symantec Posts

Symantec: Funding technology that’s fueling sustainable social change in South Africa

In Guguletu, South Africa, a woman named Linda provides care for eight children who have no home of their own. Linda knows each of the children’s stories, ages, and names.

Except for one.

Linda can’t tell you the name of one of the girls, because she hasn’t spoken since arriving at Linda’s home with no documentation or other information. Though physically healthy, the child remains silent. Linda worries that she was previously literally locked up alone somewhere.

Here, in Linda’s home, the child is worried about with the care of any mother. Linda says, “What she needs is love and friends.”

To provide this kind of quality care to vulnerable children, Linda depends on Ikamva Labantu, an organization that provides social support to South Africa’s most vulnerable, with a special focus on children. Ikamva Labantu fosters success for school kids through innovative basketball and chess programs, as well as vocational skills training. They also focus on early learning and education programs in the formal and informal sectors.In addition, Ikamva Labantu supports families raising children orphaned by AIDS, fuels small businesses by providing start-up tools and training, and runs senior centers.

Symantec Corporation, a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world, was so impressed by Ikamva Labantu that they awarded a grant to provide much-needed computers and IT support to bolster their work.

Symantec’s grant is part of their tailored, corporate philanthropic partnership with GlobalGiving, to support work in four focus areas: K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math education; women and minorities in engineering; environmental sustainability; and online safety.

Through the customized service provided through GlobalGiving, Symantec was able to provide a grant tailored to Ikamva Labantu’s needs, resulting in eight new computers, 11 upgraded computers, a new external hard drive, and a new color printer and 10 desktop printers.

With this gift, Symantec is investing in the sustainability of a proven, vetted organization, freeing up Ikamva Labantu to focus their resources on what they do best. 

Jovana Risovic, Ikamva Labantu’s fundraising manager, explains, “Symantec’s support will help us tremendously in achieving our goals and focusing our financial resources on the programs that assist hundreds of disadvantaged South Africans.”

Symantec and GlobalGiving invite you to build upon Symantec’s generous gift and fuel the tremendous work Ikamva Labantu is doing to change lives in South Africa.

Support Ikamva Labantu’s work.

International Giving Can Be Tough for Companies, but…


Last month the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (“CECP”) published its annual report on corporate philanthropy, “Giving in Numbers2009.”  This is one of the reports we look forward to seeing each year, as CECP is very highly regarded and counts among its member CEOs of many of the leading global corporate citizens, including several of GlobalGiving’s corporate partners – Applied Materials, Gap, Inc.,  Hasbro and PepsiCo, to name a  few.

CECP describes itself as the only international forum of CEOs and chairpersons pursuing a mission exclusively focused on corporate philanthropy. The Committee’s membership consists of more than 170 executives who lead the business community in raising the level and quality of corporate giving.

The ~60 page report is actually pretty easy to digest, but here are some highlights:

  • Even in challenging economic times (and giving overall being down in 2008), 53% of surveyed companies increased giving from 2007 to 2008;
  • Among the 53% of companies that gave more in 2008, non-cash giving increased by a median of 29%;
  • Improved contributions tracking, beyond-budget disaster-relief giving, and strong profits through the third quarter were among the reasons cited for increased giving;  And  interestingly,
  • Financial results are not statistically linked to corporate giving, as corroborated by Giving USA.

The minor mentions of “international giving” are highly noteworthy, as they continue to emphasize the barriers and difficulties many U.S. companies identify:

Frequently cited challenges in expanding global giving include: developing local issue expertise, vetting NGOs, U.S. Patriot Act compliance, and building local community partner­ships. The complexity of receiving tax deductions for international dona­tions can be an additional deterrent. Cultural differences among employee attitudes toward volunteerism and charitable giving can also hinder global giving initiatives.

Companies also face hurdles in accurately measuring giving abroad. Pockets of international giving may be unrecognized because the tools and communication channels needed to record them accurately have not matured. Still, international giving is a growing priority as business globalizes.

We are glad that we’ve been able to help many companies address these challenges.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Nike and Gap have been able to engage their employees globally and create equity worldwide in workplace giving – not just for disaster giving but every day
  • Symantec has funded a great strategically-aligned program in Pune, India through GlobalGiving, providing them a way to find grantees and receive the tax deduction they need
  • Intel has sponsored the Technology and Innovation Fund and we have worked to establish very specific deliverables with the implementers – tracked by GlobalGiving -giving Intel the measurement/impact assessment it desires and a platform to engage other stakeholders.

We feel privileged to work with some of the most creative companies around.  And we’re always up for working with more. 🙂