About Us

IPASA is a locally established, voluntary association of independent philanthropists and private foundations in South Africa. Our members are family, individual and other independent philanthropists. The concept of independence relates to independence from government and the corporate sector in terms of governance.

We believe that committed and knowledgeable philanthropists can make a meaningful impact and facilitate change for the better in South Africa. By associating as IPASA, philanthropists and philanthropic foundations contribute to a learning agenda, enabling thought leadership amongst members, who come from diverse backgrounds and practice. This facilitates collaboration and builds a culture of giving amongst South Africans. The power of IPASA lies in its ability to bring organisations and communities together that would not otherwise connect. 

What we do

IPASA’s key purpose is to extend the reach and impact of philanthropy while representing and promoting the common interests, concerns and objectives of its members.

Our mission is “To promote, support and advance independent philanthropy in South Africa”. IPASA focuses on four key areas to achieve its mission:

1. To grow and transform philanthropy in South Africa
2. To be a voice for independent philanthropy in South Africa
3. To promote good practice in philanthropy
4. To support collaboration in philanthropy

Our People

The Association is governed by a duly elected Council. The Council is elected at an annual general meeting of members and in accordance with the Association’s constitution. Our current Council members are:


Sarah Rennie

Deputy Chairperson

Mamo Mohapi


Gary Shearer


Lindy Van Hasselt

Council Members

Leonora Sauls
Gail Campbell
Charles Ainslie
Linda Whitfield
Anthony Farr


GastrowBloch Philanthropies is the appointed management for IPASA. GastrowBloch Philanthropies assists clients to explore the mission of their family wealth and how to integrate the responsibilities and benefits of that wealth into philanthropy. In essence, they work with clients to provide strategic, planning, administrative and management support to implement their philanthropic objectives. At the same time they aim to ensure that their clients are involved in a meaningful experience that translates their passions, interests and values into a dynamic and enjoyable experience of contributing to society.


In 2010 a conference was held in Cape Town that brought together, for the first time, international and local private foundations and individuals concerned with philanthropy in South Africa. At the last session of this conference, participants agreed that an informal network of South African institutional and individual grantmakers be established called the Private Philanthropy Circle.

The Circle operated from 2011 – 2015. When it was first formed there was little or no collaboration between philanthropists and foundations despite there being significant alignment both in terms of sector support and objectives. Philanthropy operated in silos and maintained privacy as a priority. During these four years, along with peer learning and the comfort of an open forum for transparent private dialogue, significant collaboration and partnerships developed which have, in turn, delivered positive and innovative solutions to many social issues that we face in South Africa.

In 2015, members decided to reconstitute and formalize the entity as a voluntary association with a written constitution which provided for the establishment of a legal identity, separate and distinct from its members, and which incorporates the prescriptive requirements applicable to tax-exempt membership organisations referred to in Section 30b of the Income Tax Act. The new entity was named the Independent Philanthropy Association of South Africa.