits protect their beneficiaries' data and comply with POPIA's strict requirements without harming operations? This article explains POPIA's exemption provisions and the criteria nonprofits must satisfy to gain exemption approval.  What is POPIA? POPIA is South Africa's data privacy law that gives individuals rights over their personal information and pl...

Beyond belief, beyond borders: Do funders overlook faith-based organisations?

Shameemah Jahed
It’s no secret that social-good causes run by faith-based non-profit organisations play a crucial role in addressing societal challenges. However, navigating the complexities of fundraising within this sector often comes with its own set of challenges, as with any organisation. With over a decade of experience in special projects and fundraising across various donor, philanthropic platforms an...

AI should assist, not replace, the writing process

Ruen Govinder
At #nonprofit, we regularly receive article submissions for our digital magazine. Many of these are excellent, useful resources or insightful thought pieces. However, we have been receiving an increasing number of article submissions that are clearly AI-generated, submitted with little or no editing or review.  It is often apparent when people have submitted auto-generated ...

Children feel the magic of stories at World Read Aloud Day

GroundUp
By Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp.  Photo: Ashraf Hendricks Everyone who can - teachers, parents, caregivers - should read to children, says Gabrielle Kelly, Head of Research, Impact and Innovation at Nal’ibali. Speaking at a World Read Aloud Day event organised byNal’ibali and the City of Cape Town, she said reading aloud to children helps them to learn to read independently “...

Fostering Peace and Equality Through Education

Dorcas Dube
The theme for this year's International Day of Education "Learning for Lasting Peace," highlights the link between education and the promotion of sustainable peace. To achieve lasting peace, education must go beyond the transmission of knowledge and embrace values such as empathy, respect for human rights, and a commitment to resolving conflicts peacefully. Educational institutions play a pi...

At the heart of storytelling and fundraising: Can AI win it all?

Shameemah Jahed
"The future of fundraising and storytelling using AI will be a delicate dance between technology and human connection." Storytelling is the heartbeat of fundraising communication, breathing life into our cause and impact and connecting us to our audiences. Fundraising communication has the potential to reach the masses, especially when combined with compelling storytelling. How are...

Profits Beyond Profit: The Returns on Investment in Nonprofit Support

Mariëtte Jacobs
Return on Investment. I remember clearly the moment I heard that term for the first time within the NPO space. I was sitting opposite a funding committee and while looking at our operational budget, one of the committee members explained the importance of return on investment in their decision-making.  That got me thinking: What is the return on investment when investing in the work of NP...

IPASA Announces the Release of the 2023 Annual Review of South African Philanthropy

IPASA
The Independent Philanthropy Association of South Africa (IPASA) is proud to unveil its fifth edition of the Annual Review of South African Philanthropy.  In the Annual Review, IPASA showcases prominent philanthropic organisations and their efforts towards addressing the pressing challenges facing the country. This year's focus is on how collaboration, leadership and sustainable innovatio...

Café offers employment for township youths, dignity for the elderly

Neighbourhood Old Age Homes (NOAH)
Neighbourhood Old Age Homes (NOAH) recently opened the All-Day Corner Café (cnr Essex & Regent Streets, Woodstock). The café is the result of a unique collaboration between NOAH and the trendy Gardens café and pub, ROXY Late Night. The venture launched in October 2023, and according to NOAH Director, Jane Mills, represents “a significant step towards empowering our residents and youth, and...

Khayelitsha animal clinic celebrates birthday with lively dog show

GroundUp
By Mary-Anne Gontsana. Photos by Ashraf Hendricks. The biggest dog, the best look-alike, the cutest, the most unusual dog, the best dressed owner and dog, the shiniest coat, the cutest trick, the best behaved, and the smallest dog – these were the prize categories in a friendly competition to celebrate Khayelitsha’s Mdzananda Animal Clinic turning 27 on Saturday (07 October 2023). ...

The Mowbray Market

Trust for Community Outreach and Education
Every first Saturday of the month, small-scale farmers, producers and artisans gather outside of Gordon’s Gym in Mowbray to sell their locally grown produce, homemade foods and handmade goods at the Mowbray Market. This new addition to the market landscape in Cape Town was first launched in December 2022 by the Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) together with rural movements suc...

BackaBuddy Introduces 0% Platform Fees for Non-Profits in South Africa

Zane Groenewald, BackaBuddy
BackaBuddy, South Africa's leading donations-based crowdfunding platform, is reshaping the landscape of online fundraising with an announcement that promises to elevate the efforts of registered non-profit organisations nationwide.  Effective immediately, BackaBuddy is launching a 0% platform fee for registered non-profit organisations utilising the pla...

