Development through (em)power(ed) relationships
Part 2: Power with In reflecting on Tshikululu’s experience over the past two decades, we have been able to transcend through and beyond the “power over” dynamic. My favourite example of this is of Tshikululu’s founding social investment (and infrastructure) specialist, who would take time in his first engagements with a school governing body (be … Read more >
Development through (em)power(ed) relationships
Part 1: Power over An unshakable reality in the work of any social investor is the power-dynamic inherent in any benefactor-beneficiary relationship. Traditionally, the view is that the one with the money has the power – to infer, to influence, to direct, to impose. This dynamic is often further fuelled by compliance requirements of the … Read more >
Migration of Early Childhood Development from DSD to DBE: the hard work lies ahead
Last week’s State of the Nation saw President Cyril Ramaphosa announce that Government would be migrating the responsibility of early childhood development (ECD) centres from the Department of Social Development (DSD) to the Department of Basic Education (DBE). This was met with much excitement, accompanied by confusion and questions in some quarters. Without any doubt, … Read more >
Creating clear education and employment pathways for South Africa’s youth
The matric results’ announcement was met with much debate about what the “real” matric pass rate is. This has now become an annual practice and, as one education practitioner highlighted, “everyone has an opinion, right or wrong, about education”. Whatever your view on this issue is, the class of 2018 will see over 400 000 young … Read more >
Matric results: time to take a sustainable approach
At the beginning of each year, the country’s attention is directed towards the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results. Much of the discussion is typically about the success and/or failure of Government to provide quality education for our children. However, Government is not the only stakeholder that has a critical role to play. Private social investors … Read more >
A case for social impact bonds: critical learnings for potential stakeholders
In 2015/16, one of Tshikululu’s clients approved funding towards the establishment of a pay-for performance platform (or social impact bond) in partnership with a provincial Department of Health (DoH). The focus of this bond was funding home-visits to mothers and children in the first 1 000 days of the child’s life. This was to ensure … Read more >
Empowering survivors: strengthening the criminal justice system
On Tuesday 11 September 2018, barely two weeks after Women’s Month, the South African Police Service (SAPS) briefed Parliament and delivered the latest South African crime statistics. At the briefing, it came to light that the killing of women and children made up some 20% of all murders and that the act of reporting rape … Read more >
Using adaptive management to improve learning
The role of adaptive management is often underplayed by social investors in terms of strengthening strategies, implementation and impact. Adaptive decisions are based on learning, data, reflection and analysis, and are responsive to changing contexts. Given that they focus more on “what works” instead of “what doesn’t”, they have a critical role to play in … Read more >
Room for improvement in Empowerment Endowment asset management
A new independent research report carried out by Intellidex and funded by Tshikululu Social Investments has found significant room for improvement in the asset management of Empowerment Endowments, corporate social investment trusts and funds. A new report, Understanding Empowerment Endowments, the first of its kind delving into BEE foundations, has uncovered a number of asset … Read more >
Report underlines the risks of Empowerment Endowment governance failure
An independent research report carried out by Intellidex and funded by Tshikululu Social Investments has highlighted the risks facing Empowerment Endowments, corporate social investment trusts and funds when effective governance is not in place. Based on a six-month research exercise into the charitable and community components of the 100 largest JSE companies’ empowerment deals implemented since 2002, … Read more >
Local trusts pack billions in B-BBEE spending power
South Africa’s empowerment endowment trusts have a collective value in the tens of billions, with the potential for significant black economic empowerment impact, a new study has found. A recent independent research report carried out by Intellidex and funded by Tshikululu Social Investments has found that, if managed well, corporate funds and foundations focused on … Read more >
A tale of three schools in the country’s education system
In a National Education and Evaluation Development Unit (NEEDU) report published in April 2013, Dr Nick Taylor concluded that there are two kinds of teachers in South Africa’s school system currently influencing it in a negative way: “those who can’t” and “those who won’t”. Both have significant implications for learners and their futures and, consequently, … Read more >
NGO leadership: time to embrace transformation as part of succession planning
In recent years the leadership of NGOs, non-profit companies and independent trusts (commonly referred to as civil society organisations) has come under pressure both from a transformation and delivery point of view. This includes regarding their ability to reinvent themselves in our changing developmental landscape. While these organisations have always been commended for the good … Read more >
Community assessment: still the best starting point for a meaningful social investment strategy
We live in an era where vast amounts of detailed information are at our fingertips. Given this, one might question the need to carry out a community assessment before designing a social investment strategy. These assessments play an integral role in developing high-quality strategies aimed at maximising social impact and are a critical part of … Read more >
Using the Theory of Change to evaluate and strengthen social investments
Organisations remain under enormous pressure to monitor and evaluate their social investment programmes for learning purposes and adaptive management. They are also often faced with heavy workloads due to conflicting demands from multiple donors with different contractual and reporting requirements. Despite these pressures, non-profit organisations must demonstrate the impact and value of their social initiatives … Read more >
How to maximise the impact of your empowerment endowment
With the advent of the BEE codes in the early 2000’s, many large South African companies established trusts as one of several strategies to diversify ownership structures. Unlike most charitable or corporate foundations in the country, these “empowerment trusts” hold shares and are funded by dividends rather than donations. In different ways – depending on … Read more >
Understanding Empowerment Endowments is a report by Intellidex, funded by Tshikululu Social Investments.
