Stationery Drive 2020

It is finally back to school, back to work and back into routine. The last week of holidays was extremely interesting for me. Being self employed I do not take leave and a large portion of my job is social media and identifying the needs of various members of the community.

The biggest, and most obvious requirement for December was stationery. I pinpointed, by the end of December, that at least 50 of my acquaintances were struggling to afford stationery. All, I assume, eventually planned, received from family, friends and various charities but I cannot imagine the stress that they went through to get their children school ready.

After much debate, I am proposing a challenge and I hope that I can find some people to join me in helping to collect and distribute stationery in December 2019. There are no specific rules of what should be bought, but preferably I would like to send the children to school with new stationery, and not second hand. The reason is, that halfway through the year, the second hand or used stationery has run out and mom and dad have to replace anyway so there is no real saving in the long term.

Stationery is generally standard requirements which includes pens, pencils, glue sticks, rulers, erasers, sharpeners, pencil crayons, retractable wax crayons, felt tip pens, highlighters, fine liners, plastic books covers and watercolor paints. It doesn’t seem much, but these basic items come to an average total cost of about R800 and this excludes what the school specifically requires, a pencil case, school bag, notebooks, flip files and text books.

I am asking you, if you can make a small difference this year and have a box in your office or home and when you are shopping for stationery, to please buy one extra item and put it into your box. In December, you can contact me to collect and I will plan to distribute to those in need.

If you would like to become involved and donate stationery, please send me an email on

The Benefits of Giving Back to Society

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”. The Dalai Lama

Last year everyone felt the financial crunch and this year the isn’t going to be much of an improvement as we recover. However, it is still as important for you to give those that are less fortunate.

Let us take your household for example, assuming that you have an average of two children in your family – each child received at least two presents for Christmas (whether small or big) and were treated to at least one special outing during the holidays.

Now let’s take a child that is living in institution – hundreds of these children did not get any presents at all due to a lack of giving from the community. These children were not taken on a special outing due to lack of funding.

Unfortunately, I have had to start this article on a negative, as we need to know that as we, the middle class, are feeling the burden of the economy, we can still afford the little luxuries that other people cannot.

This year let us all try to support those who literally have absolutely nothing.

Taken from the Huffpost, here are three reasons why companies should leverage their own financial success to help those around them:

By participating in philanthropic initiatives, you are helping your employees feel good about themselves and proud to be an employee of your company. This in turn builds loyalty. By involving your staff in philanthropic efforts they invest less in themselves in their work and the quality of their work improves.

By giving back to a charity within your community, the community reciprocates and offers their support. Thus, a mutually beneficial relationship is formed. When you and your staff participate in community events, you are allowing yourself to meet members of the community in which you work, this builds a strong networking opportunity and the potential to gain new and more customers. Community members are those who will speak either positively or negatively about your business. Gain the trust of the community, and it’s a surefire way to gain more customers for your own business.

A study conducted by Cone Communications and Echo Research revealed that more than 90% of consumers would switch to a brand supporting a good cause. Additionally, 85% of millennials correlate their purchasing power to the responsible efforts a company is making. Millennials are the MOST sought-after target market today and their collective purchasing power measures in the hundreds of billions!

If you would like to speak further about giving back and the organisations that your company should support, please send an email to

Small Business Giving

Despite being a small business, there are still hundreds of ways that you can give back to your community.  Here are some guidelines of how and what you can do to assist:

  • Choose a specific charity close to your office.
  • Find out exactly what the charity offers and what recognition applies.
  • Request an NPO certificate – this ensures that the charity is legitimate and registered with the Department of Social Development.
  • If you would like to make a financial contribution, find out if the charity is registered as a PBO. If they are you can claim back on your annual tax return.

Below are some ideas of how to give back on a budget:

  • Give presents – there are several smaller projects that care for children or the elderly. Everyone loves a present. Why not drop off a toy or two at your local children’s charity or some toiletries at your local old age home.
  • Donate something off the Charity Wishlist – there are often smaller items including tins of non-perishable foods, cleaning materials, hygiene products and nappies.
  • Clean up and donate – clutter in your work drawers can be gems for charity administration departments. Pencils, pens, plastic folders, files, scissors, notebooks, you name it. Next time you are about throw away old branding materials, think of your local charity – it would be greatly appreciated.
  • Furniture – thinking of rehauling your office and purchasing new furniture – charities love desks, chairs and filing cabinets that always come in handy. Please contact your local charity to arrange collection, most will gladly collect as long as you are in close proximity.




 Today, a friend I met almost a month ago posted this quote on a what’s app group that we belong to. Little did I realize that it was an apt beginning to what I have to share with you.

Almost ten years ago, I married my best friend and soulmate, at the Hyatt Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg. It was the last big party (Simcha), that our family shared before my mom lost her battle to cancer. Mom was besotted with butterflies, so much so, that she converted her spare bedroom into the “Butterfly Room”. When she felt ill or was at her lowest during her struggle, this room became her solace.

After mom passed away, and in her loving memory, we embossed a butterfly on her tombstone.

A month ago, I attend a More to Life Weekend, and during this time, I let go of emotion, sadness and resentment that I was carrying around with me for years. Dealing with mom’s death properly over the past month has made me stronger – a little sadder than usual at times; but knowing that I can cope and that she will always be a part of me has turned my life around.

