With the festive season fast approaching, many of us are getting into the gifting spirit. If you’re searching for something special for someone who already seems to have everything or perhaps a loved one who loves to give back, maybe it’s time to do gifts differently. Instead of gifting material things, consider donating to a pertinent cause in a friend or family member’s name.
Francois Adriaan, head of the Sanlam Foundation feels passionately that the festive season should be about helping others. “Pick a cause you know they’ll care about and, with a quick click, you’ll have given a meaningful gift – to your loved one and chosen charity!”
The Giving Organisation is a great way to give to eleven different charities. Founded by advocate Dawie Crous – who became passionate about giving back after donating a kidney to his brother and encountering CHOC – the independent trust seeks ways to source sustainable incomes for the good cause organisations it brings together. With Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Princess Charlene of Monaco as patrons, it’s amassed quite a followership, including Sanlam.
Adriaan says, “We have a partnership with The Giving Organisation as part of our payroll giving programme. Staff members have already contributed over R760 000 from their salaries to the different causes supported by the programme. It’s such a wonderful initiative and I urge others to consider donating to it – whether in a personal capacity or as a gift on behalf of someone else.”
Here are The Giving Organisation’s eleven charities to consider as inclusions for your ‘festive season gift guide’ - you can either donate to them directly or through The Giving Organisation:
Shop for Good
To support its Blue Ladder Schools project – which partners with schools, educators and communities across the country to improve maths tuition, nutrition and upgrade key facilities – Sanlam set up Shop for Good: a catalogue of school essentials, which allows the public to instantly donate towards creating enabling learning spaces in Sanlam Blue Ladder Schools. All donations count and go towards critical things like sanitation, infrastructure, nutrition and bolstering school leadership.
How to help: Simply Shop for Good! Browse the catalogue and use SnapScan or your debit/credit card to instantly donate towards school essentials.
National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA)
Including 97 societies across SA, the NSPCA proactively works to prevent animal cruelty. It enforces more than 90% of animal welfare legislation, while also actively uplifting local communities through welfare initiatives.
How to help: Lots of ways… Make a pledge (like eating less meat or going green), adopt a project, shop to support the cause or choose to leave a legacy.
This foundation empowers rural areas – especially those in conservation regions – through various initiatives like the building of schools and clinics, offering of bursaries, and small business development, across five countries. These initiatives are managed and sustained by the communities, alongside government leadership.
How to help: This is a great gift option as when you donate on behalf of someone special, Africa Foundation sends a note or gift certificate via email to your loved one.
Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA)
Focusing on ensuring environmental sustainability now and for future generations, WESSA is particularly concerned with the equitable management of natural resources, by raising societal awareness and working with communities. Operating in the sectors of water, waste, biodiversity and energy, it promotes collaborative partnerships to enforce positive change.
How to help: Join WESSA, volunteer your time, leave a legacy or donate.
Committed to research, prevention, early detection and care in order to reduce the impact of cancer in all communities, CANSA offers multiple services to cancer patients and their families. One in four South Africans is affected by cancer and CANSA plays a pivotal role in providing support and promoting health.
How to help: Mostly through donations; consider giving a gift to CANSA to mark a special occasion.
CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation
CHOC is SA’s only organisation that provides comprehensive countrywide support for children and teens with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, along with their families. From treatment to practical, financial and emotional support, CHOC helps to make the journey of cancer easier. It also provides training and education to raise awareness of warning signs of childhood cancer.
How to help: Support CHOC through donations, payroll giving or nominate it as your chosen charity as part of Woolworths’ MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fundraising programme.
The South African Red Cross Society
With the mission to identify, prevent and alleviate human suffering – including children’s suffering – and to foster dignity in all communities, Red Cross brings relief and comfort to those in crisis.
How to help: Shop the Red Cross store or make a donation.
The African Children’s Feeding Scheme (ACFS)
ACFS provides meals to 31 000 children every day, in Gauteng. This makes a huge difference to many underprivileged communities.
How to help: Through online donations, leaving a legacy, shopping a selection of lovely craft items or visiting a centre.
The Ithemba Trust
This trust provides care facilities and pre-primary education for children and infants. It runs the Bright Stars Safe House as well as Bulelani Daycare Centre and Lilitha Creche.
How to help: Through donations or the gifting of educational equipment and supplies, mattresses, blankets and food. The trust is also currently seeking a minibus or MPV.
All about ‘igniting potential through play’, this non-profit assists children – especially those affected by HIV/Aids – through a number of Early Childhood Development Programmes. These include toy libraries, capacity building programmes and early learning playgroups.
How to help: Get involved by making a donation – you can choose to ‘donate your birthday’ to Cotlands, for example.
The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF)
DTHF amalgamates rigorous research with community-driven development to prevent and treat HIV, tuberculosis and related infections. To do so, it runs various innovative programmes like the Youth Centre, ‘Tutu Tester’, adult HIV education programme and SA’s first online postgraduate diploma in TB-HIV medicine (in partnership with UCT).
How to help: Through donations or Woolworths’ My School MyVillage MyPlanet initiative.
Remember, you can also support all these charities by giving The Giving Organisation a gift this festive season. You can do so through its Donation Platform via Givengain.com.