Sage South Africa employees give to Nelson Mandela Day
Sage South Africa employees give to Nelson Mandela Day

In the week before the Sage Summit employees at Sage South Africa volunteered for charities across the country. The activities were in support of Mandela Day as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme at Sage. A recent survey looked at involvement in social programs for millennial entrepreneurs. It showed South Africa has the highest percentage of those wanting to be involved in social programs.

The Sage Foundation created a model of 2 + 2 + 2 within the organisation. This allows employees to donate 2% of their time, free cash flow money and Sage technology to charities. This is similar in nature to the 1-1-1 program at Salesforce. That asks entrepreneurs to donate 1% of their product, time and resource to worthy causes. While the percentages of the two programs may not be compatible, both exist and are being exercised.

The 2% figure means that during 2014 Sage gave back all profits from its non profit sector. In the 2015 accounts they stated: “notionally ‘2%’ of free cash flow is equivalent to revenue gained from non-profit sector in FY14”.

In South Africa 400 Sage volunteers helped during the week of 18th July, Mandela day. They worked with several non-profit organisations. Some focus on social development, education and assisting children in need. Others help vulnerable and disabled members of the community.

Ivan Epstein, President of Sage International and Chairman of Sage Foundation commented: “As an organisation that believes in a socially-responsible world and in playing a positive role in communities and with entrepreneurs, Mandela Day holds a special place in our hearts at Sage. We are proud of how enthusiastically our people are following the example of our former president as they spend the week of 18 July helping improve the lives of others.”

Too often companies set up CSR programs that do little to engages the workforce in engaging in social work. Instead they focus just on giving cash. To change that approach this takes great organisation. CSR programme can stagnate due to apathy but not, it appears, at Sage South Africa. At Sage Summit it will be interesting to see how CSR programmes are doing in other countries.

This was not just about helping charities with their finances but carrying out practical tasks that were vital to those charities. 11 charities across 13 locations were helped. From painting a house in Orange Farm, Johannesburg for Afrika Tikkun to spending the day doing arts and crafts projects with the children, and assisting the Sunnyside Orphanage with some DIY projects in Pretoria. A full list of projects and charities supported is contained in the press release.

The South Africans have upped their game and it will be interesting to see what the rest of the world offers.


Sage are not the only ERP with an ambitious CSR programme as shown by both its recent survey and other studies. The millennial generation is often more focussed on a work life balance which includes a social conscience. Whether there will be any further announcements at Sage Summit this week will be interesting.

Companies of all sizes should be considering how they can help out. However it is employees that need to help push these initiatives. The value they deliver in team building and a sense of achievement is often far greater than any team building exercise. Enterprise Times supports Hockey for Heroes as part of its own CSR program.


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