Weekend Argus – Crowdfunding Needed for NGO’s Hemp House

Khayelitsha Soup Kitchen Feeds Hungry Local Children

With the onset of winter, a Khayelitsha soup kitchen is hoping to receive eco-friendly hemp premises.

queuing up outside yiza

TUCKING IN: Children gather outside the Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen in Khayelitsha to receive a daily meal. The kitchen serves up to 250 people a day. Winniefred ‘Mickey’ Linda, who heads the kitchen, dishes up a serving for Alupheli Gigi.Biodegradable food packaging company GreenHome, industrial hemp company Hemporium and sustainable architect Wolf Olivier started a crowdfunding project to raise R230 000 to build the new soup kitchen. To date, they have raised nearly R19 000.

Olivier said the hemp house would be the third of its kind to be built in the country. “It’s warmer in winter and cooler in summer, relatively quick to build and has health benefits. So instead of cold, damp concrete, it’s providing the cleanest, healthiest environment and a warm, nurturing place for the children.”

They hope to start construction next month.

Winniefred Linda, 59, who runs the Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen, is holding thumbs that the project gets off the ground.

Linda started the soup kitchen six years ago in her home, but when more and more hungry children arrived at her door she needed a bigger place. She then had a shack built on her neighbour’s plot. But she has been forced to leave.

GreenHome managing director Catherine Morris said the idea for the house came when she heard of the soup kitchen’s plight.

She first met Linda when she helped plant a vegetable patch on Mandela Day four years ago.

When she got the call from Linda she started looking for eco-friendly options, said Morris.

She discovered the benefits of hemp, the fibre derived from the cannabis plant. However, it is illegal to grow industrial hemp in South Africa without a permit from the Department of Health.

“It’s a plant that can be grown in a couple of months and it’s renewable and a better insulator than cement. It’s exciting because you can basically grow your own house.”

This week the Weekend Argus visited Linda’s soup kitchen. Two queues of pupils in school uniform were already waiting outside. Some of the children were washing their hands in a plastic basin while Linda and her four volunteers dished up pap and samp in plastic plates or in lunchboxes the children brought along.

The soup kitchen serves three meals a day, breakfast from 6am to children and at 10am breakfast is served to patients from a local clinic. Later, it is time for lunch.

The community fondly refers to Linda as “Nompilo”, which means health. She recalled the day she got the idea to start feeding the poor. She saw a man crawling in pain to her home.

“I asked him what’s wrong and he said his stomach was cramping. I helped him into my house and found out he had taken ARVs without eating. I gave him a plate of food. Afterwards he sat back and said, ‘Mamma, you saved my life.’”

The ill man became one of the first 40 people she started cooking for.

Today that number has grown to around 250, mostly children. Volunteers also deliver meals to bedridden patients.

Linda said many of the kids were “neglected” and often had young parents who abused alcohol and drugs.

“They come here barefoot and haven’t washed. Some cry because they are so hungry.”

Some of the children sleep over at the soup kitchen to escape troubled homes.

“Last year there was a boy about 7, he had a blue eye and was crying. After he finished eating he didn’t want to go home. I asked him what’s wrong and he said he got in between his parents when his father was hitting his mum.”

Funding remains one of her biggest challenges. She said “it’s not always easy” sourcing donors.

She suffers from arthritis and used her disability grant money for the NGO but soon appealed for help at her son’s primary school. His teacher introduced her to non-profit organisation Operation Hunger, in Grassy Park.

“They gave us veggies but after some years they also didn’t have the funds and then we got some donations from overseas but it’s just here and there. It’s difficult to feed 250 children, Monday to Friday, on about R2 000 a month,” said Linda.

Unwavering in her mission to provide nutrition to the hungry, she fought to keep her soup kitchen running and has started her own food garden, growing carrots, cabbage and butternut.

Linda waits with excitement for the new soup kitchen which will be equipped with a toilet and shower.

Most of all she hopes to continue feeding as many children as possible.

● See http://www.ripple.org.za/yiza-hemp-house

BY JANIS KINNEAR of Weekend Argus, 23 May 2015

CROWDFUNDING: Ripple to the Rescue

Picture: THINKSTOCK

SA-BASED crowdfunding company Thundafund.com plans to launch a platform called Ripple to help organisations or individuals raise funds for philanthropic causes in SA.

Crowdfunding provides an alternative way for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to secure funding. They can use the Internet to publicise their project and use a crowdfunding platform to appeal for donations to bring their idea to fruition.

Thundafund says there is a strong demand for a crowdfunding platform that caters to the needs of nonprofit organisations.

Ripple was created to introduce a customised way of crowdfunding. What sets it apart is a strategy to secure more than just funds. Campaigners are allowed to receive cash, material donations and a donation in the form of time: three resources that it says help to create sustainable change.

