It is easy to get jaded about giving money to charity: Millions of people give money to benevolent organisations, with some statistics estimating that South Africans give R9 billion each year. Yet there seems to be no end in sight to the problems that plague the country. Philanthropy, it seems, is the only investment that does not require a performance record. In a country like South Africa where the grim face of poverty greets us at every intersection, it is easy to give in to compassion fatigue under the overwhelming scope of the problem.
However, it is difficult to ignore the importance of philanthropy in a county as unequal as South Africa. The government cannot be expected to act alone. Advancement was born out of the need to support chariatible organisations and people who want to make a difference by making intelligent decisions that will lead to authentic change in South Africa. "Its not just about handing out money, it's about ensuring that this money will be well used to creat a positive outcome," says Shelagh Gastrow, executive director of Inyathelo.