Cisco Foundation Charitable Trust - South Africa

Cisco Foundation Charitable Trust - South Africa

Supporting Education for Black South African Students

Vision and Mission

The Cisco Foundation Charitable Trust (the “Trust”) was created in South Africa in 2008 for the purposes of supporting increased access to education for Black South African students.

Strategy for Social Investment

Each year since its inception, the Trust has made between 2-3 charitable donations to South African charitable organizations aligned with our mission “to facilitate broad-based black economic empowerment in terms of the framework established by the BEE Act and the Codes, by contributing to education and the development in South Africa.” Qualifying expenses for donation include skills development, direct student scholarships, and related costs for implementing educational programs for closely aligned purposes. Organizations supported in South Africa in the past include the African Leadership Academy, CoachLab, Hatfield School, King’s School, and Student Scholarship Program.


The Trust seeks proposals from not-for-profit educational organizations meeting BEE criteria for the education of Black South Africans in all age ranges, with preference for programs that serve at least 40% young women and girls and that:

  • help primary school and high-school students with classroom performance in core curriculum subjects such as maths and language;
  • insure higher rates of graduation from senior school to tertiary leaning institutions;
  • and/or may interest Black South African students in and/or help such students succeed in the learning of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Organizations must have more an established track record of success (5 years, or such lesser period as the Trustees in their sole discretion may decide), ability to provide specific social outcome metrics for students, strong leadership, and sound financial management as shown by low overhead and healthy operating margins versus funds raised.

Calendar and Process for Applicants

The Trust will receive proposals at any time throughout the year, but the decisions for funding will be made by the Trustees between March-June for each funding cohort, and funding is disbursed only once  a year. Number of grants per year: 1-3

Size of grants:  USD $30,000 - $100,000 per year (approximately R360,000 to R1.2M). Requests in excess of this range cannot be considered.

Application process: Applicants must match the criteria mentioned above in order to request support. Please forward no more than a one (1) page concept proposal including background on your organization’s mission, programs, leadership team, project budget, target number of students to be served (age range, grade levels, subject areas), results intended, how results will be measured and reported, and annual operating budget to the contact email below. Requests currently are only accepted via email and as attachments to email.

Disclaimer: Submission of a proposal does not constitute a guarantee of funding. Any expenses associated with submitting an application are entirely at the expense of the submitting entity and the Trust will not be responsible for any such costs.



Board of Trustees, Cisco Foundation Charitable Trust - South Africa

  • Charmaine Houvet, Public Policy Director, Cisco Africa
  • Mziwandile Ezra Clavis Davids, Chairman of Corporate/M&A at Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group
  • Thabo Ndela, Chairman of the Westcon Southern Africa Board
  • Peter Tavernise, Director, Cisco & Executive Director, Cisco Foundation