This issue focuses on various aspects of corporate social investment (CSI), with both Be Part of the Change (p58) and Giving With Impact (p36) stressing the need to make a real commitment to effecting change.
Too many companies allow their CSI initiatives to be subsumed by administrative structures, resulting in the wrong kind of help going to inappropriate recipients. Worse, philanthropy practised in this way becomes an arbitrary, mechanical exercise, lacking any real engagement with the communities who require it. It also distances donors from the people they’re trying to assist. The same applies to mentoring. The help we give to others ought to come from our strongest, most authentic selves in order to truly empower the recipients.
As Lynette Ntuli, founder and CEO of Innate Investment Solutions, says in our Powerhouse feature (p40): “I don’t want to wait until I’m 50 and on the verge of an autobiography to mentor others.” While our country’s legislation now obliges companies to engage in CSI, we shouldn’t need prompting. As South Africans, we have a culture that’s grounded in compassion and respect. “Ubuntu” may be a buzzword in other parts of the world, but for us, it’s simply a fact – even a prerequisite – of living.