The report is based on a six-month research exercise into the charitable and community components of the 100 largest JSE companies’ empowerment deals implemented since 2002, when community schemes started to be included in BEE deals. It follows an earlier research report, The Empowerment Endowment, which undertook research into the scale of BEE foundations. The … Read more >
Scaling social impact: what is really missing?
As more and more funders make the shift from traditional grantmaking to investing in strategic, system-shifting initiatives, conversations around scaling the impact of flagship programmes and successful pilot projects have dominated meeting agendas. The idea of scaling is not a new one. In the for-profit world, expansion of market reach, product offerings and operations form … Read more >
Reflections on Mandela: ethics, purpose and love
Across the world we commemorate Mandela’s 100th birthday this month. We remember the enormous sacrifices he made and the impact he had on building a democratic South Africa. It is a time to give back and volunteer time to worthy causes. However, the spirit of Mandela transcends beyond our volunteer-time during July… For me there … Read more >
Community development partnerships: key steps in the social investment value chain
Collaborative approaches to community development can magnify the impact of social investment, but only when the key steps in the social investment value chain are followed. South African social investors show great willingness to collaborate on projects and programmes, but too many fall short on one of the key steps in the value chain – … Read more >
Time for social investors to rethink their role in mainstreaming impact investing in South Africa
Impact investing in South Africa is increasing – becoming less of a buzzword and gaining traction among development and commercial investors. Given this, and the unique position of social investors, Sibonakaliso Mavuka, Social Investment Specialist at Tshikululu Social Investments, argues that there’s never been a better time for them to lead thinking and action in … Read more >
Celebrating 20 years of strategic social investment
Looking back to July 1998, it is with a sense of pride that we celebrate Tshikululu’s 20th anniversary today. Many people and organisations have paved the way for our very existence and ongoing success in South Africa; starting as far back as the late 1890s when De Beers Consolidated Mines first started contributing to the … Read more >
Reflections from the Skoll World Forum 2018
In April 2018, the 15th Skoll World Forum (SWF) on Social Entrepreneurship was held at Oxford University. This is an annual gathering of social entrepreneurs, thought leaders, social investors and other stakeholders, all of whom come together to share knowledge and exchange ideas in the “pursuit of learning, leverage, and large-scale social change”. This year, … Read more >
Unlocking change for early childhood development
A collaboration across 13 local organisations is bringing new hope and impetus in addressing some of the challenges facing South African early childhood development (ECD) services. Combining a wealth of resources and experiences, we’re hoping to collectively rethink approaches, responses and ultimately solutions for our country’s children… Giving children access to high-quality ECD services, including … Read more >
Millennials contribute new approaches to social investing
South Africa can look forward to further innovation in social development as the country’s Millennials take up the challenge of driving change. Technology-savvy, outspoken and connected, Millennials are refreshing and disrupting South Africa’s social investment landscape. Born after the 1980s, Millennials have grown up in a world where change is taking place at a rapid … Read more >
Next generation M&E ensures high impact social investment
It’s an exciting year for the world of social development. Now, for the first time, advanced digital tools allow for in-depth and enhanced Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) that not only tracks progress, but actually assesses long-term social impact and embraces community-driven project design. Moving beyond traditional anecdotal evidence, new M&E methodologies have created new possibilities … Read more >
“New kid on the block” impact investing gains traction in South Africa
Introduced as recently as 10 years ago, impact investing is changing the face of social investment as we know it. No longer just accepted as a given, the correlation between real “impact” and social investment is increasingly being challenged by the “new kid on the block” approach of impact investing. The term – and approach … Read more >
Sustainable energy = sustainable communities
Renewable energy projects continue offering hope for much-needed power access for under-served communities across South Africa. As a partner in this critical space, we’re already helping add impact to some of these projects through targeted value-added initiatives.
