Southern Africa Trust (South Africa)
'I first heard the word ‘philanthropy' from my Ethics, Governance and Sustainability lecturer at Wits University and I thought to myself, 'What has this got to do with a business degree?' I thought it was just a fancy word to describe people with lots of money giving to those who don’t; a word that simply must be demystified. Fast forward to years later: I’m now working for the Southern Africa Trust (after some time in the private sector) and that word pops up again! In this role I am now sitting on the other side of the fence and asking myself why we in the development sector don’t engage businesses more, they have the money right! If more businesses viewed philanthropy as a necessary for social justice and if those in philanthropic spaces could learn from businesses hunger to increase ‘profits' for sustainability we would make huge strides in solving our global problems.
I’m proud to be part of an organization that seeks to bridge the world of philanthropy and giving across sectors, by linking with academia, learning from the private sector, partnering with civil society, government, with the aim of building an ecosystem of inclusivity by pulling together minds and resources around social change. At the Southern Africa Trust, we are specifically interested in espousing and promoting philanthropy at the local level – and we see real potential in this. Like the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy, this work is premised on mutual values around promoting the building of local assets and capacities for communities by communities. So we are thrilled to be acting as a local co-host and are specifically interested in espousing and promoting philanthropy at the local level. Corporations should very much be part of this discussion.'