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Policy Papers and Research 

Trialogue tracks local trends in corporate social investment (CSI) against those taking place internationally, comparing South African research with those reported by our global partner, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP).  The CECP publishes two research reports annually: Giving in Numbers, which compiles data from 250 multi-billion-dollar companies, 90% of which are headquartered in the United States (US), and Giving Around the Globe, which presents high-level data from 86 companies in 17 different countries, including regional results from Africa derived from select companies that participated in Trialogue’s 2018 CSI survey.

Relevant Acts and Policies

South Africa does not have a single piece of legislation pertaining to philanthropy, which is regulated by financial, monetary, taxation and administrative statutes. 

  • Non-profit law in South Africa 

    The legal framework governing non-profit organisations includes legislation pertaining to public benefit activities carried out with altruistic or philanthropic intent. 

  • The South African Non-Profit Sector: Brief Perspective on Current Situation and Developments Since 1994 

    Legal structures available to non-profit organisations are outlined in this article

  • The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act

    BBBEE status is an important factor for NPOs, particularly when engaging government or applying for public and/or private sector funding. Companies can earn BBBEE points by contributing to causes that promote enterprise and supplier development, skills development and socioeconomic development (SED). If a company contributes to these through an NPO, the company will only earn BBBEE points if the NPO complies with the requirements set out in the Codes. BBBEE is governed by the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act and the Codes of Good Practice, which ensure that BBBEE is implemented correctly and sustainably. 

  • Constructing a Developmental and Transformational Philanthropy in Africa Towards a New Regulatory Common Sense

    This report provides a detailed picture of philanthropy in seven African countries – South Africa, Angola, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal. It analyses the political economy of legislation that governs philanthropy on the continent, paying attention to trends and specific country contexts. Philanthropy cuts across the regulatory and policy regimes of the countries analysed. 

  • Global Philanthropy Environment Index

    This Index – formerly known as the Hudson Institute’s Index of Philanthropic Freedom – looks at levels of regulation in philanthropy’s operating environment. It assesses each country’s philanthropic enabling environment on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0. A total of 79 countries and economies across all 11 geographic regions were studied. South Africa’s score is 3.99-3.5. The global average is 3.64. Two-fifths of the countries surveyed have a restrictive philanthropic environment, while about three-fifths are favourable to philanthropy. 


South African Research

  • The Nedbank Private Wealth Giving Report IV 

    This 2019 report by Nedbank Private Wealth is a comprehensive survey of the giving behaviour of high-net-worth individuals in South Africa. The 2019 report looks at research findings from 2018 and shows a number of positive giving trends, including an increase in female givers and giving as a family. 

  • Sizing the Field: Framework for a New Narrative of African Philanthropy

    This 2013 African Grantmakers Network (AGN) report highlights the different types of philanthropic activity in Africa, looking at individuals, communities and organisations. It lays out an overall framework for thinking about these types of philanthropy and offers an analysis of trends in Africa as well as the diaspora. It takes an African-led analytical approach to mapping African philanthropy

  • 2018 Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education (ASPIHE) in South Africa

    This 2019 report, conducted by EduActive Solutions on behalf of by Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement with financial support from the Kresge Foundationanalyses philanthropic and grant income to South African universities during 2018, as well as the direct costs to universities of attracting this income, excluding marketing, media relations, public relations, events and communications

  • Codes of Good Practice for South African Non-profit Organisations (NPOs)

    Issued in terms of section 6(1)(b)(I) of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, 1997 (At No. 71 of 1997), these Codes of Good Practice clarify what constitutes good practice in leading and managing nonprofit organisations of all sizes across all interest sectors.  

  • Data for a better South African philanthropy

    Data on philanthropygrantmaking and donor funding is in short supply in South Africa. The Foundation Center is attempting to close this gap. 

  • South Africa 2019: An overview of charitable giving in South Africa

    This 2019 report by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) examines the ways in which South Africans give, examining our motivations, habits and preferences. 

