Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa’s (CAF Southern Africa) purpose is to encourage a vibrant philanthropic culture in South Africa by increasing and facilitating giving, philanthropy, corporate social investment and volunteering.
CAF Southern Africa’s definition of philanthropy encompasses all forms of corporate, private and individual giving. The organisation believes that other organisations of civil society play critical roles, providing relief from the ills associated with poverty and marginalisation. CAF Southern Africa was established in 2000 and is a registered nonprofit and public benefit organisation. It is a Proudly South African company and also a member of the Global Alliance of the Charities Aid Foundation, headquartered in the United Kingdom and comprised of members from Bulgaria, Russia, South Africa, India, Australia, America, Singapore and Brazil.
CAF Southern Africa believes that giving and other forms of social investment by companies, institutions and individuals, is necessary to strengthen the effectiveness of civil society organisations so that they may continue to provide support within poor communities – its work involves acting as a bridge between the corporate, private and individual sector and the NGO sector. Most nonprofit organisations exist to achieve a social purpose – they do not have the capacity to earn income and indeed income generation may potentially divert organisations from their core social objectives. CAF Southern Africa therefore facilitates financial and associated philanthropic support to these organisations. It is committed to advancing and adding value to these contributions by promoting innovation, fostering leadership, and encouraging cooperation.
At the level of policy CAF Southern Africa has, since its inception, provided strong leadership to influence a more enabling environment for giving and consequent civil society action. From the late 1990s, even before CAF Southern Africa was formally constituted, senior staff were involved in advocacy groupings, which influenced the tax and associated legislative environment. In the early 2000s, CAF Southern Africa led a consultative process on nonprofit governance, which culminated in a regional conference and a governance code that was widely adopted.
In the area of corporate social investment (CSI) and employee community involvement (ECI), CAF Southern Africa is a strong influencer. The organisation promotes developmental and transformative models of corporate engagement and assists corporates to develop CSI policies and plans that ensure that both the business and the community obtain value.
CAF Southern Africa’s most well-known corporate contributions are employee involvement programmes encouraging corporates to establish payroll giving programmes whereby employees donate to a cause of their choice every month. The organisation also encourages the company to match employee contributions on a ‘Rand for Rand’ basis, as this provides double the benefit for the chosen NGO.
CAF Southern Africa aims to build sustained and mutually respectful relationships between corporates, their employees, and the NGO partners. Rather than once-off employee volunteering events, the organisation works with corporates to craft programmatic and developmental approaches to their volunteering. This includes investment of time, talent and money for the benefit of the chosen organisation. A wonderful example of this approach is when Sasol worked for the benefit of the Hope School during July 2012. CAF Southern Africa partnered with Sasol to develop policies, systems and internal marketing of the group volunteering programme and, culminating during Mandela Week, it worked with Sasol to completely renovate the boys’ dormitory at the Hope School. Substantial financial investment was enriched by the manual labour of over 100 Sasol employee volunteers from Sasol sites throughout Gauteng.
Other recent ECI work includes projects with MultiChoice, Shell and Mutual & Federal, which have benefited NGOs ranging from Children’s Homes and neo-natal hospitals to animal welfare and inner-city development. CAF Southern Africa is also proud to have been contracted for the third time to once again provide support on the Vodacom Change the World Programme.
In February 2013, CAF Southern Africa launched the ‘Isiphala Giving Bracelet’. ‘Isiphala’ is the Ndebele word for a communal grain storage hut – those who give ‘invest’ into the store and those in need ‘draw’ on this investment as required. The concept of ‘Isiphala’ has been used by CAF Southern Africa as a metaphor for its work for some time now and underpins all that it does. Wearing the ‘Isiphala Giving Bracelet’ signifies that one has chosen to make a commitment to give in whatever way one can, wherever one is – whether it is just through extending a helping hand to a neighbour in need or through a bigger project or involvement.
CAF Southern Africa’s recent advocacy activities include working with partner organisations on the ‘Critical Perspectives on the Sustainability of the South African Civil Society Sector’ report and the ‘The Independent Code of Governance for Non-profit Organisations in South Africa’.
Since 2010, CAF Southern Africa has been based at Arts on Main in the vibrant Maboneng Precinct, in the Johannesburg central business district. CAF Southern Africa has partnered with the Maboneng Precinct management to facilitate community development and upliftment programmes for the communities in the surrounding areas, including projects at the Mai Mai Crèche (caregivers for the children of the Mai Mai Market traders – Johannesburg’s oldest Traditional Market), the Curious Cave, and the Little Roses Crèche.
To view Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.