Help fund student dreams

2018-01-30 06:00

A crowdfunding platform that aims to help pay university fees has raised over R4m thus far.

The Feenix platform allows tertiary students in need of funding to create a profile on which they can tell their story and appeal to investors to contribute to their outstanding university fees.

Feenix is a public benefit organisation that was started in 2017. Backed by Standard Bank, Feenix launched an innovative crowdfunding platform for South African university students that seeks to confront the ongoing fees crisis within South African education. Any payment made to a student is paid directly to the university at which they are enrolled, meaning funds always make their way to the intended recipient. Feenix only has a 5% administration fee. Donations from investors can either pay for a specific student, or contribute to a pool fund that is disbursed to students according to a set of qualification criteria.

To donate, users simply need to visit the Feenix website, decide on the recipient of their donation and then follow the payment prompts.

As of the first disbursement period, which commenced in October, Feenix has raised over R4m and distributed R1.6m. This figure has partially funded 152 students’ studies and fully funded 64, while paving the way for many more.

“The objective is to reframe the way in which South Africans approach the subject of donating toward student fees. As it stands, one of the main fears investors have is what their money will be used for, and whether it will be effective in creating change. Naturally, each student’s needs are different, but the one commonality they all share is their need for more time. Each student is simply looking for the means to make it one day closer to graduation. This is where the idea of buying time was born,” the organisation says in a statement.

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