Community foundations in South Africa: Establishment

and Sustenance Challenges

Fulufhelo Godfrey Netswera, Emerging Leaders, International Fellows Program ~ 2004


Abstract: In his paper, Fulu Netswera sets out four main objectives: 1) To look at factors informing traditional giving in South Africa; 2) To identify the lessons learned from South Africa’s first community foundation’s pilot program; 3) To examine the possibilities for mobilizing city resources from migrants; and 4) To consider the future of international donors in South Africa.


Emphasizing a rising black middle class as a potential source of giving back to rural communities, Mr. Netswera makes the following recommendations:

  • The need to tap traditional giving practices embedded in rural philosophies of collective identity and work activities;
  • The benefit of leadership training and publicity campaigns to promote institutional philanthropy;
  • The use of Home Town Associations (HTAs) as a possible model for mobilizing the resources of South Africa’s urban migrants and directing giving back to rural communities.
  • The need to reform South Africa’s tax laws to provide exemptions for contributions to foundations and the nonprofit sector more generally.



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