How we help

Highlights of Past Initiatives

Advancement Certificate Course


Inyathelo, in partnership with the Rhodes University Business School, hosted an accredited short course on Advancement and Resource Mobilisation. The certificate course was aimed at professionals in the field of Advancement and comprised a high-level look at the theory and substance of the principles involved in advancing the causes of academic practice and community service programmes. The course aimed to combine a broad understanding of business concepts with practical Advancement applications as well as enable the immediate transfer of learning to the participant’s work environment.

The course was administered over six days and covered key aspects of Advancement, including ethics, relationship management, governance, the fundraising cycle, leadership, strategy and planning, to mention a few. South African case studies and experiences from professionals in the field also formed part of the course.

Kresge Advancement Initiatives

The Kresge Advancement Initiative, funded by the Kresge Foundation, focused on efforts to address the capacity gap in higher education institutions with regard to appropriate knowledge and strategies to secure their own sustainability. This includes facilitating an in-depth understanding of the donor world, highlighting the critical role of institutional leadership in building supporter relations, and underscoring the need for strategic coherence of institutional structures to secure long-term sustainability and donor support.

Read more about the Kresge-Inyathelo Initiatives.

Atlantic Advancement Initiative


Inyathelo worked in partnership with The Atlantic Philanthropies since 2007 to establish self-sustaining Advancement, development and fundraising operations for a group of human rights organisations as well as five non-profits that work to promote access to justice for the rural poor in South Africa.

The first capacity development programme ran from 2007 to 2010 and assisted in strengthening the financial sustainability of human rights organisations including the Black Sash; the Legal Resources Centre;; the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute; and the Transkei Land Services Organisation.

You can buy a copy of 'Striking the Rights Chord - an anthology of perspectives on Advancement for Human Rights Organisations in South Africa' from Inyathelo's online book shop or access it free online via the Atlantic Philanthropies website.

Advancement Academy


The annual Inyathelo Advancement Academy offered practitioners from around the country and across the continent a two-day focused, consolidated skills development and peer-learning opportunity. Packed with a combination of masterclasses, presentations from international and local experts, group discussions and one-on-one specialist advice, the Advancement Academy programme allowed participants to focus their own learning and tailor the experience to their specific needs.

Content was shared on leadership and strategies for attracting support, the various approaches to monitoring and evaluation, international perspectives on individual giving, data management and techniques for building sustainable relationships. The event brought to light some of the challenges of growth, innovation and reinvention faced by organisations when encountering changes in the internal and external environment.

Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards

2014 Inyathelo Philanthropy Awardees

Inyathelo Philanthropy Awardees 2014

For over a decade, more than 80 outstanding individuals, families and organisations that have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others were lauded at an annual gala event at the Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards. Their interventions and tireless efforts have made an incredible difference to the people whose lives they have touched, in sectors spanning health and education to youth upliftment and social justice. Without them, South Africa would be poorer, not only in financial terms but also in wisdom, inspiration and passion. Some of the recipients of the Awards have been globally recognised personalities such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Mrs Nomalizo Leah Tutu.

In the first year (2007) eight awards were issued, covering different areas of need and interest. They spanned philanthropy in health, community, women, youth, family, the arts and lifetime philanthropy. With time, new categories were added such as awards for exceptional philanthropy, international philanthropy and social justice. Awardees ranged from youngsters still attending school, to learned academics and business magnates whose careers spanned decades of achievement. They were chosen annually by a panel of independent judges, following nominations from peers, representatives of the sectors that they have influenced, and the NPOs and other organisations that they have supported.

The Funding Practice Alliance

Inyathelo has been part of the Funding Practice Alliance (FPA), initiated in 2009, which worked to transform the relationship between civil society organisations and funding agencies (private, business and state) in order to support and strengthen a vibrant civil society.

The alliance achieved its aims through:

  • Conducting research on issues affecting the sustainability of civil society organisations;
  • Engaging the civil society sector, funders and other relevant stakeholders on issues of funding practices and;
  • Disseminating appropriate information and stimulating debate on relevant issues.

It also provided the sector with information, monitoring and support to enable organisations to participate in government, legislative and parliamentary processes.  The Social Change Assistance Trust (SCAT) and the former Community Development Resource Association (CDRA) were also members of the FPA. 