Ripple is a space for digital neighbourhoods to mobilise and create the prosperous, healthy natural environments and innovative civil societies that they seek,” says COO Daniel Shaw.

Patrick Schofield, CEO of Ripple, says that the climate in SA is ripe for such a platform and that operations outside SA are in its future plans.

The company also plans to offer mentoring and support for campaigning nonprofit organisations.

BY THABISO MOCHIKO of Financial Mail , 30 APRIL 2015, 08:32

NGO Pulse SANGONeT – Ripple Brings Crowdfunding to South African Causes and Activists

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Ripple.org.za has launched a new era of crowdfunding with an exciting vision in mind.  A vision where Causes who seek to create a better world and Activists who seek to shake up the status quo can raise the additional funding, volunteer time, and material resources that they need to make their dream a reality, and all through online crowdfunding.  Ripple plans to be the place where movements for positive change are born and can grow.

Crowdfunding has proved successful across the world and Ripple believe that now is the right time to introduce their initiative in South Africa.  Patrick Schofield, CEO of Ripple says;

Ripple is being born at the tip of Africa, with Cape to Cairo in its vision”

Ripple believes that what separates them from the rest is their hands on approach, mentoring and supporting campaigns on how best to present their cause/movement to ‘The Crowd’ of passionate supporters.

“We are invested in the success of our campaigns. It’s not purely a case of putting the campaign online and sending them on their way. We engage with campaigns and assist them on crowdfunding best practices throughout their duration.”

The ‘Take What You Get’ model of crowdfunding also plans to build a lasting relationship between the supporters and the cause. This allows for all active change-makers who get involved in the campaign to have a lasting effect.

Ripple are currently open for campaign applications and are encouraging candidates interested in crowdfunding to apply online and for people to support what they feel is an inspiring group of seven launch campaigns – including the TREEvolutionary movement that is Greenpop.

Ripple is a world of active change-makers. An online space where people come to build communities around causes and where activists raise capital & in-kind support. A place where movements for positive change are born and grow.

At Ripple, we believe in the power of the collective to drive positive change. Ripple inspires and activates African communities around the causes and movements we value most. Created for non-profit cause and activist campaigns, Ripple is centred on bringing together the three key resources that are needed to make a change: Money, People and Materials.

For more information contact Daniel at hello@ripple.org.za

For more about Ripple, refer to www.ripple.org.za

Via NGO Pulse SANGONeT

12 Tips to Write an Engaging Crowdfunding Campaign

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You’ve carefully chosen your campaign’s goal, rewards and promotion, but —have you paid enough attention to your messaging?

One of the most important aspects of your crowdfunding campaign is the message you transmit, as it has a direct impact on the overall impression that your project conveys. In the end, this is what will get someone to become your supporter. As a Georgia Institute of Technology research has showed, your choice of words can actually make a huge difference on your campaign’s results.

Below we have gathered some advice and key strategies that will help you create a persuasive pitch: The message you transmit is not just about what you say, but also how you say it.

If you need some help and advice setting up your campaign you can use services like Backercamp, a full service partner for your crowdfunding campaign, that provides PR, marketing, communications and branding counsel.

Backercamp has helped over 2,700 Kickstarter and Indiegogo creators with promotion and support, raising more than $25,000,000 in successful funding. It also accepts projects in the pre-launch phase.

What to Say

1. Share what’s in it for your supporters. Take your time to explain how your project is going to benefit them, how it’s going to make their life better or how they’ll be able to enjoy it. At the end of the day, everyone wants to know what they’re going to get in return.

2. Define the scope and purpose of your project. Share why you want to do this and how is all their money going to be used.

“Being vague about the specifics of your project —everything from what inspired you to create it to what the finished product will be— is a huge mistake.”

Aimee Cebulski, author of Kickstarter for Dummies (Wiley, 2013).

3. Demonstrate authority. Tell them why you are the perfect guy to do just what you want to do by sharing your experience and credentials. Also, point out the characteristics that make your project better than anything similar.

4. Social proof. You probably have heard how recently David Cameron, UK´s Prime Minister, bought thousands of Likes on Facebook. People feel safe in numbers. That is why successful projects coincide in emphasizing how “so many people have already donated” —giving the appearance that the idea must be worthwhile.

5. Be grateful. Last but certainly not least, thank people for their support and engagement. Use your social networks to link to and call out funders. This is might even turn out to help your SEO efforts.

How to Say It

6. Talk the talk. You know your audience, right? So write for them. It’s not about what you want to say. It’s about what THEY want to know. If your ideal supporter is an artist or someone with a creative mindset, don’t write as if you were talking to a tekkie. Use the words and the expressions they use.