Reflections on Social Investment: Tracey Henry CEO Tshikululu Social Investments
As each year draws to a close, I take some time to contemplate the opportunities, challenges and growth points of the past 12 months, before shifting my focus to the year ahead.
There are many ways in which I could describe 2017 – it all depends on which lens I select and the topic up for discussion. I choose not to single out the economy, politics or a specific developmental sector, although they are often interrelated and all impact our lives in some way.
Children must learn to read first to enable them to read to learn
The release of the 2016 Progress in Literacy and Reading Study (PIRLS) report on the state of the reading abilities of South Africa’s Grade 4 learners sent shock waves across the education community in the country particularly because it demonstrated that the problem is bigger than what the Annual National Assessments (ANAs) made everyone believe.
Invest in Agriculture for a Lively Hood
Our National Development Plan (NDP) identifies agriculture as a key driver of economic growth and employment, which we need to develop in order to achieve Vision 2030. The NDP milestone in this regard is that by 2030, a third of all fresh produce consumed in South Africa should be produced by small-scale farmers.
Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world
Focusing on the role of social development as a key component of the businesses of the future requires us to identify effective means of placing people at the centre of business. Let us look at a comparison of the more traditionally used methods is social investment against the future of this sector.
Good stories to tell: Using Agents of change to Reduce Poverty one project at a time.
Good stories to tell: Using Agents of change to Reduce Poverty one project at a time. One of the millennium development goals is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Poverty is a global phenomenon that many countries are still battling with. My question as a development practitioner is, can we as a universe eradicate poverty … Read more >
Why you should be using Business Intelligence for Social Investment Decisions
Whether your business is driven or enabled by technology, and whether Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is central to your business or not, the end result is that these are both considered as integral and unavoidable components of doing business in South Africa. As technology advances and CSI plays a more prominent role in doing … Read more >
Establishment of the ApexHi Charitable Trust
Background ApexHi Properties was a listed property loan-stock company that offered investors the opportunity to invest in a diversified and professionally managed portfolio of retail, office and industrial properties, and distributed income to unit holders on a quarterly basis. In 2009, ApexHi merged with Redefine Properties.
Importance of knowledge management in South Africa
As competition increases locally and globally, organisations are making efforts to find new ways to remain relevant and to sustain their business practices. Organisations are beginning to realise the value, need and importance of information and knowledge management practices to assist in achieving their organisational objectives. Within a South African context, organisations are facing the challenge of leveraging and managing information and knowledge as a strategic resource. The lack of effective management of these resources severely impacts an organisation’s ability to grow, gain competitive advantage, remain sustainable and to innovate. In setting the context for this article, we look at some scenarios in the South African business and service environments that highlight the importance of knowledge management practices.
The importance of knowledge transfer between social enterprises and communities
Knowledge transfer has always been somewhat of a challenge for organisations, and is more visible when continuity is necessary with new members joining. It is particularly important in the space of social enterprises that do development work in communities, as will be discussed in this article.
Four young women journey from rural South Africa to high-level ICT study in Hyderabad, India
A handful of young women and scores of young men could not believe their luck when on Monday the 23 November 2015, they found themselves at the Gordon Institute of Business Studies (GIBS) – one of the country’s premier higher education institutions – anxiously sitting in front of panellists, being grilled about synergies between South Africa and India.
Towards unified and sustainable social investing
In the alphabet soup of development finance, one can be forgiven for conflating SRI with Social Investment. Sustainable, responsible investing (SRI) might be thought of as being something very conscientious, high net-worth individuals and highly regulated pension funds concern themselves with. Corporate social investment (Social Investment) might be seen as something corporates do to score some SED points on their broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard. Yet socio-economic development (SED), as it is understood within the framework of B-BBEE regulation, very seldom qualifies as SRI. “Surely these are two very different things?” you might exclaim.
