Ritchie and Milroy agree that there should be solid and sustainable structures in place. "Strategic investment in the longer term aims to shift things systemically, rather than taking a 'Band-Aid approach', such as funding research for finding a cure for cancer or HIV/Aids. Also, the financial aspect of philanthropy is extremely important," says Ritchie Milroy adds: "It is interesting that the Giving Report II showed that 70% of givers do not measure the impact of their donations.
This is something we would like to change. Only by knowing whether there is a real social return can we understand whether our actions are truly making a difference." The reality is that anyone can be a
philanthropist. Generosity and giving can be found among the poorest South African communities. The Inyathelo Awards have shown that people are recognising the importance of not relying on government to fulfil all the needs of society and picking up the slack themselves.
Past winners like 13-year-old Jordan van der Walt with his Just One Bag initiative (where pupils are asked to each bring a single bag of maize meal to school to donate to charity — a project which has already fed more than one million hungry children) have proved this. Ritchie does feel that there is a need to intensify the message, including teaching active citizenship, rights, responsibilities and the importance of giving at an earlier age at schools. Inyathelo has also set up a philanthropy service providers' network providing access to tax consultants, lawyers, monitoring and evaluation, etc, to make it easier for the average citizen to participate.
Milroy says: "With the tremendous need in SA and the increasing inequality gap, formalising individual giving is important so that there is purpose and continuity. The face of philanthropy is changing to innovative ways of making a real difference. NPW offers new methods and instruments for facilitating philanthropy, such as social enterprise, venture philanthropy, impact or social investing and social impact bonds."
In the words of American neurosurgeon Ben Carson: "Happiness does not result from what we get, but from what we give." Dm
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