Simple games help children learn to read

GroundUp
By Liezl Human Photos: Ashraf Hendricks A few hundred caregivers, teachers, parents, and children attended the Wordworks Early Literacy Festival on 16 September. The event highlighted early literacy and language development. Many of the participants came from communities on the Cape Flats such as Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Grassy Park, Philippi and Elsies River. In May 2023, the Prog...

Introducing #Classifieds: A Game-Changing Service for South African Nonprofits

Ruen Govinder
 #Classifieds is a dynamic platform designed to bridge the gap between nonprofit organisations and skilled service providers. South African nonprofits now have a dedicated space to discover and connect with professionals who can assist them in their critical work. Conversely, experienced nonprofit service providers can showcase their expertise, helping nonprofits achieve their mission-dri...

Basic Education Employment Initiative is scoring points on youth employment – don’t pull the funding plug

Bridget Hannah and Kristal Duncan-Williams
With just under half of young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 34 without any learning or earning opportunities, interventions addressing this crisis are often caught between expanding reach and achieving real impact. The Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI) is a case in point. Born out of the Presidential Employment Stimulus, the BEEI was launche...

Your country needs you: Civil society offers challenging career paths for job seekers

Shelagh Gastrow
The civil society sector provides space for individuals to work with others and become active citizens. People come together, not necessarily to benefit themselves and make money, but to achieve change in society.   We live in a rapidly changing society and the days of starting at the bottom of a business and slowly rising to the top are long past. When people look for work, they tend ...

Checkmate: Gugulethu chess coach shares her passion with youth

GroundUp
By Mary-Anne Gontsana, GroundUp News Photos: Mary-Anne Gontsana Gugulethu Chess College founder Babalwa Rubusana goes from class to class at Luzuko Primary School, collecting learners on the under-11 chess team. Founded in 2016 and aimed at young children, the college is a no-fee mobile chess school for learners from disadvantaged households. In one classroom, we saw several grade...

Transforming Access to the TRC Archive: The Bitter Aloe Project and AI Technology

Stephen Davis and William Mattingly
By Stephen Davis and William Mattingly Charged with creating ‘as large a picture as possible’ of human rights violations that occurred during the last three and a half decades of apartheid, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) amassed an extraordinarily large archive. Much of this archive consisted of hearing transcripts which were stored on a legacy website ho...

Unlimited Child and Gift of the Givers Aid Yemeni Refugee Camps

By Roseisha Ishwardutt, The Unlimited Child The Unlimited Child in partnership with Gift of The Givers, a renowned humanitarian organization, is thrilled to announce the launch of a ground-breaking pilot program that will bring The Unlimited Child's world-class Early Childhood Development (ECD) blueprint and program to Yemeni refugee camps. This innovative collaboration aims to make a transfor...

Thriving Langa gardens feed hungry families: Former dumpsites transformed into vegetable plots

GroundUp
Residents living in the N2 Gateway social housing project flats in Langa have turned dumpsites on empty land into three thriving vegetable gardens. Spinach, cabbages, kale, potatoes, onions, turnips, beetroot, pepper, peas, tomatoes, butternut, carrots, brinjal, sweet potatoes are grown as well as parsley, rosemary lavender, and fennel. The first resident to start a garden, in 2019, ...

Six learnings for successful collaboration in philanthropy

Louise Driver | IPASA
On 16 May 2023, the same day that the shocking PIRLS literacy results were released, IPASA kicked off its Collaboration in Philanthropy series with the aim of facilitating multi-stakeholder collaboration to effectively drive dramatic change to the current reality we face. The recently announced 2021 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) finding that 81% of grade 4 learners i...

A passion for social justice: Wandisa Phama, Centre for Environmental Rights

Centre for Environmental Rights
Wandisa Phama is the incoming Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Rights. An admitted attorney and human rights activist, with over a decade of experience in various roles in the public interest law sector, she is passionate about advancing social justice.  What inspired you to pursue a career in public interest environmental law? I tend to approach the question in a broad...

Reading crisis unveiled: 81% of Grade 4 learners in South Africa struggle with reading for comprehension

Dorcas Dube
The South African education system is characterised by copious challenges and inadequacies that perpetuate the ongoing education crisis.  The results of the 2021 Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS) confirmed that learning losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are severe across South Africa.  The PIRLS report is an international assessment that focuses on mea...

