Although we are reflecting on the year ended March 2020 it would be amiss to ignore “Life in SA since lockdown caused by COVID 19.”
I start with this statement because I want to assure you that Lusa is doing all things possible to maintain our anti-fragile philosophy and Lusa right now already is far more progressed than what it was in March, once again meeting the imperative to ensure that our beneficiaries continue touching the lives of those they serve.
I repeat my opening stance of last year’s message: “We find ourselves in a demanding environment that requires continuous focus, analysis, improvement and control. The same dynamics that drive business in a competitive space filter through to NPO’s. Lusa is well aware of this and has to adapt accordingly, we cannot be too specific in what we want to be in the next season. We rather think in broader concepts and ensure that we are tuned to where the rhythm takes us, albeit sometimes forcibly. Speed to change within those broader themes is more important than casting all the specific objectives in stone. It does sound risky, and it certainly is, speak to any of the business leaders that are facing downturns, downsizing and even closures, one of the common denominators is that things are changing so rapidly that the business rules of 5 years ago are already defunct.
We are living in a rapidly advancing techno age that requires good systems that are adaptable to the whims of the weather that the storms bring. Resilience is key, there are too many variables in the modern society to see and recognize the impact it may have, nothing is stable, the corporation which is quickest to bounce back will be our future leaders.”
Now the question is, how did Lusa know that a pandemic to the extent of COVID 19 was going to force us to address the storms that have faced us since the back end of the first quarter 2020?
We did not, but I am extremely proud of the way this organization is ready, able and willing to adapt the changes, still within the broad strategy of “POSITIVELY IMPACTING THE LIVES OF THOSE WE TOUCH”
Antifragility mindset is now forefront in our thinking, something will affect us, we may not know what surprises are ahead but the way we are set up to ensure the impacts are minimal is what will forge the future. We will continue to assess our impacts and efficiencies: focus on marketing value add interventions, constant auditing and reflection will steer the course for a positive future.
Lusa’s programs remain relevant in today’s society because we continually visit, audit and assess them to ensure they remain “fit for purpose.” Our solutions have to meet the needs of those we serve, it remains crucial that we remain empathetic to their challenges.
I am pleased to report that we understand the needs, through the help of feedback and the proficiency audits, we do know how to close those gaps and have improved significantly through the years on our training offerings, we have become leaders in capacitating our NPO’s and take them to levels of excellence. We continue to value the trust of our donors, our beneficiaries and our community. Our reach is further and better through our on-line platforms and our accreditations continue growing.
The future will challenge us there is no doubt about it but our mindset remains driven by the heart, our focus aligned to having a positive impact. We humbly recognise the grace bestowed upon us as an organization over the last 30 years, may we continually strive to facilitate and network in the vineyard entrusted to us.
My warmest thanks to a dynamic team, an understanding board and an ever-present cohesive spirit.
Lusa Community Chest
Executive Director Annual Report 2020
Lusa Community Chest was birthed in September 1990 as Sasolburg Community Chest and has grown and evolved over the last 3 decades, striving to positively impact the Vaal Triangle community. Being resilient and open to change and new opportunities has served us well. Our projects and programmes have reached far outside our footprint area to countries such as Honduras, Kenya and Malawi.
Lusa is always looking for new opportunities to empower people and we have developed unique and impactful programmes that address specific needs in our society. We are recognised for the quality of work and the transformational shifts our programmes are able to create. Personal mastery, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, leadership and social entrepreneurship is entrenched in everything we do.
Lusa is the Zulu word for shepherding and we continue to live out these values and our purpose of supporting, training and equipping 1000’s of people each year.
Changing lives and restoring hope is not just a slogan, it is our purpose and our way of being.
We are grateful that we have had a good financial year in 2019 and are hopeful that our strict financial controls over the years will enable us to weather the Covid 19 storm that has severely hampered our income generating projects and fundraising efforts.
Last year we managed to reach almost 4000 children and 400 teachers through our Generation @ progamme. We trained 77 youth leaders and 75 ECD teachers through our various training programmes. We also assisted 30 new NPO leaders through our Incubator programme and 40 NPOs sponsored by Rand Water Foundation for our NPO Development programme.
We were able to allocate R5 620 000 to our NPO partners and Impact programmes. Our income for the year was R6 577 817 and an additional R1 500 000 was donated to our communities in the form of Gifts in Kind.
We are very excited by the development of an Online Learning Platform to ensure that we are able to deliver on our training objectives through blended learning on a bigger and wider scale. We can officially announce that Lusa is now an online, virtual training organization and that we are rapidly changing with the times. The advantage of being able to deliver training via the internet is that we are now borderless and that anyone, anywhere in the world can access and benefit from our product offerings. Although the Covid 19 Pandemic has seriously affected our organization we are hopeful that these new interventions and platforms will serve us well over the coming years.
We are ever passionate about developing and supporting NPO’s and this will continue to be our focus and drive within Lusa Community Chest. Our business arm, Lusa Entrepreneurship Institute is essentially about creating sustainability for Lusa Community Chest and our community partners.
Social Entrepreneurship is not just a new buzz word, it is truly our ambition. We believe that South-Africa needs more community focused businesses who are willing to invest in their own communities to ensure sustainable and long term impact in their footprint areas.
After 3 decades of Community service it is my privilege to thank my team at the office and my Board of Directors as well as all our individual and corporate investors for their continued support. We would not have been able to impact so many people and transformed so many lives as we have, without your vision and support.
Lusa Community Chest
Treasurer’s report 2019/2020
The Lusa Community Chest audited financial report of 2019/2020 shows the institution to be financially sound and reflect the good and consistent year-on-year financial governance and controls.
In a challenging economic environment, Lusa has managed to increase its revenue with R 962 435. This is a 14% increase from R 7 124 633 the previous year. Revenue and Interest received was R 8 448 615 this financial year. Allocations from this account in the form of Donations, Donations in Kind, and allocation of funds to various Community Programmes and Projects total R 7 129 929, more than what was invested in our communities the previous year.
Funding generated through various initiatives by Lusa is available for reinvestment in the community through various projects, donations and support given to a multitude of Organisations. Direct reinvestment in the community was an excellent 84% of total income.
Operating Expenses at R1 208 539 is 14% of Revenue and Interest received and is significantly lower than the 30% benchmark for similar institutions.
Internal projects by Lusa Community Chest continue to cover the administration costs to a great extent. I want to acknowledge the management of Lusa for decreasing both Staff Expenses and Operating Expenses in the past financial year.
Lusa is in a very healthy Financial Position with Reserves and Investments of R 5 064 814.
Allocations to the different NPO’s and community programs in 2019/2020 follow a pre-determined methodology to ensure fair distribution and accountability.
Capacity building of NPOs offers a platform for sustainable social development and service improvements to the community. This is ensuring ever-increasing skills and stewardship among our beneficiaries. We are very proud of this ongoing intervention and are positive that this investment supported by mentorship as required, will affirm our growing partnership base for the region.
The internal audit protocol followed this year once again showed a high level of compliance with South African Auditing Standards. New partnerships continue to be forged where we render effective business support service to companies on the delivery of Corporate Social Investment, thus growing the profile of Lusa Community Chest as a trusted partner.
Acknowledgment to the board and staff members for following the strict financial discipline required of our institution resulting in a positive reputation and financial report for 2019/2020.