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The 2020 Review of South African Philanthropy was released and highlights some positive stories from organisations in South Africa.


South Africa (06 October 2020) – There is currently little known and measured relating to the size and scope of philanthropy in South Africa. This is partly due to a lack of research, but also the difficulty in obtaining such data.

The 2020 Review of South African Philanthropy published by the Independent Philanthropy Association South Africa (IPASA) contains information arising from four recent research projects that focused on philanthropy in South Africa and the rest of the continent. Some of this data reveals that close to $139 million dollars flowed into South Africa annually from international philanthropic sources and, in 2018, $88 million came from the top twenty international foundations. Far less is known about funding flows from local private South African philanthropic foundations.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Intellidex and IPASA are working together to research the extent, support and the flow of domestic philanthropy which is currently an estimated $50* million per annum (data from 2018).

“It is imperative that more detailed information on South African Philanthropy be open to the public in order for more effective co-operation between foundations to take place in order to  scale up of certain initiatives and fund areas that are forgotten.” – Nelson Amaya Duran, policy analyst for OECD

What we do know from current surveys from a group of South African foundations:

  • Over half of South African philanthropy funds goes to education and more specifically higher education
  • 70% of domestic foundations target people living in extreme poverty
  • Approximately $30 million is allocated to projects that aim to reduce gender inequality

The Annual Review enables South Africans to gain an understanding of the role of philanthropy in the country and various contributors share their insights, perspectives and stories of a vital philanthropic movement that exists in the country. The virtual launch of the Review on 3 November 2020 will give access to in-depth discussions on the current and future role of philanthropy in South Africa.

Shelagh Gastrow, Editor of the Review and Philanthropy Advisor highlighted the need for the Review, “The hope is that this Review lifts the curtain on a vibrant community that contributes beyond traditional welfare to innovation, creativity and systemic change. Importantly, the Review plays a role regarding the accountability and transparency of philanthropy.”

Apart from the impact of Covid-19 which had foundations changing strategies, pace and, in some cases, digging deeper into their reserves, 2020 also saw some extraordinary donations made by families and communities across South Africa. Some of these stories are included in the 2020 Review.

Colette Ball, Chairperson of the Ball Family Foundation which has funded the Annual Review of South African Philanthropy says, “The 2020 Annual Review is a unique philanthropy publication which showcases some of the many successful South African funders’ programmes and projects over the past year as well as highlights the key current conversations among philanthropy thought leaders within this sector.”

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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