Loving Thy Neighbour was started by Inequity Holdings as an attempt to address their social responsibility. The Non-Profit Company was registered during 2016 and we started assisting our Partners during the early part of 2017.
The focus of Loving Thy Neighbour is to bring the crucial elements of efficient service delivery to Charitable organisations. That being:
- Business structures.
- Online and digital communication skills.
- Consumer understanding and empathy.
- Personal and Organisational sustainability.
- Websites, digital tools, Newsletters, Blogs, etc.
- Planning, implementation, and monitoring.
- Accountably and benchmarking.
Over the last 20 years traditional church attendance patterns have changed. Church attendance across all denominations have seen a sustained decline. More concerning is that involvement in church and other charitable projects are also declining.
Looking at worldwide church attendance statistics as a percentage of society gives a better understand of the trends.
The debate of why people all around the world are less driven to attend church is for the different religious fraternities unpack. Very concerning to us is the individual charitable projects who are suffering from serious funding and support realities.
How do we change that ?
Any person can only reasonably be expected to feel compelled to support a charity or a charitable project if they have enough information about it.
With mainstream media only focusing on events that is considered newsworthy, most day-to-day challenges remain unknown to the greater public.
Above-the-line awareness is completely out of reach for most charities, because they simply cannot afford it. Leaving Social Media as the only strategy to get their message out.
With this comes the challenge that the Social Media space is such a rapidly changing environment that requires constant training to stay in touch with the latest trends and tools. Even though this training is easily available in the market, again it is unattainable because of the cost of these courses.
In many cases by only giving them money, only solves the problem in the short term. Our aim is to rather focusing on improving their ability to help themselves, in doing so we hope to create better sustainability, as they continuously have access to knowledge, skills training, and support.
The charitable space in South Africa
The main categories that charities in South Africa focus on are the following:
But asking the average person in the street to name five charities that focus on for example the elderly, they will be hard pressed to do so. What happens is that only a small percentage of charities become household names, and only the big names get the bulk of the charitable donations, leaving the clear majority to struggle with significant funding challenges.
What are the numbers
Charities can be divided into three main groups:
- Independent and self-funded (general public)
- Independent with associate funding (church, government, organisation, etc.)
- Dependent (As part of a Church listed as a project or a ministry)
With many charities not officially registered as a Non-Profit Company, it is hard to know exactly how many charities are in the country.
But the latest available report by the Department of Social Development published on March 2015 lists the number of registered organisations as 136,453. We conservatively estimate the number of charities to be in excess of 160,000.
The national split of registered charities are as follows:
The registration by sector is as follows:
|Social Services||54 392||39.9%|
|Development and Housing||25 534||20.9%|
|Education and Research||9 607||7.0%|
|Culture and Recreation||8 059||5.9%|
|Law, Advocacy, and Politics||3 090||2.3%|
|Philanthropic Intermediaries and Voluntarism||1 303||1.0%|
|Business and Professional Associations||1 137||0.8%|
Schools and Universities
According to the Department of Basic Education there are 25,574 schools and 26 Universities in South Africa. Even though many of them are registered as a NPC very little is known of their charitable funding needs outside of the normal operational funding shortages they have.
With most schools in urgent need of maintenance and upgrades, the reality is that they simply cannot afford the associated costs and their running expenses.
Let’s look at the United States
During 2015 around 70% of American consumers shopped online at least once a month, and 83% if you include the ad-hoc shoppers. Collectively they spent $336 Billion dollars on online shopping.
During 2014 Americans donated $358 Billion dollars. What is very revealing is how the donations were made up. The breakdown of the donations are as follows:
|Bequests (Donations given by will)||8%||$28.13 billion|
Charities locally are disproportionally dependent on Corporate Donations. From a financial planning point of view exposes charities to significant sustainability risks as Corporates will review their beneficiaries from time to time. Secondly, they are not focusing on building a database of long term recurring support from individual donators.
Loving Thy Neighbour will focus all their energy on working with charities to achieve the following:
- Advise on how the fix the current structures as to provide for sustainable support
- Provide training and support on all necessary skill levels
- Provide a platform where they can load and distribute their activities
- Provide a call-center that will continuously assist with their financial and technical sustainability
- Give them access to the best possible collection solutions
- Provide for Website integration that facilities convenient consumer donations
- Provide for flexible solutions for the consumer who donates
- Assist with financial accountability reporting to all supporters of their charity
This overview illustrates the importance of ensuring that society becomes more involved in the needs of their communities. And it starts with giving the NPC community as much training and support as possible. This will enable them to build a database of individuals that see the value of the work they do, and is consequently motivated to make their support continuous.