11February

Creating a space worthy of civil society

The Inyathelo Civil Society Sustainability Centre offers a unique space for non-profits to work, learn and share. The facilities are deliberately world class as we believe that those who work in the non-profit sector deserve a space that shows them respect and appreciation for the incredible work that they do.  

Creating a space worthy of civil society

Amidst the fun and fanfare of it’s first ever Open Day, Inyathelo unveiled its new Civil Society Sustainability Centre to over a hundred delighted visitors. The Hub, as we like to call it, is the only space of its kind in Africa devoted exclusively to civil society.

The new centre features:

    *  Common facilities including meeting pods, hot desks, and fast stable wi-fi.  
    *  Partitionable conference space; suitable for a variety of uses including meetings, presentations, breakaway sessions, workshops and board meetings.
    *  Training, mentoring and advice from skilled Advancement practitioners.
    *  Activities and events such as exhibitions and documentary screenings relating to civil society, philanthropy, higher education and social development.
    *  A book lounge offering the largest collection of books and journals on Advancement, fundraising and philanthropy in South Africa. 
    *  And Inyathelo's own donor database, FundingFinder, that provides comprehensive and up to date information on grantmakers that may support the work that you do. 


Why is all this needed? And why now?

shelagh openday

Inyathelo Executive Director Shelagh Gastrow points to the challenges facing NPOs. Gone are the days when a kind, rich benefactor simply writes you out a big cheque. Today's donors often have to answer to their own stakeholders, and as such expect NPOs to act more like busineses. They want to see "impact investing" and "social entrepreneurship" from their contributions. And If that weren't enough, Gastrow adds, the sector finds itself under threat from an increasingly adversarial governmental and regulatory environment.

In the face of these challenges, NPOs need to profesionalise and we hope that the hub will be a model resource; one that fosters incubation of new organisations, provides opportunities for networking, and a space for discussion -- formal or otherwise.

Finally, we would like to thank The Atlantic Philanthropies and our many other donors and supporters for helping us realise this dream to create a really special place for civil society in which new ideas, thinking and initiatives focused on solving South Africa’s many social problems can take root, grow and flourish.

openday hub pic

Click here to view a gallery of the Inyathelo Open Day on Facebook.