Stop the begging: thoughts on the potential closure of Rape Crisis

Here is my letter that was published in the Cape Times in October 2008 in response to an article on the potential closure of Rape Crisis. The letter discusses how this is part of a larger phenomenon. It proposes how non-profit organizations need to learn to think and operate differently.

Descent into Xenophobic Violence

This passionate letter was published in the Cape Times in early 2008 about the xenophobic violence that has gripped the country.

It discusses how, as a proud South African, I am dismayed by how our Rainbow Nation has descended into a state of xenophobic violence. It has certainly put a black mark against our name. I also discuss how this sad turn of events is symptomatic of poor government performance in a number of areas, and the role of some of our leaders in promoting racial and cultural categorization.

The business model of nonprofit organizations is flawed

This letter was published in the Cape Times in May 2008 in response to a letter by Sheilagh Gastrow. It acknowledges that it is difficult for non-profit organizations to find the funding they need to fulfil their purpose, and to sustain their operations while complying with their donors’ requirements.

However, emphasizes that the business model embraced by traditional non-profit organizations has some fundamental flaws. It discusses these flaws and what non-profit organizations can do to overcome them.

What nonprofit organizations can learn from the closure of the Nonprofit Consortium

This letter of mine was published in the Cape Times in May 2008. It reflects on the sad irony of the closure of the Non-Profit Consortium – that an organization that worked so hard to create an environment where non-profit organizations can thrive and find the income they need, has itself not been able to find sufficient funds to enable it to continue to fulfil its own purpose. It discusses the lesson and opportunity for other non-profit organizations.

BEE-ing Out of The Box

Read my letter to Business Day in April 2008 in response to the interesting and seemingly counterintuitive business deal was recently concluded between Ikamva Labantu, a Cape Town-based non-profit organization (NPO) that builds crèches and shelters and supports foster mothers, and ITEC Holdings, a supplier of office automation.

It discusses the important precedent of this deal, and reflects on the various parties will be able to derive a strategic benefit. I expect we will see many more such deals in the future as the B-BBEE codes become more embedded in the way we do business.

Nonprofit organizations need to demonstrate value

Here is my letter to People’s Post in April 2008 in response to the disbanding of the Fairest Cape Association due to lack of funding. It once again highlights how the plight of many non-profit organizations (NPOs) that rely on the mercy of their funders for survival.

It suggests that this is clearly not the way to sustain a non-profit organization, especially since there are over one hundred thousand non-profit organizations competing for the same pool of funders. The closure of the Fairest Cape is clearly part of a larger trend that will shake the foundation of the non-profit sector in South Africa.

South African businesses amongst the most philanthropic in the world

This letter was published in the Business Day in April 2008 in response to Grant Thornton’s International Business Survey. It discusses how South African businesses are amongst the most philanthropic in the world. It also highlights how many are failing to derive any strategic value from their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Programmes.

Iraq war is not a long term solution: resources should be used for healing and development

Read my letter that was published in the Cape Times, Cape Argus and Business Day in April 2003 in response to the war in Iraq.

It discusses how many of the published letters I’ve read in recent weeks have been about the war in Iraq. Most of the writers have either tended to blame George Bush or Saddam Hussein for the war.

However, this war is clearly a manifestation of the way in which these two leaders and their countries have interacted over the last few decades. It is a results of the short-term solutions that have been employed on the problems in Iraq.

The leaders of both these countries have sought win-lose as opposed to win-win solutions. But in reality everyone loses. War destroys people and breeds hatred.

Cultivating strategic clarity.

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