The work of the alliance included research into  “Meeting their Mandates?” report on the funding practices of the NDA and National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) including submissions to the Parliament, the NLB and Department of Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee and to monitor developments and amendments at the time around the Lotteries Amendment Bill.

In addition, the FPA commissioned a nation-wide research to better understand how non-profits were funded and how it advances South African society through contributing to employment and to the economy.  The primary reason for embarking on the research was that the value of civil society’s contribution to social change in South Africa is often understanded and undervalued.  Data available looked at the quantity of resources that flow to the civil society sector, what is supported and the number of individuals employed in the sector.  The research was disseminated through a nation-wide roadshow. 

The current form of advocacy and lobbying at Inyathelo in helping to build a more enabling environment for the sector, now lives with the work of the Non-Profit Working Group  for which Inyathelo is a secretariat.

Youth in Philanthropy Programme South Africa (YIPPSA)

The Youth in Philanthropy Programme South Africa (YIPPSA), a programme with its mission to build a culture of giving and service, was a schools-based social responsibility programme operating in nine Cape Town Schools, building engagement and knowledge around giving and service in secondary school learners. Learners from grades 10, 11 and 12 explored the context for volunteerism in their communities and practical training in fundraising and event management. 

Conducted over a 4 years period from 2006-2009, young people learned to gather information about areas of need in their communities, engaged with organisations providing social services, and developed a year-long programme of fundraising and volunteering to assist their selected organisation.  Beneficiary organisations ranged from homes that care for the aged and children to those helping the disabled and sheltering abused women and children. 

The YIPPSA training programme focused on action learning - “learning by doing” through assignments, peer learning, and implementing both  theory and approaches as they were exposed to a series of formal workshops. The programme also held a 3-day camp to provide intensive leadership and training opportunity with YIPPSA participants able to contextualise their social responsibility commitments and initiatives in the broader context of human rights, democracy and social development.

Schools included:

  • Cape Town High School
  • Herzlia High School
  • Langa High School
  • Luhlaza High School
  • Mannenberg High School
  • Milnerton High School
  • Oude Molen High School
  • St Andrews High School
  • Zwaanswyk High School 

The YIPPSA Alumni programme (YAP) was designed to give (18-21 year old) the opportunity to act as ambassadors and mentors for the YIPPSA programme in the schools, gain further experience in fundraising and new experience in grantmaking and responsible management of a funding agency.  The YIPPSA programme developed a Youth Philanthropy Action Guide which captures content and programme learning in a form useful not only to participating schools, but also to South African high school Life Skills teachers.  The continuation of youth philanthropic leadership was recognised during the Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards in subsequent years, in the Youth Category.


Private Philanthropy Circle (PPC)

Initiated in 2010, Inyathelo convened an independent forum of individual philanthropists, and local Trusts and Foundations, as part of Inyathelo’s mission to grow private philanthropy in South Africa.  The aim of the circle was to raise awareness of social giving and grow the community of effective grantmakers in South Africa, by developing mechanisms to encourage good practice locally and sharing useful information and knowledge.  The forum was central in raising the profile of private philanthropy in South Africa and was the only philanthropic forum of its kind at the time in South Africa, providing a space for knowledge and skills-share with regard to grantmaking in in the country.  Central to the PPC’s purpose were contextualising discussion sessions and debates that delved into various key socio-economic issues impacting on South African development, and thereby influencing the funding decisions and approaches of PPC members.

This was achieved through peer learnings, workshops and an annual 2-day symposia on topics including good/ethical grantmaking practice with representatives from government, private philanthropy and the non-profit sector.  Inyathelo seed funded its secretariate services to the programme for 3 of its 5 incubating years, supplemented by programmatic membership fees, until the forum grew into its own independent entity now known as IPASA.



Central to Inyathelo’s work is building and sharing new local knowledge through top-quality research publications. Our research has covered areas such as higher education Advancement practices in Africa, access and success rates in tertiary education, and funding frameworks and approaches in South Africa.

We have also initiated research work of relevance and value to the development sector more broadly, including research into National Lotteries funding practices, non-profit governance and assessing the size and interest of corporate funding for addressing LGBTI issues and causes. Inyathelo conducted research into the size and scope of private philanthropy in South Africa and broader funding streams into civil society. Click here to download some of our research reports. 


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