18 Apr
  • By Brownie Points
  • Cause in

See a Need, Fill a Need | Why Brownie Points Exists

We know that the social sector in South Africa could use some help… 

Governments prioritise military over social development budgets and now our own social grants are being withheld. Furthermore, over 170 000 nonprofits are registered in South Africa alone, without any sign of slowing down.

Isolated groups of passionate individuals are coming together to address key issues in our communities, and are essentially filling the gaps that aren’t filled by the government. The social sector is – to a large extent – privatised.

But how does Brownie Points fit into this? What was our personal journey that ended up in where we are today?

Back in 2009, I was miserable. I had just flunked my first year at university, and was now dealing with my own demons of disappointment and shame. I was looking for an opportunity to feel better. To empower myself by empowering others.


After a quick Google search, I realised how challenging it was to not only find volunteering opportunities, but to find volunteering activities I felt passionate about and could really make a significant difference in. That started my journey into researching the social sector in its entirety. If I was having problems finding ways to help, then surely there were others like me who did not know where to start.


This small personal challenge triggered a chain reaction that had begun with a personal need to feel better and continued to become an obsessive curiosity into social challenges, that still continues today. But ultimately, this initially selfish act ended up in the creation of a selfless platform: a marketplace to easily find opportunities to give back.


If technology can help companies make billions, surely it can be used to address social and developmental problems. I wanted to come up with an innovative idea that had exponential impact; to help others like me, to help others. To connect individuals and companies with organisations that needed their help to work their magic and create real, observable impact. And all this matched on location, with the skills and items that nonprofits need.


And it didn’t end there. Since I was a student, with no allowance from my parents, I wanted to see if I could be compensated for doing good. But nonprofits were lacking the funds to operate and service their community, let alone pay me. I thought, “What if we asked those who had the money to reward people for doing good?“. The social sector suffers from a lack of skills, since everyone who studies also wants the best possible salary to get their life started. This usually results in all skills flowing to big corporates. Maybe there was a way to get some of those skills working for social good…


Cue Brownie Points: A way for nonprofits to tell the world what they need, and make it easy for everyone to find their way of giving back, whether it’s money, tangible things, expertise or just simply their time.


If you are working for a nonprofit, I tip my hat to you. You have taken the road less travelled. If you could use some help from skilled volunteers (and reward them with brownie points!) go to your Brownie Points profile and start creating your volunteering opportunities! We will share it with South Africa 🙂


For everyone not working in the social sector… do you want to know how you can make a difference? Go to our Discover page and find your own way of giving back!


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