SAIF’s History & Activism - development of legislation, policies and ethics

Ann Bown
Ann Bown
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

SAIF was established in 1987 by a group of concerned organisations - the SACC, Boys Town, Salvation Army, World Vision, Methodist Church and a fundraising consultancy.

The Fundraising Act of 1978 may have been a key motivator for establishing the Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising after charities experienced difficulties in obtaining a fundraising number due to political interference. Chapters I & III of this Act were repealed in 1997. Chapter II is before parliament right now!

The NPO Act 1997 gained full participation of non-profit organisations from around the country.

The Lotteries Act (No 57 of 1997)

The NDA Act (108 of 1998)

And SARS Tax Exemption (from Section 10 to Public Benefit

Policy & Professional Ethics

SAIF Worked alongside the former World Council of Fundraising & International Fundraising Group (IFRG) in developing a Professional Code of Ethics in Fundraising (IFRG is now Resource Alliance) (AFP was AAFRC thenNSFR then NSFRE) (IoF now CIOF) (IFA now FIA) & involved with early CFRE accreditation framework.

The Model Code of Good Practice published in four languages in 2001 is part of the NPO Act mandate for self-regulation. The content was produced by a SAIF member. In 2009 a panel of ’experts’ carried out an assessment with recommendations for re-publication. This is still to be done!

International Statement on Ethical Principles in Fundraising (commenced in 2002 with 45 countries at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands. SAIF played a major role in drafting this document to finalisation in 2005 and worked on subsequent amendments.

Standards of Fundraising Practice

Our standards are presented as being the benchmark forf undraising excellence and set out our shared framework for working to thehighest level and in the best interests of our causes, while respecting ourd onors and being accountable in our work.

Responsibility to fully comply with relevant legislation and regulatory standards

  • Fundraisers will work according to the national and international legal obligations that apply to their organisation’s location,legal form, and activities.
  • Fundraisers will follow any agreed upon regulatory systemsfor fundraising and specific codes of practice for fundraising that are set intheir location.
  • Fundraisers will not take action that could constituteprofessional misconduct or create a conflict of interest.

Two of SAIF’s Key Objectives

  • To promote any legislation and to enter into anynegotiation or arrangement with any government or other authorities in connectionwith fundraising.
  • To provide means of serving the interests of members of theInstitute in all matters pertaining to the profession of fundraising.

Challenge going forward

  • As a ‘fundraiser’ you will always be the face of your organisation,the public face. You have a responsibility to ensure good governance,compliance, integrity, truthfulness and public trust.
  • Keep abreast of change happening in civil society not onlyin South Africa & Africa, but the global landscape. An NPO Amendment Billis happening right now!
  • Advocate for ethics, accountability and transparency. Makesure you have a voice, make sure your organisation is heard otherwise civilsociety will diminish, fundraising will diminish and SAIF will diminish.