The brilliant BackaBuddy team. Photo supplied.

BackaBuddy – a proudly South African donations-based crowdfunding platform – has raised over R100 million rand with contributions from over 125,800 generous donors! The milestone was reached on Wednesday afternoon, 17 April 2019.

A few members of the brilliant BackaBuddy team. Photo supplied.

With this incredible feat accomplished, and 6832 campaigns launched on BackaBuddy, South Africans have once again showcased their generosity while demonstrating the power of crowdfunding as an alternative financing tool.

“As a platform, BackaBuddy allows us to come together as communities to support people and causes that we believe in, regardless of our differences. For every cause, accident or catastrophe that we face, we bear witness to the many who step up when asked to by their peers. This is the immense power that crowdfunding facilitates and which goes far beyond just the funds that are raised.” says BackaBuddy CEO, Patrick Schofield.

Over 125,800 donors both locally and abroad have supported campaigns for medical fees, tuition and various other causes on the platform.

Campaigns with initial support tend to raise approximately R20,000 on average with R800 being the average donation amount.

“In reaching these milestones, we are reminded of the vision the late Alan Beuthin had when creating BackaBuddy and the potential he saw to positively impact the people of South Africa. I think he would have been delighted to see how much we have grown and how campaign creators are collectively shaping an even better future for our country,” says Schofield

Take a look at a few of BackaBuddy’s memorable campaigns:

Schoolboy Siboniso from Shongweni

Siboniso (11) an autistic boy from Shongweni was unable to attend a special school to cater for his needs due to his parents’ financial struggles. Every day Siboniso would sit under a tree with his school uniform, polished black shoes and a little suitcase packed with books and pretend he was in the classroom. Responding to his plea to attend school, The Angel Network set up a campaign on BackaBuddy to fund his school fees of R40 000. Due to overwhelming support from the public, over R80 314.46 was raised and Siboniso was able to attend school. View more here

Aaron Lipschitz from Sea Point

Over R1.48 million was raised on BackaBuddy for Aaron Lipschitz (3) from Sea Point, Cape Town to receive his bone marrow transplant. “We really felt the community behind us. Aaron still has a long road to travel but we know he will get there with your continued love and support,” Aaron’s mom, Taryn shared on their ‘Save Aaron’ crowdfunding page. More.

Demi Leigh Nel Peter’s campaign after the Knysna Fires

In June 2017, Demi Leigh Nel Peters, created a campaign on BackaBuddy in the wake of the Knysna fires to rebuild her hometown of Sedgefield after the devastation. Her campaign ended up raising over R625,000, exceeding her initial fundraising target of R500,000. More.

South African triathlete Mhleni Gwala

When South African triathlete, Mhlengi Gwala was attacked while cycling in March 2018, a campaign was created to help fund his medical treatment after robbers tried to saw off his leg. Within a few short days, over R 782 000 was raised on BackaBuddy to get Mhlengi back on his bike. More.

Xolisa’s Dream to Be A Pilot

Xolisa Shenxani (18) from Sir Lowry’s Pass Village in Cape Town, has had his heart set on becoming a commercial pilot from a young age despite coming from a disadvantaged background. Xolisa’s dreams were set in motion after more than R189,000 was raised to fund his grade 11 and matric year at private school. Xolisa was taken by surprise when an anonymous donor contributed R101,500.00 to his BackaBuddy campaign, leaving only a short message of support “Glo jy kan dit doen”. More.

Donors tend to be more generous when funds are administered directly by the organisation and paid directly to medical practitioners or relevant practitioners, says seasoned fundraiser and BackaBuddy Chief Operations Officer, Catherine Du Plooy.

Crowdfunding has also created an opportunity for seasoned non-profit organisations to diversify their income stream.

The Smile Foundation, Avela Foundation and Rainbows and Smiles have respectively raised over R2 million rand through crowdfunding.

Trevor Noah and education

In December 2018, BackaBuddy was also excited to welcome Trevor Noah to the platform, with his ‘matched giving’ campaign to raise funds to support orphaned and vulnerable learners with high quality education through the Trevor Noah Foundation. More

With the University of Cambridge estimating the total crowdfunding activity in Africa to reach over R30 billion by 2025, we look forward to watching the crowdfunding industry grow from strength to strength.

To build South Africa as a nation, we need ties that bind us in positive ways. We need to invest in each other and support each other in ways that cross over traditional boundaries. Crowdfunding brings people together in positive ways, around things that we are passionate about, giving us the opportunity to be part of something greater than ourselves,” says Schofield.