Philanthropy, Democracy and Civil society: Tending a Garden Over the Long Term

Who would have thought that in April 2009 South Africans would vote in a national election where the winning presidential candidate, Jacob Zuma, would enter his office under a cloud of corruption? Who would have guessed that the democratic government, led by the African National Congress, would reject a visa application from the Dalai Lama, in effect turning its back on the international human rights solidarity that it relied on 20 years earlier to end apartheid?

NGOs Fight to ‘Hang On’ to Good Staff

High staff turnover due to a lack of adequate subsidisation by Government, plagues many South African NGOs, that struggle to provide the necessary services to communities in need.

In the Eastern Cape subsidies used to pay social workers have not been increased in two years, while social auxiliary workers are subsidised on the Department of Social Development’s 2002 scales.

Trading PBOs - Should You Use a Separate Organisation?

Because the old 10(1)(f) exemption prohibited trading, and the new 2000 laws restricted it severely, NGO’s which wished to generate revenue to sustain their activities were forced into setting up dual structures: one organisation which was tax exempt and received donor funding, and another which did the income-generating work, and then donated the funds to the tax exempt organisation.

Making CSI Matter to NGOs

Now in its second year, the ‘Making CSI Matter’ conference which took place from 2-4 March, attracted approximately 300 participants from across the corporate social investment (CSI), development and business sectors. The conference was hosted by Trialogue and examined external influences and consequences for effective development, and different models and approaches for CSI and development.

The Roots of the NGO Crisis: A Look Beyond the Surface

I have been active in the NGO sector in South Africa for about 27 years starting out as volunteer, field worker, organiser, programmes manager and later as director. I have also served on various NGO boards, act as advisor to many and now practice as a development practitioner within the sector.

Founder’s Syndrome: Leadership Lost and Found

Founder’s Syndrome (FS) is not unique to the nonprofit sector. In fact it exists in the business world and many other sectors including sports clubs, professional associations and even in political circles. This syndrome can be identified in a church choir or a multi-billion rand corporation. It is everywhere! Transitional leadership is difficult and fraught with challenges and this is often exacerbated by ‘founders’ who will not let go of what is perceived to be their ‘baby’.


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