Why do we give? Yes, surely we hope that by giving of ourselves, whether it’s our time or expertise, we can make a difference. This is noble, however, in the business of giving, we take for granted that all giving is positively impactful.
CSI Legacy Awards finalist Next Generation is here to help us navigate CSI -social development and investment initiatives with the aim of fostering ‘intelligent giving’ as there is far more to philanthropy than simply funding a cause, no matter how worthy.
“Our goal is to address economic, social and environmental challenges for our client organisations while ensuring measurable impact and return on investment.”
For the past twenty years, the multidisciplinary and highly respected experts at Next Generation have been dedicated to tackling the most complex and challenging problems facing the continent. Furthermore, this consultancy is by no means a stranger to being recognized for the work they have done and continues to do.
Over the years, Next Generation has been nominated for Best South African Company SMME Awards by the African Growth Institute. It also gained nominations for Most Empowered South African Company, the Global Women Leadership Achievement Award in India and the South African Business Award by Global Media. Their work spans all industries and includes clients such as Aspen Pharmacare, Adcock, Pioneer Foods, Tiger Brands, Caltex, Sasol, Sun International, City Lodge Group, Standard Bank, Discovery, Department of Transport, Economic Development, Tourism and Health, WBHO, Group 5, Media 24 and many more.
Next Generation is led by a force to be reckoned with, Reana Rossouw. It is apt to call her not just an expert on social innovation, sustainable development and reporting but a visionary. One of her most prestigious contributions to the industry is the development of Africa’s first impact assessment model, the Investment Impact IndexTM. This model measures impact as well as return on investment
in of social investment and development programs.
Reana spoke passionately about funders knowing the differences between the monitoring, evaluating and impact assessment of CSI initiatives. It seems then that intelligent giving is synonymous with responsible and sustainable giving. Monitoring input alone is not enough when it comes to measuring impact. Funders have to see the initiative through and evaluate and assess ‘outcomes.’ For true impact, there must be a clear understanding of what kind of data is relevant. Secondly, it should be clear how to collect and collate it and thirdly, how to effectively report data economically to stakeholders. This is a necessary and cyclical process. In addition, Reana emphasized the importance of using resources wisely and the principles of transparency and accountability for shortcomings in programs. As a result, the work will be improved and further developed.
It was truly astonishing to hear the awareness and foresight Reana has when scrutinizing CSI programs and social contexts. She aims to empower communities in Africa today, but she also carefully considers their futures, as well as the environment. She explained that CSI programs must include the elements of sustainability, inclusivity, resilience and longevity. It is imperative for CSI initiatives to empower communities. This is because what typically happens is that, after a program is completed, the community members are in the same position they were in before the program. For example, she talked about the longevity of community food gardens versus food parcels. She spoke about the negative environmental impact of dignity packs and discussed innovative and sustainable alternatives.
Intelligent giving means truly sustainable impact and for Next Generation they have the experience and expertise to contribute to solving humanitarian problems that have plagued the continent. This consultancy should be part of the CSI initiative process for guiding programs to benefit South Africa and the continent effectively and efficiently. We need to move beyond the numbers game CSI funders look at an input level. It is the time for CSI funders to evaluate outcomes – how did an act of giving no matter how big or small, change the lives of South Africans and Africans. To get in touch with the powerhouse that is Reana Rossouw, you can email email@example.com