by Carrie Greenstone

Change the World

A platform to give

Tammy Dutton from NOAH, with many of the children at the Ark
Volunteers make life worthwhile

As we ring in the New Year, millions of people make resolutions to change their lives for the better, hoping to lose weight, quit smoking, spend more time with their families or make other life improvements. The season of giving inspires many to resolve to help people around them and make the world a better place. A newly launched web and mobi-site can now help you carry the spirit of goodwill and giving throughout the year ahead. 


Vodacom has created a place where you can find opportunities to donate your time and money to non-profit organisations (NPOs) that need help. This online platform enables the public to search for an NPO, read its basic profile, view what projects and needs it has, contact the NPO, and SMS to a dedicated short code to make a cash donation in a safe and easy way.

 

This initiative forms part of the Vodacom Change the World (CtW) programme, a ground-breaking programme that enables volunteers to work for any NPO of their choice for a year, at no cost to the volunteer and host organisation.

 

“The Vodacom Change the World initiative, now in its third successful year, is unable to accommodate everyone who has applied to be a volunteer and we have had to turn away hundreds of South Africans who wanted to make a difference. Through our newly launched public participation platform, Vodacom can provide everyone with an opportunity to participate and rally behind their preferred NPO through volunteering time, goods or cash,” says Maya Makanjee, chief officer of corporate affairs at Vodacom.

 

Phase one will see the public participation platform comprising the 20 NPOs that have taken part in the Vodacom Change the World 2011 and 2012 programme. Phase two will see the list grow to 40 organisations in April. Thereafter, the platform will be open to all NPOs to register themselves.

 

“Our vision is to eventually enable all South Africans to give to NPOs through our mobile technology platforms, ensuring that 100% of the donations reach the hundreds of credible NPOs that will benefit from the platform.”

 

Makanjee adds that Vodacom is excited about working in close partnership with the Praekelt Foundation and Sunday Times to ensure the programme lives up to its full potential by helping to make a difference to those in need.

 

Marcha Neethling from Praekelt Foundation says: “We were excited and honoured when approached by Vodacom to partner with them on this campaign. We have built a web solution that will provide much-needed assistance for the NPO sector. With more households in South Africa having cellphones than computers, combining mobile web access and SMS donations substantially increases the reach of this initiative – making it easier for all to get involved.

 

Meanwhile, Sunday Times editor Ray Hartley encourages the newspaper's readers to use the platform to help make a difference.

 

The Vodacom public participation platform will give all South Africans – irrespective of which mobile network they belong to – the opportunity to donate money through a direct fund-raising channel by way of SMS donations. Vodacom customers will be able to donate free of charge, with all proceeds going to their nominated NPO.

 

Vodacom customers can choose to donate any amount from R5 to R200 in increments of R1 (total payments limited to R200 per month) by sending their chosen NPO keyword and an amount they wish to donate, to 30100. (Neither Vodacom, the Vodacom Trust, nor any of our respective agents will deduct or retain any portion of the donation Vodacom customers make using CtW, nor receive any commission, interest, rebate or other profit on any donation.)


Other network subscribers can donate a fixed amount of R30 per SMS at a premium rate by sending their NPO keyword to 42600. (Applicable fees are paid to the WASP that facilitates the donation. One hundred percent of what Vodacom collects from other network operators will be donated to the relevant NPOs.)

 

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