Today CSI does not need to be carried out as a quiet philanthropic effort. It is fast becoming a marketing tool for donors who see the value in broadening their reach through non-traditional advertising spend, to encompass the companies CSI efforts.
Red Cherry Media together with Touch Africa and media partner MNet are now able to offer CSI projects that become part of the MNet Cares platform, giving the sponsors the added value of receiving television exposure. This is truly a win-win situation as so many corporate boxes are ticked.
CSI spend covers the Empowerdex requirements, financial managers receive the Section 18a tax certificate break, the marketing department reaps the reward of getting television exposure and the neediest of communities are benefitting from corporate investment.
During 2010 four major projects were rolled out under the MNet Cares banner, one of which was the M-Net Cares Elmor Primary School project sponsored by Sanlam.
Situated in the dry and dusty town of Willomore, the Elmor Primary School has an enrolment of 1200 learners. Many of these young children had to walk up to 8km per day to and from school in extreme heat or cold. Exhausted by the time they got to school children found it hard to concentrate and parents worried about their safety on the journey to and from school. The school had an old bus that had not been operative for many years due to a lack of funding to restore it. The school budget was straining under the pressure of having to pay in excess of R30 000 a year to transport children to extra-mural activities including visiting other schools in the area to take part in sporting activities.
Sanlam stepped-in to provide the CSI donation and today, the children are being transported safely in their refurbished bus whilst the principal is able to re-direct the monies previously used to pay for transport to more meaningful projects.