Four ways technology is making it easier to give this Mandela Day


Mandela Day (July 18) is a day that many people in South Africa dedicate to volunteering for causes and charities that are close to their hearts. This year, with the devastating effect of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis on communities and people, it’s more important than ever to give.

At this time of physical distancing, Alcatel suggests some ways in which technology can help connect donors to non-profit organisations (NPOs) and charitable causes:

  1. Crowdfunding  

Crowdfunding is when individuals or organisations fund a project with small donations from many people, usually via an online platform. Popular platforms in South Africa include Givengain, Thundafund and Backabuddy. Here, you will find many causes and people seeking to raise funds, or start a fundraiser of your own for a cause that matters to you. One benefit is the opportunity to make a difference for an individual such as a person who needs help to afford an educational opportunity or a surgical procedure.

2. Donations via text

Sometimes donating is as simple as sending a text message. Many South African causes and charities have SMS donation lines that allow you to make a small once-off or recurring donation. The amount is deducted from your airtime or reflected on your monthly bill.

3. Mobile wallets

Many major charities today run websites, where you can make a donation using a range of payment options including bank transfer, instant EFT, card and mobile wallet. In some cases, it’s as easy as snapping a QR code on a website from your smartphone using Zapper, Masterpass or SnapScan.

Charities like Afrika Tikkun and Gift of the Givers are examples. The payments company, PayFast, also has a list of verified charities spanning every region of the country and encompassing any cause you can imagine. You can search for one you are passionate about and easily donate from the website.

4. Social media

The national lockdown has had a dramatic effect on NPOs and charity workers in South Africa, making it harder for them to go out into the community to raise funds. One way to help is to simply follow your favourite organisation or cause on social media to keep up to date with their news and their appeals for help. Sharing their content with your friends and family can also help them in their mission.