2021 in numbers – GivenGain looks back on a year of giving

January 27, 2022
Share this article

Three things drive giving: donors with the means to give, visible need for their help, and the chance for charities and the public to fundraise freely. In 2021 – the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic – SA charities could bank on just one of these ‘success factors’ – widespread, urgent need for their help.

Despite that, reports GivenGain, a leading global fundraising platform started by South African brothers Johannes and Jaco van Eeden, 2021 brought sizeable charity contributions from fundraisers at home and abroad through individual projects – and increasingly, events.

Here is a roundup of the year in fundraising on the GivenGain platform.


Despite reduced means, fundraisers rose to the occasion bringing in millions of rands to good causes across the country. While fundraising can take many forms, most of this year’s top fundraisers took part in events to motivate donors from across South Africa and around the world, a trend we expect to continue in 2022.

South Africa’s top fundraisers in 2021

  1. Team Del 2021 for The Cows: R387 000

This year, Team Del took part in the Cow and Belle Run for Cyclists (C&B180) as well as the 947 Double lap.

  1. Niels Ruijter for Qhubeka Charity: R204 000

This fundraising project by family and friends of Niels Ruijter supported Qhubeka Charity in his honour.

  1. Team G Wagon for The Cows: R170 000

Team G Wagon likewise did the 2021 Cow and Belle Run and Ride Joburg for the Childhood Cancer Foundation (CHOC).

  1. Team Jolene for The Cows R138 000
  2. Amber Shannon for Heartlands Baby Sanctuary R123 000
  3. Greg James for The JAG Foundation R109 000
  4. Ntobeko Ntusi for Peninsula Maternity Trust R107 000
  5. Georgette Ure for NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) R106 000
  6. Linda Reddy for Imbumba Foundation R96 000
  7. Stefan van Neel for Iris House Children's Hospice R92 000


In 2021, charities again had to cope with COVID-19 as demand for their services rose. But the call for donations has been heard around the world, with more than 15% of all donations to SA charities via GivenGain coming from overseas. Below are the top 10 South African charities that received the most donations from individual fundraisers on GivenGain.

South Africa’s top charities on GivenGain in 2021

  1. The Cows

The Cows collective go all out to support CHOC and to have fun. Since 2008, the herd has raised more than R15.5 million through GivenGain!

  1. Qhubeka Charity

Qhubeka is a global charity that moves people forward with bicycles in Africa. With R14.7 million raised on GivenGain over the years, this non-profit lets fundraisers support them in any way they like.

  1. CANSA

The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) delivers an integrated service – including research – to people affected by cancer. CANSA supporters have raised R18.3 million through GivenGain over time.

  1. Door of Hope Children's Mission
  2. TEARS
  3. Greenpop Foundation
  4. Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
  5. ILoveBoobies ZA NPC
  6. NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute)
  7. South African Guide Dogs Association for the Blind


After a difficult year for mass-participation events in 2020, this year saw the return of some of the country’s biggest fundraising opportunities, including the 974 Ride Joburg and an in-person Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.

South Africa’s top fundraising events on GivenGain in 2021

  1. 947 Ride Joburg 2021

The 947 Ride Joburg cycle race is also a platform for people to accomplish something great. Since its inception in 2011, the race’s Ride for a Purpose initiative has helped charities raise over R4 million on GivenGain.

  1. Giving Tuesday 2021

Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving after Black Friday. Blossoming into an all-year movement, it has been a lifeline to many charities in dire need this year.

  1. Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 2021

Whether you ran the 2021 in-field marathon and trail events “for charity”, or the shorter virtual runs “for something”, the iconic Sanlam Cape Town Marathon did it all for good.

  1. Cape Town Cycle Tour 2021
  2. #MANDELADAY2021
  3. Two Oceans Marathon 2021 Virtual Charity Challenge
  4. FNB Wines2Whales 2021
  5. Virtual aQuellé Midmar Mile 2021
  6. #GameForGood
  7. 2021 Absa Cape Epic

Exciting developments

As the preferred fundraising partner of the Boston Marathon for 2021 (and now, 2022), GivenGain added some exciting new functionality that went on to benefit all charities around the world.

One such feature that debuted at the 125th Boston Marathon this year is the ability to add a real-time donation widget when livestreaming an online or in-person fundraising event. The widget instantly shows every new donation amount as well as the donor’s name and their message of encouragement on screen.

“The real-time donation widget was used very successfully at events like the Boston Marathon expo,” says Jannie Smith, Regional Manager for GivenGain in South and Sub-Saharan Africa. “The attention it got charities and giving in general has sparked a lot of interest among other events.”

Looking to the future

“2021 has been challenging on all of us in South Africa, and yet, together we have processed millions in rands donated to charities. We wish all our fellow South Africans a wonderful rest over the festive period with their loved ones, so that we can kick off the new year, apply our learnings from 2021,\ and really embrace modern tech tools to take our online fundraising success to new levels in 2022,” says Jannie.

Whether you’re a charity, an individual fundraiser, a sports event or a company wanting to empower your employees to make a difference, the GivenGain Foundation is always available to provide free online fundraising advice to help you get the best out of the fundraising platform. Got a question? Get in touch with the team at fundraising@givengain.com and help raise South Africa up together.