Frequently asked questions
Thatu is closing down: FAQs - what happens now?
• What is Thatu’s role?
Thatu has been helping families in South Africa improve their lives.
• How long has Thatu been in existence?
• Why has Thatu decided to dissolve? Why now?
- As with many small charities we have had problems raising funds in recent years.
- Increasing levels of regulation and complexity of the digital world have not helped
- And we are all getting older. We have not been able to find [enough] young people to take over developing Thatu
The report Navigating Change, published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Lloyds Bank Foundation in February 2016, found that after the 2008 financial crash small and medium-sized charities lost more income proportionally than their larger brethren, mainly as a result of grant funding drying up.
The instability is making it very difficult for small charities to look to the future, says Sally Young, chief executive of Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service.
"Never mind five-year plans, a lot of charities are now starting the year with gaps in their budgets because they're not sure what they're going to be doing," she says.
• What happens to the charity Thatu?
The charity Thatu will be dissolved and removed from the Charity Commission register. Remaining money after all accounts are settled will be distributed to the NGO’s we support in South Africa.
• How much has Thatu donated?
By the time Thatu is finally dissolved we anticipate that we will have made grants of almost £220,000. (At the end of our last financial year we had made grants of £208,563).
• Who has Thatu given grants to?
▪ Midland Meander Education Partnership
▪ Soil for Life
▪ Eco Access
▪ Lotus Gardens School
▪ Rhodes Park Library
• How much have the trustees and others been paid?
We in Thatu are all volunteers and ensure all the funds raised go straight to the projects.
• How has Thatu raised funds?
We have done this through individual’s efforts. People have taken part in triathlons and bicycle rides, given rent from a property, given their birthday gifts to us, saved stamps and print cartridges, children have had sales in schools and much more. Thatu has also applied and received funds from Trusts such as The Body Shop.
• What projects have depended on Thatu in the last 2 years?
We have chosen reliable local partners, and kept in close touch with them, monitoring their progress.
Soil for Life has built up and developed an amazing expanding system of helping families in the Cape Flats grow their own food in extremely difficult/unpromising situations.
MMEP (Midland Meander Education Project) has worked in schools mainly in rural KZN to improve their teaching effectiveness particularly in relation to the environment and school food gardens. As part of this they have developed a support system for particularly vulnerable children to enable them to build their confidence and resilience.
• How will the projects we have supported continue? How will the stopping of funds impact these projects?
None of the projects we have supported rely only on Thatu funding. We know they are applying elsewhere and that we would like Thatu supporters interested in their work to send funds direct to them.
• Is there a deadline for donating through Thatu?
We anticipate closing our accounts early in 2019. If you wish to donate after 31st January 2019 please contact us first for guidance.
• When will the dissolution take place?
As soon in 2019 as all our funds are disbursed and commitments fulfilled.
• How will Thatu communicate its dissolution to the friends and donors and mail subscribers?
We are advising everyone on our mailing list – donors, volunteers, supporters, beneficiaries – either by individual letter, newsletter or face to face. There will also be a message on our website/facebook page/twitter feed.
• What should I do if I want to continue supporting the projects that Thatu raised funds for?
All the projects Thatu has funded in the last year continue You can fund them directly by going to their websites:
Soil for Life
MMEP – Midland Meander Education project:
• I have donated by Standing order. How do I stop this or transfer it directly to the projects Thatu has supported?
Please advise your bank to stop making the payment to us.
• What will happen to the Thatu website?
The content will remain up and accessible in its current location at www.thatu.org. Eventually, we will look to submit the entire site to a web archive service at
We will try to preserve URLs/redirects where we can so that no linking into Thatu pages will break.
• What will happen to the Social Media sites?
We intend to close down these sites after a year.
• Will I still be able to contact Thatu? Will there still be an email address/postal address to send queries to in the future?
address will continue working for the purpose of all communication relating to the shutdown of the charity, until the final closure of the website.
• If we travel to South Africa can we visit the projects at Soil for Life and / or MMEP?
Please contact them direct to arrange a visit.
• Where can I find out more about Soil for Life and Midland Meander Education Project? Can I continue to receive news about the projects? Do the NGO’s publish newsletters?
MMEP Contact details:
T: +27(0)33 330 7260
Soil for Life Contact details:
T: +27 (0)21 794 4982
• Can I link to the NGO’s donation pages from the Thatu website?
You can link to their websites, from the Thatu website, where further information on how to donate is available.
• Will Gift Aid still apply to overseas donations?
• What is Soil For Life’s mission?
“Soil for Life is a non-profit organisation (NPO) based in Cape Town, South Africa, that helps people learn to grow healthy, organic food using simple, low-cost, environmentally-friendly methods.”
• What is MMEP’s mission?
“Our vision is to help Midlands Schools nurture capable, confident and curious children and communities who have the resilience to cope with a changing world and are able to contribute positively to their communities and society.”
If your question is not answered in our FAQs, please contact us at
with your enquiry.
Thank you so much again for all of your support.