On Sunday 26th November 2017, I met Addi Lang, a beautiful woman with Stage Four Cancer. We arranged, at Addi’s suggestion, to meet at the Hyatt Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Yesterday, Addi informed me that she could be identified by her butterfly shirt – representing the Butterfly effect.

Addi, like my mom, has opted not to have treatment, not to go through any more of the chemo, and to live each day as it comes. She refuses to let cancer rule her – just like my mom. Call it hocus pocus, call it coincidence, but Addi Lang and I have crossed paths for a reason.

Addi, like mom, want to go to Israel, to go to the Western Wall, just like mom. While she is there, she, with her soulmate and partner, David, would like to meet his family, visit historic places and see the medical technology available for cancer patients. Although mom did not express an interest in medical technology, she did want to visit the dead sea, and other historical places – she didn’t get there.

I want to help Addi to realize her dream and raise enough money for her and David to visit Israel, and ensure that they can complete their mission together.

If you would like to donate, please click here

Should you wish to learn more about Addi’s journey, please click here

We are currently working on a webiste, which will be powered by Wix to allow people to post personal messages of love and hope to those who we have lost and those who are fighting the battle. Should you wish your message to be included on the website, please email your message to


My Favourite Charity Shop!

A year ago, I wrote an article about second hand shops and why some work for me, and others don’t. A year on, I have found a favourite, and when I am in the area, I make a point of popping in, even if I am not particularly looking for anything specific. It is a pleasure to be at the Tails and Whiskers Charity Shop, Corner off van Riebeck and 3rd Street, Edenvale, Gauteng.

This is why:

It doesn’t feel like a charity shop:

It’s well organised. I walk in and know where I am going. The books are in a really comfortable corner, set up like a tiny library. The beautiful glass vases are all in one place, the nick nacks are in another – it’s neat and its beautifully arranged.

Everything is marked

No surprises in this shop – what is marked is what is paid – and everything is marked – neatly and legibly! What a pleasure! I walk in with a certain amount of money and know exactly what I can buy and for how much before I get to the till point.

The Staff are Friendly and Welcoming

These two wonderful ladies are always smiling, always ready for a chat and Oliver just brings a smile to my face every single time! I have also earned the nickname “Miss Pollyanna”, which means that I am appreciated. A little chat, and, even if nothing bought, no guilty feelings – we all know that I am going to make up for it at some stage! Not only that, they are willing to also give to other charities and help out where help is needed – BIG THUMBS UP!

There has never been a heartbreak in my house

I have bought several DVD’s and Books for my kids from Tails and Whiskers and not one of the DVD’s have been scratched and the books are as new (if not genuinely new)! Thank you, ladies, for allowing my kids to watch Pollyanna about 10 million times in the last month, greatly appreciated.

If you are a charity shop fundi, or, even if you are not, treat yourself to a trip to this fantastic little shop – you will not regret it. Just remember, take cash as there are no credit/debit card facilities.






Webinar on Fundraising – to do or not to do

By show of hands (or comments in this case), would anyone be interested in attending a live webinar with me. The first webinar, which will of course be free of charge, will cover the topic “Researching Donors: Who, Where, How and What”. I will share the how, where and when to approach donors by email, telephone and letter writing and what to do when the opportunity arises at a networking event.

Please let me know if this would interest you, and what other topics would be beneficial to your work at the moment.

Crowdfunding Training… this is how it started

Jill Richie at Papillon Press is who I am striving to follow. A successful fundraiser, author of a variety of books and very loved donor databases, holds the most incredible training in Cape Town and Johannesburg. I have had the privilege of attending most of Jill’s Training Sessions and have recently completed her Crowd Funding Course.

Being who I am, I needed to know what Crowdfunding was so that I didnt walk into the workshop “stupid”. I wanted to know how this all worked, how people got money donated and a whole lot of other questions answered. So, I went ahead and set up a really weak campaign…. and Thundafund came back with a very short and sweet, we see you have started your campaign ….. and something along the lines of…. do you need help?

After the course, I lost hope – you need a crowd to crowdfund…. and I completely forgot about my very bad attempt at crowdfunding until I got another email from Thundafund, reminding me that I should carry on with my Campaign – my new mantra is “what have I got to lose”.

Will let you know how that goes 🙂

Advertising on Facebook

A while ago I mentioned that I wanted to advertise via Social Media – and this month, I went ahead and did it – ALL WRONG and I am still trying to work it out.

I have received a lot of “likes” and have reached over 2 000 people but I am not attracting the audience that I expected. Great to have likes and super to have new followers who can definitely help the community but where are all the Fundraising Managers, NPO staff, people with a common interest. The trend that I am finding is that many students are liking my photo  – which means I have to keep it trendy and upbeat – I like it but where to from here, and another thought – they are not liking my page either….

Loving the advertising, loving the thread of adverts (thank you again to Living Photography) but how does this Facebook Advertising lark actually work.

I would love to hear what you have to say about this – please let me know in the comments section of this post.

Posted by Fat Cat Fundraising Consultants on Monday, 26 June 2017


Crowd Funding and Thundafund

I have so far, had the most amazing time setting up my very own fundraising campaign. I have grown way out of my office space and, lets face it, working from home is definitely not for sissies. I also have a problem separating work from home and thus interfering with my work-life balance. I often find myself working until 2 am and wondering how I am going to finish today’s work in just  a few hours.

I am now on my final leg of Thundafund set up (I am waiting for the third approval) and hope to go live in the next few days. Watch this space for the link to my ThundaFund Campaign.

For a sneak peak, you can see my Vimeo here