With the cost of living rising and charities still reeling after the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 has been a tough year for many of South Africa’s most vulnerable people. At the same time, charities, fundraisers and companies have stepped up to help – with some incredible fundraising successes. Jannie Smith, Regional Manager at online fundraising platform GivenGain, has picked five standout fundraising campaigns from the year.
The SANLAM Cape Town Marathon is always a highlight in South Africa’s fundraising calendar, and 2022 was no exception. With this great local event now under assessment to become an Abbott World Marathon Major, local fundraisers put in a record-breaking performance to put their marathon on the map. A total of 170 fundraisers on GivenGain brought in R1.49m in donations, setting the biggest fundraising total of any South African running event on the platform.
Participants could follow their fundraising progress on the event’s GivenGain leaderboard in the run-up to the event – and see how they stacked up against their fellow runners.
Mass participation events are an incredibly powerful way for charities to raise money. While that usually means partnering with an existing event or just encouraging supporters to take part, the National Sea Rescue Institute went a step further this year by setting up an event of their own. In May, a team of brave NSRI volunteers took on freezing waters to swim from Robben Island to Big Bay – a minimum of 7.5km!
By setting up their own event, charities can pick something that’s totally on-brand for them – like getting 25 brave sea rescue volunteers to take part in an open-water swim. And the fundraising potential is undeniable. They raised a total of over R115 000 to help keep people safe at sea.
When Distance Doesn’t Matter
On Giving Tuesday last month, the Amoyo Performing Arts Foundation in Cape Town received a massive surge of support from almost 12,000 kilometres away. Hong Kong-based ballerina Erita Chen’s experiences in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic inspired her to raise money for the Foundation, which works to turn around the lives of marginalised children and young people through the arts. Following her stay there, she also spoke up for gender equality in South Africa at the United Nations.
Erita’s fundraising blitz resulted in $8 955 in donations. Because GivenGain allows global donations, all that hard currency went directly to the Amoyo Foundation and helped them support the 200 children they work with. Whether your favourite charity is in your neighbourhood or on the other side of the world, you have the power to help them.
Birthday Book Drive
As we’re all reminded at this time of year, buying gifts for people can be really hard. So it’s very helpful when someone tells you exactly what they want.
When Penny Louw turned 60 this year, she asked her friends and family to donate to her GivenGain fundraising project in aid of the Children’s Book Network, a charity that aims to get kids in under-resourced areas reading.
By getting the word out to her network, Penny raised enough money for the charity to buy two new Toolboxes – mobile mini-libraries on wheels packed with books, games and activities to get kids’ creative motors running.
Fundraising In Good Company
It isn’t just individuals who fundraise for charity. Corporate teams can get in on the action too – like the group at chartered accountancy firm RSM South Africa. When the Russian invasion of Ukraine began earlier this year, they immediately swung into action to raise money for humanitarian aid charity Gift of the Givers, which provided much-needed disaster relief in the country.
And they aren’t alone – more and more companies are making fundraising a regular activity. More and more workers say the number one thing they look for in a workplace is a positive culture that fits with their values, and so bringing charity into the office can be a great way to bring teams together and improve employee satisfaction and retention.
Over to you
“All these people have done outstanding things for charity this year, but the truth is that there are thousands of other fundraisers on GivenGain that we could have talked about,” says Smith. “Once again, this year has been a reminder that anyone can make a difference. Everyone has a passion or a talent that they can use to raise money for their favourite charities. That’s worth celebrating.”
What could you do in 2023 to support a cause you care about? The first step is to create a free fundraiser account on GivenGain. Setting up your project only takes a couple of clicks, and you can start receiving donations in any currency from anywhere in the world right away. If you have any questions, you can also get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.