Giving back with Real purpose – A first of its kind model for SA

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Giving Back With Real Purpose – A First of its Kind Model for SA

The allure of the Cape Wine Auction, set to take place next on 10 and 11 February, might seem to be mingling with international and local wealthy and successful people casting their eye on rare, exclusive wines, unique experiences and travel up for auction. But the guests parting generously with their wealth are universal in their giving – to make a profound impact on education and the lives of children in the Cape Winelands.

The Cape Wine Auction has raised a staggering R31 million in three years and created a unique funding model, a first for South Africa, to ensure that the money is invested for maximum impact. Cape Wine Auction Trust facilitator Andi Norton says that the collaborative approach and first of its kind donor funding model contributed greatly to the outstanding results.

“We know that donor fatigue sets in when funders do not perceive a real return on social investment, so we decided to create a model whereby all our beneficiaries are collaborating, sharing expertise and working together and not in isolation as one often finds with some charitable organisations. We track progress, instill accountability, streamline services to reduce overlapping and manage spending the money raised wisely”

SPARK School Lynedoch is a living example of this collaborative model where the Cape Wine Auction Trust does not only invest in what happens in the classroom, but also alleviates some of the barriers to education. In the short span of only one year they have created an outstanding success story with Literacy improving by 55%, and Maths by 30% across all grades.

The Lynedoch Primary School, on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, was set to close at the end of 2015 but the Cape Wine Auction together with SPARK Schools and the University of Stellenbosch’s Sustainability Institute stepped in to ensure that that the children of the surrounding wine farms would have access to world-class education, care facilities, social services and nutrition.

“SPARK Schools offer a revolutionary methodology for primary school children in Africa with an individualised learning approach which combines teacher-led instruction with technology-based learning to track and improve children’s progress. It’s truly world-class and by incorporating some of our beneficiaries to complete a full service we are able to offer the children an incredible head-start in life.”

In addition to the sponsored tuition, the Lunch Box Fund provides nutritious meals and snacks; the Anna Foundation manages an after-school club; Community Keepers social workers and psychologists are on-site offering trauma counseling and mental health support; and the Click Foundation offers full-time access to computers and literacy software.

The funding, success rate and accountability is overseen by a Board of Trustees consisting of Wendy Applebaum, Ken Kinsey-Quick, Siobhan Thompson, Mike Ratcliffe, Raymond Ndlovu and Paul Cluver who share their time and expertise to ensure that the funding is strategically invested with complete transparency.

“Potential beneficiaries are subjected to a stringent due diligence process, and once selected they work collaboratively to maximise impact and create real change on the ground. The network of 22 beneficiaries meet each other at beneficiary workshops and often form relationships to provide various services to ensure that children in need have access to the best education, care, nutrition and social development from early childhood until they start their careers. By creating an environment whereby beneficiaries share expertise and resources we minimise duplication amongst organisations and provide a strategic framework which they can work more effectively in.”

The next Cape Wine Auction takes place on 10 and 11 February 2017 and will be attended by local and international gests parting generously with their wealth in support of education in the Winelands.

Auction director Darielle Robertson says, “We believe that our guests come back every year not only for the auction experience but because they know that they are supporting an initiative that is making a real difference in breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering children with education and the chance towards a bright future.

Guests pay for the privilege to attend and tickets cost R 1 850 per person for access to the Friday evening Barrel Auction, and R5 000 per person for both the Friday and Saturday events. Sponsored by American Express the Barrel Auction lures wine collectors to bid on and taste directly from the barrels and in the company of the winemakers – once off, specially curated and limited release wines.

The Nedbank Private Wealth Auction on the Saturday is a grandiose luncheon with flamboyant local and international personalities bidding to take ownership of one of the 35 bespoke lots up for auction.

“What people are willing to pay for an experience or exclusive wine largely depends on the day, but last year a record was broken when the first bottle of Touch Warwick Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 together with a luxury golf tour with TBo ‘Touch” Molefe and Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick Estate, was sold for R1.3 million.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit

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