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MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet raises more than R6m a month

| Social Responsibility

Launched in 1997, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Initially aimed at empowering consumers to make a difference to education, the programme has grown significantly and today raises more than R6m a month for a wide range of schools, charities and conservation organisations.

With 1.2-million supporters, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has raised over R500m during its 20 years. 

“Our model is really simple and impactful and consistent, and that’s what people enjoy,” says Pieter Twine, general manager of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet. “It is fundraising for causes that people really care about and empowering them to choose where the money goes. This makes MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet highly relevant in the lives of customers, partners' stores, schools, charities and conservation organisations. Customers, businesses and communities are connected in a practical way with everyone playing their part to make a difference in our country.”

Expanding the fundraising programme

Over the decades, the fundraising programme has not just grown but evolved in order to optimise impact. In 2007, MyVillage and MyPlanet were added as additional options for people who wanted to give back to more causes and to be relevant to those supporters whose children had finished school. Several dedicated funds have also been developed to make it easy for supporters to target their giving to relevant and important causes. In that same year, the Thuso Fund for Schools and Charities was created to specifically assist under-resourced schools and charities in communities.

In 2011, during the shocking surge of rhino poaching, the MyPlanet Rhino Fund was established with the Endangered Wildlife Trust as its administrator. This enabled customers to avoid the subsequent bloom of rhino fundraising scams and gave them peace of mind that their efforts to help save Rhinos were supporting bona fide conservation organisations and projects. To date, R9.3m has been raised thanks to MyPlanet Rhino Fund supporters. These funds are backing different projects across the country including investments in security, equipment, training, rhino orphan rehabilitation and anti-poaching tracker dogs.

The Dream2Teach Scholarship Fund was launched by the programme in September this year. Dream2Teach enables supporters to raise funds to provide bursaries to matriculants with a passion to become a teacher but no other means to fund their tertiary education. The fund’s aim is to empower South Africans to contribute directly to growing quality teachers without costing them a cent, and MySchool has committed to an initial lump-sum investment of R1m to fund the first two qualifying students.

Goal to double its impact

“Our 20th anniversary is a natural time to take stock,” says Twine. “We are so grateful for the 1.2-million South Africans on board and swiping their cards to make a difference and there is still much we can do and should do to support South Africa’s schools and community organisations. Our next goal is to double our impact by having at least two million supporters. With amazing partners such as Woolworths, Engen and Bidvest Waltons we have built long term relationships that stood the test of time. Online partner and travel partner Flight Centre are now also on board, increasing the opportunities for their customers to make a difference.”

To mark its 20th anniversary, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet is running a campaign to encourage supporters and influencers to talk about their favourite cause, using the hashtag #MySchool20 on Facebook or Twitter. 20 customers can each win a R20,000 Woolworths gift card plus a R20,000 cash donation to their school or charity.


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