7. Use positive words. Instead of saying “don’t miss this chance”, say “grab this chance”. Also, avoid words like “help,” “support,” or “fund”, which imply you’re asking for a favor, almost begging, rather than offering something that is desirable, an experience they´re going to enjoy. It has been proven that projects using phrases like “not been able,” “even a dollar,” and “hope to get” are not as successful as those using the words “also receive,” “given the chance,” and “we can afford”.

8. Show you feel passionate about your project. Choose powerful words like “experience”, “discover”, “together.”

“Story is everything. Let me back up. Your story is everything. People aren’t so much getting behind the idea as they are getting behind your passion to produce it… It HAS to have heart.”

Nathaniel Hansen, filmmaker who raised over $350,000 on his crowdfunding campaign.

9. Talk directly to the reader. Write in second person “you”, and use “us” to create a feeling of community and sense of belonging. Whenever possible, use actionable language, i.e., active verbs that might prompt them to take action.

10. Stress scarcity. Making your project sound like it’s in limited supply just works! It gives a sense of urgency.

11. Keep it short and sweet. You’re competing for attention from all sorts of stimuli. Say what you’ve got to say in the least possible amount of (appealing) words.

12. Carefully craft your conclusion. Your closing sentence is very important. Readers tend to pay attention to the header, then scan information (perhaps quickly reading bullet points and subheads) and scroll down to the bottom. Most people will not read your whole write-up, but they’ll probably read your last phrase, so make it extra nice.

write engaging crowdfunding campaign infographic

Via Rita Soler of Megafounder.com

Let’s Not Forget The No In Xenophobia

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If the painful discrimination and harsh injustice of the Apartheid era has taught South Africa anything as a nation, it is that everyone matters equally – no matter the color of their skin, gender, sexual orientation, or origin of their passport. We learnt the hard way that hate is never the medium of a sustainable dialogue, and should we not redirect our efforts immediately, that is lesson we should have the misfortune of repeating.

These past week, we as a nation have watched in horror as we saw a harrowing sequence of xenophobic attacks unfold. Fellow Africans were burnt alive on the streets they helped pave, bludgeoned with the tools from their own backyards, and ,perhaps in the most shocking twist, exiled from the communities they called home.   

xenophobia-in-south-africaThe South Africans at the hand of these unruly attacks felt the need to condemn our brothers and sisters for their hard work. “They’re taking our jobs,” many complain. While we understand that they may feel marginalized, resorting to violence and invoking egregious harm on to others denies their arguments any legitimacy. We denigrate the value of our democracy should we ever legitimize violence.

“Afrophobia” this outbreak has been labelled on some fronts. The fact that we can see those closest to us as “foreigners,” and yet refer to our European counterparts with the dignified term “expat” speaks volume to the deep-rooted colonialism that permeates within our society.

What’s troubling is that while it may appear that we are casting Africans away from South Africa, it us South Africans whom we are casting away from the rest of Africa. These are neighbors, allies, and friends we ran to during the time of Apartheid exiles – they deserve to be treated not only as humans, but also as the valued members our diverse society they have proved themselves to be. This is a relationship we need to treasure, because our goals and our hardships are fundamentally intertwined.

While the peace marches, and pleas from high level dignitaries may not be in vain, they are by no means the entire solution to the problem. These attackers have made the grave mistake of speaking with their fists, but the fact remains that they still want to be heard. Community dialogues need to take place to address the root of the this problem and the way forward. We as change-makers in our own respects, need to take responsibility for this and continue to advocate for fair treatment of all peoples. The hardest part of any dialogue is getting people to the table, isn’t it? Although all we see now is blood and gore, we should never lose sight though that our table is big enough.

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How to create a media list for your nonprofit

Media

A carefully constructed media list is a public relations professional’s best tool for distributing information to the media, whether as part of well-planned campaign launch or getting breaking news out fast. In fact, nonprofits may develop several media lists over time. For example, you can have one list for general organization updates and industry announcements, as well as specific, targeted lists for special initiatives.

Here’s how to create a media list to distribute your nonprofit organization’s news:

Find your audience

Identify media outlets that are important to your organization’s and campaign’s goals. Ask yourself who you are trying to reach and research media that your audience is tuning in to. For example: TV, radio, newspapers, industry and association publications, professional journals, podcasts and websites/blogs.

Build and organize a spreadsheet to house your list

Construct the layout of your media list in a spreadsheet, like Microsoft Excel, so you can make sure to gather complete information while researching your media contacts. For example, enter the name of each media listing as a new row. Then create a column for each part of the contact’s details including:

  • media name
  • contact first name
  • contact last name
  • title
  • phone number
  • email address
  • Twitter handle
  • LinkedIn profile

Also include a space to link to their latest relevant news story and a column for notes to record your history with the contact (if they are interested in your story, if they’ve told you their preferred method for contact, if they’ve asked to not be contacted, etc.)

