SA health fundraising CEO wins global acclaim

At this year’s International Fundraising Congress (IFC) one of South Africa’s own walked away with the title World’s Best Fundraiser for 2011 and 2012.

Louise Driver, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Children’s Hospital Trust South Africa, was recognised for her dedication and innovation at the Global Awards for Fundraising ceremony in the Netherlands on 16 October 2013.

The award recognises those with at least five years’ experience in fundraising and who have demonstrated fundraising success and prowess for two years or more

“It really feels amazing to have received this global award considering that there were over 60 countries from all around the world participating . . .” says Driver, sharing her feelings on her achievements.

“. . . it is wonderful to receive international recognition for the incredible work and impact that the Children’s Hospital Trust as a team has achieved in child healthcare in South Africa and beyond its borders.”

CHT 2The trust has raised funds to upgrade the hospital’s buildings, buy equipment, pay for staff training and fund multiple research programmesDriver received the award ahead of Elena Zanella (Italy), Centro Clinico Nemo (Spain) and Lisa Dunne (Ireland) for her direct hands-on approach and recent successes, which include her forging a child healthcare partnership between the provincial and Western Cape governments.

Her efforts resulted in raising R58.7-million and R41.7-million in 2011 and 2012 respectively for paediatric healthcare projects.

Apart from recognising and celebrating fundraisers, the event also provides a platform for their respective organisations to share innovations and new ideas. It was hosted by London-based charity Resource Alliance, a global network for fundraising, resource mobilisation and philanthropy.

MORE ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL TRUST

Founded in 1994 as the independent fundraising arm of Cape Town’s Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, the Children’s Hospital Trust raised funds to prevent the hospital closing.

The trust has since then also raised funds to upgrade the hospital’s buildings, buy equipment, pay for staff training and fund multiple research programmes.

Driver says; “I have a strong passion for the cause as children are so vulnerable in our society and so desperately need our help to enable them to have a normal childhood i.e. living at home instead of in a hospital sickness-free. As a mother of two healthy daughters, aged eight months and three years, it gives me extra empathy for the cause and thus motivates me daily to improve child healthcare in our country.”

CHT 4“There is a strong spirit of innovation and absolute passion for the cause shared by all who work for or support the trust,” says Driver (Images: Children’s Hospital Trust)She continues; “Despite the tightening of donor belts in the difficult economic times, the Children’s Hospital Trust still managed to raise almost R100-million over the past two years for seven different projects and programmes at the hospital and in the Western Cape province.

“I have an extremely supportive board of trustees, many of whom have been involved in the trust since its inception 20 years ago; and we have strong mutually beneficial partnerships with our donors and supporters. “In addition there is a strong spirit of innovation and absolute passion for the cause shared by all who work for or support the trust.”

Since 2011 the trust has expanded its scope to include paediatric healthcare projects across the Western Cape.

The organisation works hand-in-hand with the provincial government and it ensures that 100% of funds raised go directly to the children’s hospital and the trust’s projects.

FUNDING SOURCES

Guardians – donors who give more than R5 000 a year- are crucial to the organisation; during 2011 they donated just over R1.8-million, used to upgrade the hospital’s B1 Medical Ward and the trust’s Poisons Information Centre.

Prospective guardians and donors can email fundraising relationship coordinator Ronell Jordaan or call her on+27 (0) 21 686 7860 for more details.