Towards responsible donor exiting strategies and practices
Social investment has evolved as the result of a number of factors, including a growing interest by high net worth individuals and institutional investors in tackling social issues at the local, national or global level. Social investors have also become increasingly relevant in many countries as a result of mounting social challenges amid declining public funds to provide social services. The rationale for social investment is based on the realisation that social or environmental factors can impact a company’s bottom line and therefore are important factors in business. Besides, it has long been acknowledged by civic society and business that government alone cannot confront and solve all of society’s problems.
Tshikululu announces Serious Social Investing Conference 2016
As South Africa’s premier showcase of corporate social investment, the annual Serious Social Investing (SSI) Conference has become a highlight on the business calendar. Now in its seventh year, the event aims to inspire top business leaders and local companies to drive real socio-economic transformation in both the public and private sector, thereby enriching and uplifting the lives of thousands of people in rural communities across South Africa.
Transitioning from secondary school to tertiary education: what social investors should know
According to Alan Cliff, an associate professor at the University of Cape Town, the sad reality of higher education in South Africa is that only about one third of the students who qualify to gain entry into higher education are actually prepared for the academic literacy demands of a university.
Critical issues in primary and secondary education
The current state of our schools has a long way to go if we aspire to increase the number of centres of excellence and learning. Schools have to create new learning environments that model a spirit of inquiry, inclusiveness and interdependence with learners who represent a wide array of cultures, languages and social backgrounds.
The future of capacity building
In an era of sustainable development, the importance of coupling donor funding with capacity building interventions has increased over the past 20 years. In the 1950s, when the capacity building concept took root in international development, the focus was on institution building, where models were merely imported from developed countries with very little attention to contextual issues. Thinking about capacity building has since evolved substantially, with increasing recognition of the importance of a systems perspective.
Technology and M&E: Getting it right
Technology-enabled tools (for example, iFormBuilder, CEGA’s remote sensors and micro-satellites, PoiMapper and CommCare) have transformed both the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) field and programme delivery. They have enabled programmes to be adaptive, responsive and impactful. Real-time data allows for early, continual evaluation and learning; improved data quality; and has also facilitated participatory M&E where communities report directly, as well as allowing for feedback loops to communities. However, to integrate them effectively one has to address the following key points.
Rethinking entrepreneurship as a tool to develop communities, with a key focus on water security
Unemployment in South Africa is spiralling. According to Stats SA, the unemployment rate has jumped to a 10-year high, and the jobless rate increased to 26.4% in the first three months of 2015, from 24.3% in the preceding quarter.
Investing in an ageing population
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that the number of old people in the world will be one of the most profound forces affecting health and social services in the next century (WHO, World Health report, Health of the Elderly, 1995). While the world’s population has been growing at an average annual rate of 1.7%, the population aged over 65 is increasing by almost 2.7% annually.
Rethinking education through the arts
If it had been suggested 12 years ago that by 2015 one would be able to access emails, Facebook, Twitter and Google on one’s phone, at any given time or place, while following detailed instructions (spoken by this gadget) on how to reach one’s destination, one would have been very skeptical. Twelve years is the average time most children spend at school. During these 12 years the world outside that school will change so much as to be almost unrecognisable.
Learning to learn: establishing the building blocks for learning organisations
The rapid information and technological developments worldwide coupled with the rise in big data have increased the need for the more efficient use of knowledge. According to the World Development Report (1998-99) “knowledge, not capital, is the key to sustained economic growth and improvements in human wellbeing”.
Balancing social investment risk and reward
There is great power and promise in funding education, health and social development programmes. Social investors, both large and small, have made invaluable contributions all over the world towards the alleviation of poverty, the improvement of education and the strengthening of health outcomes. These accomplishments have been made possible by the targeted spending of funds, as well as the innate advantages of social investment, such as the ability to be flexible, innovate and take risks.
Lean thinking and monitoring and evaluation practices for non-profit organisation sustainability
In the current economic climate, the grant funding pool available to non-profit organisations (NPOs) has shrunk. This situation requires NPOs to demonstrate how their activities provide a social return while ensuring that their operations are financially sustainable.
Reflections on Mandela Day
Mandela inspired our nation to celebrate the gift of giving and practice acts of kindness. The 18th of July is a great opportunity for employees, who don’t encounter the harsh reality of poverty and/or inequality on a daily basis, to experience what it may feel like to walk in the shoes of someone less fortunate.