Celebrating Langa through its artists

GroundUp
On the pavement between small businesses in the busy street of Lerotholi Avenue in Langa is a large statue of a woman, made out of grass, stone, mud and clay. Inside, is Langa’s first art gallery, 16 on Lerotholi. The statue is by artist Angus Taylor. The gallery, founded by four young people from Langa, officially opened its doors in 2019. “Langa is known for the arts, so there was a n...

Analysis: Are NGOs doing the work of the state, and should they?

Sue Segar | Spotlight
People in South Africa are used to reports of organisations like Gift of the Givers stepping in during humanitarian emergencies or service delivery NGOs assisting with HIV or tuberculosis programmes. Take, for example, Touws River – a town in the Central Karoo in the Western Cape, with a high rate of unemployment. Residents recently turned to the NGO, Gift of the Givers to help out with health...

Drop in giving has ramifications for all kinds of South African entities that rely on donor grants to survive

Shelagh Gastrow
Recently Nedbank Private Wealth brought out the fifth edition of The Giving Report (2022) which provides the results of a 2021 survey on the giving practices of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in South Africa. To qualify as a HNWI, participants required earnings in excess of R1.5-million a year or owned investable assets of more than R5-million, excluding their primary residence – ...

Mammuso Makhanya is changing lives through literacy at Wordworks

Andrea George, Wordworks Communications Manager
The highly experienced and talented Mammuso Makhanya was originally a beneficiary of an education-based nonprofit organisation. Now, with a Masters in Public Management & Policy and a career that spans the development sector and countries across Africa, she heads up Wordworks, an NGO dedicated to changing lives through literacy. Mammuso talks to Andrea George about the state of the NPOs dur...

Does your nonprofit suffer from “Bright, shiny object syndrome”?

James Sleight
Bright shiny object syndrome: when people focus their attention on an idea that is new and in vogue, but drop this as soon as something new takes its place. This lack-of-focus can cause nonprofits to stray from their core mission, chasing the next philanthropic trend or cause-du-jour. For a variety of reasons, many well-intentioned, nonprofit organisations stray from their original purpose and...

The neglected art of listening (Part 2)

Brett Davidson
I wrote previously about the importance of listening if nonprofits want to do a better job of reaching and moving their audiences. However, listening is not only a crucial step in crafting effective messaging. Genuine listening can be hugely persuasive in itself. In his excellent book How Minds Change, David Mcraney describes a campaigning approach called Deep Canvassing, which has repeatedly ...

The neglected art of listening (Part 1)

Brett Davidson
Too often those of us in the nonprofit world sit in our offices and boardrooms, hashing out messages with our colleagues and allies - people who share our values and think like we do. We argue amongst ourselves for hours over exactly which words and phrases are most correct and precise. And then we wonder why our messages seem ineffective, while our opposition keeps making inroads. Activists, ...

SCAN launches new web directory

Eikestadnuus
Ever wondered what all the amazing non-profit organisations are in Stellenbosch? Are you interested in supporting local causes? The Stellenbosch Civil Advocacy Network (SCAN), the local umbrella network of non-profits, recently launched a first-of-its-kind web directory for such organisations the Greater Stellenbosch municipal area. It showcases profiles of socio-economic development organisat...

Bulungula shows how social connectedness can improve economic opportunities for young people

Bulungula Incubator and Youth Capital
Economic connectedness is not a new concept, but the term is gaining traction thanks to a pair of ground-breaking studies by economists in the US. Harvard economist Raj Chetty and a team of researchers found that cross-class social connections are among the strongest predictors of upward income mobility. Their findings confirm that cross-class friendships expose young ...

The false economy of means-tested and conditional income support

Hein Marais
Battle lines separate the demand for a universal basic income (UBI) from the hold-out view that the support should be rationed and restricted to those who most “deserve” it. Ranged on one side are civil society organizations, trade unions, academic researchers and sections of the ANC; on the other is organised business and the Treasury. The latter appear to favour an exceedingly...

Philanthropic investments in education are among our most urgent priorities

Shelagh Gastrow
South Africa has a wealth of organisations that are involved in the education space and philanthropy recognises that until we fix education, most progress is hindered. It is a well-known fact that corporate social investment and private philanthropy in South Africa are heavily invested in education at all levels. This is not accidental, but is based on strategic decisions on what needs to be...

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