NPOs in crisis as financial crisis hits funders and government excludes them from Covid-19 financial relief

One of South Africa’s largest but least-acknowledged sectors stands to be hard hit in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and impact of the protracted lockdown.

The estimated 230,000 registered not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) that provide a wide range of services to marginalised communities and employ about 800,000 people are expecting, and are in some cases already experiencing, cutbacks in donations and other sources of income such as fees for implementing government programmes and corporate social investment (CSI) projects.

“We are in serious danger of losing many NPOs and the immense value of the support they provide to our poorest communities,” says veteran social activist Shelagh Gastrow who provides advisory services to NPOs and philanthropic foundations that donate funding to many of them.

NPOs now face serious challenges on all their funding fronts. These include:

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Gray philanthropy ecosystem makes R180m available

The Gray philanthropy ecosystem in South Africa has made available R180m of funding to assist with the economic, educational and medical shortages created by the coronavirus crisis.
The contribution will look to not only make an immediate impact on the crisis but will also take a long-term approach in assisting those South Africans affected

SA can ill-afford to overlook the non-profit sector in its response to Covid-19

The UK government has announced that the charity sector in that country will receive a £750-million bailout to ensure that they can continue to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic. Of that, £360-million will be allocated to organisations that provide “key services”, including victims’ services, citizens’ advisory offices and hospices, while the balance will support smaller organisations, including funds from their lotteries. In addition, the UK government will match donations from the public towards the independent National Emergencies Trust that is fundraising and distributing funds to charities during this crisis.

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COVID-19 Crisis: Philanthropy faces a major dilemma as need increases but endowments shrink

As COVID-19 rapidly spreads through the world, it has created in its wake a pressing need from almost every segment of society. The world of philanthropy has made donations both large and small to fight coronavirus and its effects. But facing the possibility that the current situation is one that will last for months – perhaps up to two years – some foundations are asking themselves how they can offer sustainable support.


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Mary Oppenheimer and daughters join Covid-19 battle

Mary Oppenheimer, the daughter of the late Harry Oppenheimer, and her two daughters have donated R1-billion to the Solidarity Fund, set up to support the battle against Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Their initiative follows contributions from technology firm Naspers for R1.5-billion, the Motsepe Foundation, along with associated companies Sanlam, African Rainbow Capital and African Rainbow Minerals for R1-billion, as well as the Rupert (in association with Remgro) and Oppenheimer families who each pledged R1-billion ahead of the lockdown.

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