Some 140 learners in Grahamstown’s Joza township will be better prepared to access tertiary education and job opportunities, thanks to a project pitch presented by a passionate young fundraiser at a responsible business conference in Johannesburg.
IkamvaYouth fundraising coordinator Balisa Ntloko has returned to the Eastern Cape with R25 000 from the Eskom Development Foundation, following the 11th annual Trialogue Business in Society Conference in Johannesburg on 8 and 9 May.
Nick Rockey, Trialogue MD, explains: “In partnership with the Eskom Development Foundation, we held an interactive pitching session at our annual conference. It’s rather like the acclaimed Dragon’s Den TV series, with three non-profit organisations (NPOs) promoting their projects to a panel of corporate donors.
“The winner this year was IkamvaYouth, which supports learners from under-resourced communities. The runner up, U-Turn Homeless Ministries, which helps homeless people to gain job and life skills, was also awarded R15 000. Siyavuna Abalimi Development Centre, which develops resilient micro-farmers, was placed third and won R10 000.”
Balisa says: “The opportunity to attend such an inspirational event and to network with CSI leaders was an incredible experience. I’d like to thank the sponsors, and the judges for their detailed feedback and advice.
“All the finalists do important work, but possibly what set us apart was our understanding of the sector we work in and its challenges. The judges also noted the number of people who are helped by our organisation and who return to volunteer. This speaks about the impact we have.”
IkamvaYouth has 17 branches nationwide and more than half of the volunteers at the longer-established branches are former beneficiaries of its programmes.
Balisa said the Donor’s Den prize money would cover the costs of workshops, leadership training, career guidance and tertiary education application fees. The interventions are run from the premises of the Nombulelo Secondary School in Grahamstown, with learners from various under-resourced schools taking part in the programme.
The judging panel comprised Steph Prinsloo, Programme Manager at the Eskom Development Foundation, Millicent Maroga, Head of the Old Mutual Foundation, and Angela Abrahams, Executive Head of Gender Empowerment at Vodacom Foundation.
Mr Prinsloo advised NGOs and fundraisers to focus on a comprehensive business plan covering everything from vision, mission and values to financials, compliance and governance. “This will answer a lot of questions. The passion here is phenomenal, but there are hard issues people need to know about. People will invest if they feel comfortable and secure with an organisation.”
Eskom Development Foundation CEO Cecil Ramonotsi said: “Eskom is pleased to have been part of the Trialogue family for the past few years. I am impressed by some of the innovative ideas put forward today. At Eskom we believe that by working together we can find sustainable solutions to the country’s developmental challenges.”
Fundraisers and other stakeholders interested in Trialogue’s events and opportunities can visit http://trialogue.co.za/.