A sample media list spreadsheet ready to be populated with information

Categorize your selected media by outlet type. For example, group all of your TV media outlets together. If your list is large enough, you may want to give each media outlet type its own tab in the spreadsheet. You can make one tab just for TV, another tab just for newspapers, etc.

Once the layout of the media list is done and you know what information you are looking for, you can research the contacts to add to your media list.

Research media contacts and collect important information

Research media contacts who have written about topics similar to the information you will send them. For example, on a newspaper’s website you can use the search bar to enter a common phrase associated with your topic. This may pull up news stories and columns by writers who have written about this topic. Additionally, you may be able to find a list of journalists and their beats by visiting the newspaper’s “Contact us” or “About us” pages.

For each newspaper, TV station, radio, etc. that you want to reach out to, obtain contact details for each column you created in your media list.

Make a note of the contact’s recent works (news articles, blog posts, videos, etc.) related to your topic. Understanding their bodies of work will help you write a custom email (“pitch”) that will increase your chances of catching their attention.

Monitor and update your list

A media list is a living creature. As the contacts on your list get new jobs, promotions and/or cover different beats, your media list will change. Make sure to reflect those changes in your media list so you don’t lose a valuable PR opportunity by sending your organization’s information to an outdated media list.

This may not be as much of an issue for media lists that are created for specific campaigns and will be used for a short amount of time, but plan to go through any long-term, general use media lists every six months to make sure your contacts’ information is still accurate.

Even if you use a media directory service that automates the media list creation process, chances are you will still have to go through the list and confirm contact information and review their bodies of work. Some tasks cannot easily be handed over to technology. With well-honed research skills and a targeted media list, a nonprofit public relations professional can tackle anything that comes their way!

Via Linda Alberts of Non Profit MarCommunity

Rhodes Must fall

                                              Rhodes Statue: 1934 – 2015
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Rewind back to the 9th of March 2015. It’s a gorgeous summers day cooled down by Cape Town’s quiet breeze. But something seems off. As students commuting around the UCT campus begin to notice, a fetid odor lingers. This is due to Chumani Maxwele, an outraged UCT student who decided to throw faeces at “Rhodes,[an] Exhibit [of] White Arrogance”. One thing is clear from the events that transpired: it stuck.

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes perches over an ex   quisite Cape Town deep in thought. It serves as a reminder of his “benevolent financial contributions” to UCT. This “benevolence” is at odds with many of Rhodes’s actions. A slaver trader and brazen colonialist, many feel that Rhodes is a figure of white supremacy and imperialism. “By throwing it on the statue we are throwing our shame to whites’ affluence,” Chumani insists. He and his fellow students hoped to call in to question why a man with such a tainted legacy is the most prominent feature of what was meant to be a equitable university.

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“Rhodes Must Fall. Out of His Dust, May UCT Rise.”- Max Price, UCT Vice Chancellor

Almost immediately that fateful afternoon on March 9th, the Student Representative Council organized and mobilized the #RhodesMustFall movement at remarkable pace. Mass meetings were held regularly on campus, protested ensued across the campus and, towards the most recent stages of the campaign,  students began occupying the university’s administrative wing (Brenmnar Building). Their efforts all a part of a larger mission to “Transform UCT” into a more inclusive university, rather than merely displace a statue.

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“Transformation” is a tricky term. To some it symbolizes the shift towards a more diverse community, but to others it is a tired game of semantics the protestors are utilizing instead of pursuing real progress. To some this is a history that we need to “move on” from rather than constantly revert back to. It would be foolish, however, to not acknowledge that in some form students are constantly confronted with the remnants of an Apartheid legacy. Whether or not one agrees removing the statue is the best course of action, this is a hard truth that these discussions have brought to light.
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Chumani’s actions gave birth to the discussion about race and other marginalization in Africa’s highest ranked institution. It was an emotional process that sparked one of the most pertinent dialogues about redressing South Africa’s past. The concept of “Intersectionality” has been at the core of these discussions. This was never about one statue, or one raced being marginalized – a deep desire to address all the fundamental prejudices in UCT has underscored these demonstrations. One cannot confront white privilege without confronting the same mentality that is the center of male privilege. This became evident in the overwhelming support received from the LGBTQIA+ collectives, Feminist Groups, and the international community.

So, “Rhodes Has Fallen” the headlines have told you – what matters though is finding all the invisible Rhodes statues and putting up just as good a fight. We need to be able to collectively uproot the structures that oppress minorities, and promote an inclusive South Africa (or as we at Ripple like to say, be active change-makers) . At the very least,  let’s get rid of that awful smell.