The Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising was conceptualised in 1985 by a group of five concerned fundraisers who felt the need for an organisation which would effectively promote and uplift the fundraising profession. After numerous informal meetings and long after hour telephone conversations a Constitution was signed in November 1987 and SAIF was launched as a voluntary association.
SAIF is the only body representing the fundraising profession in Southern Africa. It is registered as a Non-Profit Organisation with the Department of Social Development.
Celebrating 25 years in service to the development of professionalism in fundraising for South African non-profit organisations we share some of the highlights;
- SAIF Founding member is co-opted to the faculty of the Indiana University Centre of Philanthropy, a move to strengthen the profession in South Africa.
- In 1990 hosting the first-ever fundraising convention in South Africa at the Carlton Hotel with more than 500 delegates, more than half from other African countries.
- SAIF in partnership with the University of South Africa (Unisa) provided the first-ever accredited course in Fundraising Management in 1993. More than 600 students signed up for the programme over 5 years, eighty-five completed the course holding the prestigious Certificate in Fundraising Management (CFRM Unisa).
- This pioneering initiative was followed by a partnership with Intec College, which launched a correspondence course in Fundraising Administration in 1997.
- Participation in the formulation of the Non-Profit Act 1997 and National Development Agency Act of 1998.
- Lobbying in 1998 for changes to the tax status of non-profit organisations through the submission of a position paper to the South African Revenue Services that would benefit charities and good causes as well as their donors.
- In January 2000, SAIF established a new division, SAIF Education and Training, which with the full support of interrelated education institutions drove the process towards accredited trainers, formal and informal training programmes. This step was taken after an academic research study highlighted the need for in-class courses and workshops as opposed to distance learning.
- Presenting People to People (PTPI) seminars in Johannesburg and Cape Town with members of AFP to enhance international understanding and friendship.
- In early 2005, SAIF: Education and Training, in line with regulations governing training bodies that were accredited with the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) became a separate entity and in the process changed its name to Centre for Resource and Funding Training. This organisation remained operational and closely aligned to SAIF until new leadership agreed to change direction.
- Co-ordination of Resource Alliance, International Resource Mobilisation Workshop in Johannesburg March 2004.
- Founding members of the Council for Communication Management, a body to strengthen the position of One Voice, One Profession in regard to common standards of practice, transformation, diversity and ethics. Other members included;
- Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Government Communications (GCIS), Investor Communications of SA (IRISA), Public Relations Institute of SA (PRISA), Unitech and SAComm (academic institutions),
- Introduction of Continuing Professional Development system wherein members can accumulate credits by attending SAIF events, writing opinion pieces and sharing their experiences with new members.
- Participating in International Fundraising Summits working towards the creation of the International Statement of Ethical Principles in Fundraising, an initiative to foster the growth of a worldwide fundraising community dedicated to accountability, transparency and effectiveness in 2006.
- Signing of Cooperation agreement with Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in 2011.