The business case for capacity building
Capacity building is a term associated with interventions geared towards strengthening the functioning of non-profit organisations. Because it should be an integral part of any business’s development plan, both profit and non-profit organisations need to make it a priority.
Business leaders have a responsibility to be active advocates in and partners to society
The future of both business and our country is dependent on the agility and informed decision-making of leaders across all sectors of our society – and their ability to partner with others to enable economic growth and social development. This will ensure that we achieve a more equitable and economically robust society.
New report demonstrates the power and impact of communication in the social investment space
An innovative collaboration between Tshikululu and GrantCraft has seen the recent launch of the Communication that Counts: Lessons from South African Social Investors report. Offering critical insights about how to communicate for impact, the report promises to assist partners, social investors and grantees in their quest to achieve common objectives – and keep their key messages top of mind.
Dr Vincent Maphai: The role of business in manifesting socioeconomic change
In his talk at Tshikululu’s Serious Social Investment Conference recently, Dr Vincent Maphai drew correlations between the current state of affairs in South Africa and the circumstances that contributed to the shifts that the country saw in 1976.
Molteno Institute’s Vula Bula programme
The Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy (Molteno) was established in 1974 as a project of Rhodes University. It was funded by a grant from the Molteno Brothers Trust, from which it derives its name, and sought to explore the reasons why African learners were failing to learn English.
South Africa’s tenuous food security situation
I watched the fanfare that followed the release of Oxfam’s “Hidden Hunger in South Africa” report in October 2014 with interest. Seeing this issue brought to centre stage in the media, and through campaigns such as the Mail & Guardian’s R6 Challenge, was a real Cinderella moment for the food security problem in South Africa.
Business schools need to promote CSR beyond legal and profit motives
“Most business schools do not equip potential leaders with the awareness and tools to internalise the concept of CSR. In many instances, these business schools will address CSR in relation to good corporate governance and as an opportunity to increase profit margins.”
Anglo American voted corporate with greatest development impact
Once again, Anglo American has been voted the corporate entity with the greatest development impact in terms of its Social Investment efforts in South Africa, a significant landmark of which Tshikululu Social Invesments is immensely proud.
Two ways corporate South Africa can change the face of healthcare
As debates rage about whether healthcare professionals should receive their training in private medical schools, and about the politics of co-ordinating national health insurance, the spotlight is once again on South Africa’s healthcare system – and how it can be improved.
Is Social Investment spend making any difference?
In the corporate social investment (Social Investment) space, money is not the problem, rather it is how we go about deciding what to support, how we go about this, what outcomes we envisage, how we monitor and evaluate progress, and whether the capacity exists to achieve this.
In order to be, education must become
South Africa’s education system has a responsibility to equip learners with the skills necessary for them to cope and thrive in post-matric environments. Academic performance is not indicative of this, and should not form the only criteria by which the success of the education system is assessed.
South Africa is a nation with huge potential, but with many obstacles in its way. In an attempt to realise this potential, the South African government has committed to fostering entrepreneurship to advance job creation. Within this context we find the social entrepreneur (SE): an individual or organisation that looks to provide sustainable and scalable solutions to not only create jobs, but also address head-on the myriad social issues our country faces. With the scale of the social challenges in South Africa, an emphasis should be placed on the success of the social entrepreneur. Many factors (social and other) influence the success of an entrepreneur, such as access to readily available financing, technology and infrastructure.
Does the funding of infrastructure projects have a tangible benefit for development?
“To fund infrastructure or not to fund infrastructure?” is a question that engages many donors. And many donors do not fund infrastructure projects because they are seen to be expensive, high-risk and time-consuming, and their immediate impact is often difficult to measure.
Making advocacy attractive to grant-makers
Advocacy programmes are at times perceived as ineffective, controversial and hard to measure, making them less likely to attract funding and interest of donors, which is unfortunate considering the invaluable contribution that advocacy programmes make towards sustainability.
Renewable energy and the potential it holds for South African communities
The Department of Energy (DoE) expressed its commitment to the growth of the renewable energy industry by launching the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in 2011. This policy was put in place to elicit significant growth and investment from international renewable energy companies.
Governance for the non-profit sector
Tshikululu has played an active role in support of amending and updating the current King III Codes, in its submission to the King Committee on Corporate Governance. This submission was made to suggest that the codes be made more adaptable for the not-for-profit (NPO) sector, which battles to apply these corporate-minded governance codes in its social context.