  • Middle Class South Africans give away one rand in three to family, community or charity says ground-breaking new research

    Research commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in partnership with CAF Southern Africa (CAFSA), the Aga Khan Foundation, the CS Mott Foundation and the UK National Lottery found that people give away 35% of their monthly income to individuals or charitable organisations. The 2020 report found that giving money was the most common way of supporting charities, with 74% of participants having done so within the past 12 months. The second-most common form of support was giving food or goods in kind (70%) and over half (57%) had volunteered or given time to a charitable organisation. 

  • A nation of givers? Social giving among South Africans

    The Centre for Civil Society, the Southern African Grantmakers’ Association and the National Development Agency partners in a large research project focusing on mobilising resources for poverty and development initiatives from a wide range of sectors. One component of the project was a focus on individual-level giving, which gave rise to this report. 

  • IPASA: Annual Review of South African Philanthropy:Perspectives and Stories of South African Philanthropy 2019

    The Independent Philanthropy Association of South Africa (IPASA) produces a review of South African philanthropy each year. The 2019 edition defines philanthropy, contextualises it within the country, ad examines key points like philanthropy and data, philanthropy and taxation, and countering a culture of impunity in government.

  • South African Giving 2019

    The second edition of this report by CAF Global Alliance provides an overview of civic participation and giving trends in South Africa. Key findings show that two thirds have taken part in at least one civic activity, the most popular cause is helping and poor, and eight in ten people donated money during the year under review. 

  • Surviving and thriving in a challenging funding environment

    The Resource Alliance’s Southern Africa Scoping Project Report (March 2016) presents a range of voices in the social impact sector and offers a comprehensive understanding of the funding environment – the challenges faced, and what is most needed to be successful. 


International Research

  • Global Philanthropy Report: Perspectives on the global foundation sector

    This inaugural report by researchers at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at HarvardUniversity attempts to understand worldwide philanthropic practices and trends, provides comparative analysis across countries and regions, and helps to create an evidence-based discussion on global philanthropy. The report points to the necessity of collaborating in order to scale impact and meet the $7 trillion of annual investment needed to satisfy the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It also indicates that 58% of foundations do not collaborate with other foundations and remains highly fragmented.

  • Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018

    The longest-running, most comprehensive report on charitable giving in the United States, this annual report indicates that Americans give $427.71 billion to charity in 2018.

  • 2018 CAF World Giving Index

    This longitudinal study looks at charitable behaviour around the world and shares insights into the nature of giving and trends in global generosity. It is based on data collected from 2013-2017 and includes results from 146 countries collected throughout 2017. Key findings include the fact that giving has increased in developed countries, the giving gap between continents is closing, and most people around the world reported helping a stranger and volunteering their time in 2017, but the proportion donating money declined for the second year in a row. 

  • The Global Landscape of Philanthropy

    Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS), a network of about 100 philanthropy associations and support organisations in 40 countries, has released a report that examines individual and institutional giving, community philanthropy, collaboration, infrastructure organisations, and how philanthropy supports government and civil society. It gives voice to the diversity of philanthropy practices, recognises and identifies trends and cultural aspects of giving, and highlights challenges facing the sector. 

  • Non-profit Marketplace: Bridging the Information Gap in Philanthropy

    This 2018 paper by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and McKinsey&Company points out that the non-profit marketplace lacks the robust flow of timely, accurate information that a stock exchange has, for example. The sector must therefore capture, analyse, distribute and use information more effectively. Being able to define and measure performance and impact will help non-profits to attract high-net-worth donors and foundations. This paper explains how non-profits can go about this. 

  • Research Brief: The Landscape of Large-Scale Giving by African Philanthropists

    This report, compiled by The Bridgespan Group, was released in June 2020. It examines the emergence of  more structured, formal philanthropy that has evolved on the African continent over the last few decades. 


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