With the Stewardship Navigator, Tree of Life is providing donors with an innovative way to invest and distribute charitable capital in Africa.
Investments pave the way to predictable funding. It is for this reason that individuals planning retirement will save and invest over a number of years in preparation for a time when they will fund their living expenses by making withdrawals from a retirement fund. One can withdraw between 2.5% and 5% from such a fund per year – after retirement – without running an unacceptable risk of jeopardising the longevity of the fund.
Similarly, we believe that charities can best be supported by creating a significant investment fund and distributing between 2.5% and 5% of the value of such a fund to charities. We have been making investments in this way for more than nine years with excellent results, and are now offering this product to high net worth clients who want to use their charitable contributions in the same way.
An additional benefit is that the investment portfolio can include impact investments, that supports good business by investing in companies that make a difference in society.
The Stewardship Navigator is an ideal solution if you have earmarked funds for giving and want to move this off your balance sheet into a charitable structure, but do not want to incur costs in setting up legal structures.
The Stewardship Navigator is a more cost-effective solution than forming your own charity, as the platform has significant benefits of scale, because most overhead costs are only incurred once for the entire platform and are spread across many donors.
At the same time, donors retain flexibility regarding:
The Stewardship Navigator caters for both foreign and South African donations. Via a link with the National Christian Foundation (NCF), donors in the USA can make a donation to the NCF, qualify for a tax deduction, and direct that the money should be transferred to their Stewardship Navigator Donor-advised Fund on the Tree of Life platform.
Tree of Life's Stewardship Navigator Donor-advised Fund is unique in the investment options it provides, including private equity impact investment opportunities. Tree of Life has an impressive 9-year track record of investing donor capital in selective private equity opportunities and generating returns that provide funding to ministries and charities.
Donors are able to select one or more of the following pooled portfolios, in which their donations will be invested until distribution:
Short-term cash portfolioThis portfolio allows withdrawal at the end of each calendar month.
Medium-term portfolioThis portfolio consists of listed instruments, collective investments and hedge funds, and allows withdrawals at quarter end on 60 days’ notice.
Long-term private equity portfolioThis portfolio offers the best opportunities for multiplication and for the investment itself to have a beneficial impact. It will aim for a 2.5% p.a. "dividend" distribution that can be paid into the Donor-advised Fund’s liquid portfolio, or reinvested. Liquidity can also be made available if there is a liquidity event in the portfolio (e.g. sale of an underlying asset) or based on new inflows. This portfolio does not offer guaranteed liquidity.
The ultimate beneficiary of a Donor-advised Fund must be a registered charity that is approved by the platform.
There will be no initial fee on donations received, except actual NCF charges and bank charges on transfers from the USA.
To fund the cost of providing the service, the platform will levy an asset-based recurring platform charge of 0.45% p.a. (levied quarterly) as well as an investment management charge that varies according to portfolio.
The investment management charges will be:
To help cover overheads from non-sticky money and to discourage multiple small transactions, a distribution fee of 1% with a minimum of R500 will be levied when money is actually distributed to charities. This fee may be capped in future and will be refined based on actual experience.
It is important to note that as all fees will be internal in Tree of Life, fees do not leave the charitable space and can be viewed as a charitable contribution to Tree of Life. Any surplus will be used as directed by the Tree of Life trustees.
Fill in the Stewardship Navigator Contribution Form
Send the signed application form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a South African donor, go to Step 3.
If you are a US donor, continue to Step 2.
US Donors: Pay your donation into our Giving Fund at the NCF
There are several ways to do this. In all cases you will need to know that the name of our Giving Fund is “The Tree of Life (South Africa) Fund” and our fund number is #1462307.
Transfer from your own Giving Fund
If you have a Giving Fund at the National Christian Foundation, this is the easiest option.
Send a physical cheque
South African Donors: Pay your donation into the correct bank account as indicated on the application form
Note that there are different accounts for section 18A donations and other donations. Use the name of the donor as payment reference.
Send proof of payment to email@example.com
Donor-advised Fund Brochure
Latest Fund Fact Sheet: