The Thursday Club celebrates ten years of FUN-raising
The Thursday Club (TTC) is a social media fundraiser established in 2003 by a group of Johannesburg-based friends to raise funds to secure the future of South African children orphaned or affected by HIV/ AIDS. TTC was co-founded by Josef Talotta, Josephine Buys (née Swainbank), Trevor Latimer, Danielle Weakley (née Nasser) who were later joined by Gennaro Pisapia.
The concept is simple – tune in and collect for after work drinks, with the ‘cover charge’ (usually R100) going to selected charities. 2013 marks ten years of fundraising for FUN, raising an estimated R2 million through its participants, angel donors and other means.
TTC has had many incarnations – sometimes attracting a dozen people, other times attracting over 350 people. It spread to the East Rand with the establishment of the Benoni Vista Thursday Club, before spreading to Cape Town when Josephine Buys moved in and kept the TTC flame burning.
The recipe is simple and consists of three key factors: like-minded hearts that attend, amazing locations that welcome guests, and carefully selected charities. Its organizers are asked to invite at least ten friends to each event. An existing charity is selected to administer the funds raised.
In the past, The Thursday Club Johannesburg has supported the Starfish Greathearts Foundation, which has achieved much-needed brand recognition, both nationally and internationally. Thursday Club Cape Town chose a small local charity in 2011 naming Mamelani Projects, followed by their current charity Light From Africa Foundation in 2013.
Never refuse anyone
The beautiful people of Johannesburg usually meet on the last Thursday of every month, while the beautiful people of Cape Town usually meet on the first Thursday from 6pm (meeting after work) until around 8pm. At the door business cards are collected and R100 in cash. “R100 is our target amount; we never turn anyone away, if anyone wants to donate all they can afford they are more than welcome,” says Josephine Buys. In the end, every gesture counts, she says before adding: “If you can change the world through the eyes of one child, you can change the world.”
Business cards are then drawn for a chance to win from a selection of fantastic thank you prizes and auction items donated by generous sponsors. These prizes come from the main group – and are sometimes even provided by the guests – and include fine liquors, cosmetics, weekends, beauty treatments, hotel stays, music, jewelry, fashion, garden accessories, household items, art and books. Some of the most sought-after global and South African brands have generously supported The Thursday Club, which offers their consumers a wonderful social experience that they will forever associate with the brand.
The Thursday Club occasionally holds an auction to raise the highest possible bid for high-value luxury brands and/or weekends. Business card details are captured to create a powerful database, with the assurance that the details will never be leaked to third parties. Guests are encouraged to return via email, SMS/Facebook/Twitter campaigns before each event and new guests are welcomed by word of mouth.
By hosting The Thursday Club, the host property is guaranteed exposure to the “right” target market: young, professional and socially active customers with high disposable income who will admire, recognize and support the contributing brands associated with The Thursday Club. . . The venue is asked to provide a welcome drink (often sponsored by the host venue’s main liquor supplier or sometimes the Thursday Club will approach a winery that is willing to donate to the cause for a “liquid” tasting opportunity on the lips”) and some snacks (a great way to present the menu).
Since Thursday Club Johannesburg and Club Cape Town both pressed the “pause button” during the recession, many loyal angel hearts demanded that it restart, so Thursday Club Cape Town was reactivated in March 2011 with an overwhelming response, even during the traditionally slow winter months.
Looking forward, Thursday Club Cape Town asks for your valuable support for this worthy cause and you can get involved in a number of ways, including:
- Bring ten friends with you to the next The Thursday Club Cape Town
- Sponsor your venue or a prize for a giveaway/auction
- Refer ten people to The Thursday Club Cape Town mailing list or like the Facebook page – www.facebook.com/TheThursdayClub
- Come to ten of The Thursday Club Cape Town events this year
- Tell ten friends about The Thursday Club Cape Town
- Donate R10 to LFAF through their website – www.lightfromafricafoundation.co.za
For interviews or more information, please contact:
• Gennaro Pisapia, Cape Town member, The Thursday Club (TTC), Johannesburg and Cape Town: tel. +27 72 434 8515; email [email protected]
• Josephine Buys (née Swainbank), founding member, The Thursday Club (TTC), Johannesburg and Cape Town; tel +27 82 604 5940 or + 27 556 2828; email [email protected]
• Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheThursdayClub
• For more information on the Light From Africa Foundation, please log on to: www.lightfromafricafoundation.co.za