By NASHIRA DAVIDS
Non-profit organisations, which provide critical social services, are in such dire straits that their representatives are now attending seminars on how to secure funding from the corporate sector.
The seminars are presented by the SA Growth Institute.
Lawyer Ricardo Wyngaard, who founded the institute with corporate social investment specialist Ric Amansure, said though non-profit organisations provided crucial services such as caring for vulnerable children and the elderly, the government was not doing enough to assist them.
He said they should "move beyond the traditional ways of fundraising and show innovation".
Shelagh Gastrow, executive director of Inyathelo - The South African Institute for Advancement, which provides training to civic organisations, said it was time to foster a "culture of giving" among ordinary South Africans.
This was crucial as international aid had fallen drastically.
"South Africa has outgrown its 'developing nation' status and the international community increasingly sees us as an economy with sufficient wealth to support our own civil society," said Gastrow.
This year the government budgeted R5-billion to fund NPOs.
Wyngaard said in seeking help, NPOs should "forget lengthy funding proposals and concentrate on governance and compliance".
"Before donors or investors even look at what you're doing, they want to know that whatever money they are giving is in safe hands and it will be used effectively," he said.
So far, 300 organisations have attended the seminars. Childline's Joan van Niekerk said the challenge was to retain old donors and find new ones.