In 2011 we received R700,197 (2010: R1,284,358) by way of individual contributions. This was added to the contribution of R2.1 million from the DG Murray Trust for a total of around R2,800,000 million paid out in the form of access bursaries (including the administration cost of these bursaries). This figure is part of the R28 million in total bursary payments in 2011 (in more than 7000 transactions).
Although the contributions from private donors account for only 2.4% of our total bursary expenditure, the smaller size of the bursaries allows us to reach a greater number. In 2011 a total of 77 beneficiaries (14%) were sponsored by individual donors. Of the 77 beneficiaries whose bursaries were provided by individual donors, 30 studied for degree programmes at universities, 22 for diplomas or degrees at Universities of Technology, 2 for certificates at FET Colleges, 3 at Agricultural Colleges and 18 were in high school (Grades 9-12).
The reason for emphasising the greater reach of a comparably smaller amount received is in part a response to a few enquiries we received from individual donors, along the lines of: “Is my contribution still making a difference, in the light of your recent growth?” The importance and reach of our access programme should speak for itself. But that is only part of the answer. There is something else.
We always remind our beneficiaries that we represent a larger community of donors, including the wonderful people working in the CSI and Talent Recruitment and Development departments of our corporate donors. Our individual donors play an essential role in this community. It is, thanks to the visionary efforts of the founders, a diverse community, bringing together members of several other communities that were separated by political, religious and cultural factors in the past. When we introduce beneficiaries to one another during our orientation workshops, we always ask them to name their sponsor. We then tell the story of the various sponsors and stress that we are representing these members of our community – people who contributed over many years to our mission of giving hope. This is a powerful message. It inspires our bursary students. Many of them remain part of this community – now as donors, after they have fulfilled their obligations to their families.