Read the full report: Value and Values – What Motivates Corporate Citizenship in South Africa?
At the 5th Annual Social Investment Conference, held at the beginning of April 2014, Tshikululu Social Investments CEO Tracey Henry announced the results of Tshikululu research into what motivates companies to engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Life after matric not a bed of roses for many
With the hype, excitement and furore around the matric results slowly dying down, thousands of matriculants around the country are bracing themselves for the next set of challenges in their journey of growth: finding study opportunities in tertiary education institutions.
Interactive learning experience in a smart way
St Mary’s Interactive Learning Experience (S.M.I.L.E) was founded in 1991 with the key objective of improving the quality of teaching and learning in English (first additional language) as the core foundation for improved proficiency in all subjects in the GET and FET phases (Grades 4 to 12).
Reframing interventions to end gender-based violence in South Africa
On 25 February 2014 the FirstRand Foundation hosted a breakfast session focusing on interventions designed to end gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, as part of the Social Investment That Works series. The event was hosted by Sizwe Nxasana, chairperson of the FirstRand Foundation.
The Principals Management Development Programme makes an impact
The Principals Management Development Programme (PMDP) – implemented by Performance Solutions Africa and PricewaterhouseCoopers in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the KZN Department of Education, was first piloted in 2009 at 50 schools in three districts in the province. It has since been implemented in Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape, where it is attaining high levels of success.
Aligning our Social Investment strategy with key priorities of the NDP
Tshikululu Social Investments recently hosted the National Planning Commission (NPC) as part of our monthly speaker forum. The theme for the forum was on aligning our Social Investment strategy with key priorities of the National Development Plan (NDP).
Request for proposal: independent consultant sought to evaluate programme
On behalf of the WesBank Fund, part of the FirstRand Foundation, Tshikululu wishes to appoint a consultant to conduct an independent outcome evaluation for the second round of funding of the Food Security and Agricultural Livelihoods Programme 2014 (FSALP2).
The value of the community voice
One of the most resilient anti-apartheid forces in the late 1970s through to the 1980s was the grassroots civic association. Stokvels, burial societies, youth and church groups rallied together, meeting in churches, homes, and streets to discuss their challenges and decide on plans of action. They played an instrumental role in building defiant communities capable of effecting change. Their success lay in the fact that they were not solely focused on political action, but also on community development.
Intensifying public awareness of the world’s hunger problem
“Every day, over 842-million people go hungry in a world of plenty. That’s roughly one in every eight people in the world. This fact alone should be cause for moral outrage and concerted action,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on World Food Day.
Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa measuring the quality of care
The Hospice Data Management System (HDMS) of the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) was initiated by and developed with funding from First National Bank (FNB). The seed was sown at the HPCA Annual Conference in August 2006 by the then FNB fund manager at Tshikululu Social Investments, who thought it would be a good idea to develop an information management system that could report on the care provided by all hospices, particularly the 20 hospices funded by FNB at the time.
De Beers PPC Kimberley clinches field band championships in style
The Wanderers Stadium, usually associated with the roars of fans egging the much-loved Proteas on to another victory, was recently the scene of celebration in song and dance of another sort: over 1 000 young aspirant musicians participating in the annual Field Band National Championships.
The shift toward impact in Corporate Social Investment
Historically, corporate social investment has been mostly philanthropic. Over the past five decades we have seen enormous shifts in the practice of social investment – it has grown in complexity and in the face of demands for greater accountability.
Moving charity beyond Mandela Day
Mandela Day saw corporates and employees extending goodwill across South Africa through various charitable giving. Classrooms were painted, blankets were collected and sandwiches were made for the needy. All this was done in the spirit of inspiring individuals to take action and help change the world for the better. And as wonderful as this type of charitable day is – bringing out the compassionate side in most people – the question posed now is how we extend the attitudes and activities beyond just one day.
The case against charity
Grantmaking, and corporate social responsibility more generally, is the conduit between the capital of corporate South Africa and the NGOs that have taken it upon themselves to shore up the work of the state and assist those who have the least. Why is this money given? Sometimes out of a sense of ethical responsibility, sometimes out of a need to conform to governance imperatives and legislation, sometimes because it accrues public relations benefits, sometimes out of a sense of charity. Not all of these motivations are noble. One; charity, is pernicious.