Rikus sent me an email a few days back. He runs a project/website called Charity Wines. The concept is a simple one and one that I like. You buy wine, they deliver and money goes to charity. Easy huh? Yep it is.
You can have a look at who benefits when you buy wine here.
Let’s have Rikus explain things a bit more:
Hi Rikus, Welcome to SA Rocks. I love the idea behind Charity Wines. Tell me a bit about where the concept came from?
Thank you. As you might know, there are a number of grassroots charities out there doing fantastic work. Time and time again we find that their greatest concern is financial stability. They simply do not get enough funding and support from the government and therefore they are forced to make applications to corporate South Africa for their survival.
My partner and I were driving through the winelands of the Breede River valley after a visit to one such organisation when the idea occurred to us to create a sustainability model for charities in the winelands. We simply decided to ask the wine producers of our country to make some of their marketing wine available which we then sell to the public. The funds raised are then made available to organisations in the fields of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and severe learning difficulty. We approached the governing bodies of the Wine Industry for their endorsements and then we set out to build the infrastructure needed to pull this off. Before long we accquired the services of Mondi Packaging, The Vineyard Connection and Cluver Markotter Lawyers who all pleged their support pro bono as part of their corporate social responsibility programs.
Engelbrecht/Els got the ball rolling by sending us some lovely wine and the rest is history. We have close on 50 farmers pledging wine to the Trust on a monthly basis and more are joining all the time. It is important to notice that the farmers are donating their wine free of charge.
Do you deliver outside of Western Cape?
We deliver to every corner of South Africa courtesy of The Vineyard Connection and Cross Cape. Westen Cape deliveries take approximately 24 hours and deliveries country wide can take up to 3 days.
How many people are involved in the project?
The Charity Wines Trust has 3 trustees whilst we acquired the services of a retired partner of Wine of the Month Club pro bono who manages strategic parts of the operation. Then there are the Industry’s gurus, the wine farms, implementation partners, media partners and a whole host of individuals who support the project in some way or another.
Is it purely an online venture?
Although buying online is the easiest, it is not purely online. People often call us once they learn of Charity Wines and order over the phone. Most customers simply join on a monthly basis by means of a debit order.
Can people get involved more than simply a donation? Is there an option for hands on assistance?
We often take guests to some of our beneficiaries but essentially Charity Wines is a fundraiser for charities and not a grassroots organisation per se. Having said that, we are working on a volunteer program whereby we would like international volunteers to stay on the beautiful wine farms whilst giving their time to interact with the community and talk to the people about the benefits of healthy lifestyle choices and the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a HUGE problem in South Africa, worse than anywhere in the world and the more prevention campaigns there are, the better.
What are the growth plans for the project?
We are aiming to grow our Farm Members pool significantly whilst building our sales to approximately 500 per month by October 2008. Upon achieving this we will be in a position to make charitable grants of R1 million annualy.
How well is it all doing? How many bottles of wine do you deliver and registrations do you get per month, for example?
We are pleased with the growth of the brand. We started trading last year and sell between 80 and 90 boxes of wine per month currently. I find that at least 3 farms join per month.
Let’s summarise things clearly for potential “buyers” of Charity Wines. When you buy a box of wine for R250 you are essentially making a donation to a charitable trust which is governed by legislation to implement the funds according to the objectives of the trust. The wine, which gets delivered to your door (in SA), is of top quality and always exceed the amount paid by the customer. This is the perfect gift for Father’s day, Mother’s day, Valentine’s, any occasion really. Your folks receive superb wine and your money goes to very worthwhile and transparent causes.
Please go to our site, see who’s donating and where your money goes and support this project.
Send us a mail at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, order online or call (021) 442 9600
Thanks for taking the time out to chat with me, Hope that the project takes off!
Thank you very much and thanx for your website! SA really needs all the positivity we can get because, as you allready know: SA Rocks!!!
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