These awards aim to recognise innovative South African NPOs that are able to demonstrate resilience and show how they have leveraged technology over the past 10 months – since the Covid-19 pandemic hit our shores – to ensure they could continue to operate despite the challenges.
We will award two winners in the categories of resilience and technology, and each winning NPO will receive prize money of R600 000 and R400 000 respectively to support them in the continuation and expansion of their work in 2021. In deciding the winners, we will be looking for organisations that can show financial stability, strong leadership, and effective risk management; and can successfully harness the power of technology.
Covid-19 and the national lockdown response have been a massive test of the resilience of social-sector organisations globally, both in terms of financial sustainability and meeting the growing needs of communities. In South Africa, the increase in demand for services from NPOs was especially acute during 2020 and some of these social entities found themselves unable to continue serving their communities. Those NPOs that were able to respond innovatively and use technology to their advantage managed to continue providing the vital support and help that millions of vulnerable South Africans needed.
Our hope is that the Innovation Awards will not only inspire NPOs to higher levels of resilience, innovation and digital enablement, but will also catalyse meaningful dialogue between social-sector organisations, their donors and partners. Covid-19 highlighted the fact that social-sector stakeholders need to spend more time engaging constructively about ways to leverage investment to build greater resilience, institutionalise best-practice crisis response, and prepare our social sector for any future crises like Covid-19. We hope that these awards will encourage such conversations, while also prompting NPOs and their funders to invest in systems, tools, technology and leadership development.
Through our Philanthropy Office we continue to be committed to growing and strengthening philanthropy in South Africa, including the social sector, which fulfils a crucial role in our communities. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of investing in systems and technology, and this is no different for the social sector. Through the prize money, we hope to give the winning organisations the means to further strengthen their operations, enhance their programmes and service offerings, and position themselves to do even more good in our society into the future.
Entries will close on 26 February 2021 and the winners in each category will be announced in April 2021. All entrants will also be invited to attend a workshop, hosted by Nedbank Private Wealth, at which key principles underpinning resilience, innovation and the use of technology will be unpacked by various experts in these fields. Details can be found at https://trialogue.co.za/npw_innovationawards/.
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