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Help us to help others — MySchool rewards programme raises over R1bn in 25 years

Help us to help others — MySchool rewards programme raises over R1bn in 25 years
The MySchool card can be swiped with the partner’s loyalty card or linked to it so that MySchool members can earn rewards and help deserving beneficiaries. (Image: Supplied)

If you needed a reminder of how a small act can make a big difference, here’s a good reason to swipe your MySchool or Woolworths card at the teller, or download the app, if you haven’t already done so: Over the past 25 years, supporters of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet have raised over R1-billion for more than 8,000 schools and NGOs. 

South Africa’s loyalty and rewards industry brought in R8.6-billion in revenue in 2021, with 73% of economically active adults in the country utilising rewards programmes to earn points, miles, savings and even cash back. 

In November last year, the Truth & BrandMapp Loyalty Whitepaper 2022, which tracks the country’s leading loyalty programmes, noted that since 2015 they have seen an increase in loyalty programme usage of 6% points, from 67% to 73% in 2022, but over the past four years there has been marginal change in the number of consumers using loyalty programmes. South African consumers are using 9.2 programmes on average. 

Eighty-two per cent of consumers in the mass market use loyalty programmes. 

Unlike traditional rewards programmes, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet benefits member-nominated beneficiaries by delivering funding to schools, charities, communities and animal and environmental organisations. 

Each time a customer swipes their MySchool card in a partner store, that partner donates a percentage of their spend to their chosen beneficiary, at no cost to the customer. 

The MySchool card can be swiped with the partner’s loyalty card or linked to it (as is the case with Woolworths’ WRewards programme), so MySchool members can earn rewards and help deserving beneficiaries.

Established on 30 September 1997 by a Johannesburg parent who wanted to help his child’s school raise more funds in an easy and sustainable manner, the programme quickly became a popular fundraising tool in many schools.

Woolworths became the programme’s main partner and later bought a majority share in the business. Woolworths then bought out the business and MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet became part of the Woolworths Group.

In 2007, the MySchool programme expanded to assist “Villages” and “Planets” — hence the name MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet.

More than 7,500 registered schools benefit from funds raised through customer swipes.

MyVillage supports charities and welfare organisations, including Cotlands, Childline, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation, SA National Council for the Blind, The Starfish Foundation, NOAH, Sunflower Fund, Children’s Hospital Trust, NSRI, SA Guide-Dogs Association, Doctors without Borders, SOS Children’s Village, Hospice and others.

MyPlanet, focused on wildlife conservation, the environment and animal welfare, benefits the WWF, Sanccob, The Society for Animals in Distress, Endangered Wildlife Trust, the MyPlanet Rhino Fund, the SPCA National Fund, National Horse Trust, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League, BirdLife SA and more.

The general manager of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, Pieter Twine, said the programme has turned the traditional loyalty rewards model on its head: “We’re offering members the opportunity to be loyal to causes as well as retailers and help make a tangible difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”

Citing examples such as Grow Educare, which has offered access to early learning for over 2,200 children in under-served communities; an upcoming collaboration with Operation Smile to provide restorative surgeries to 35 children; and a R7.3-million water project that provided handwashing stations, 172 water tanks and rainwater storage at 100 schools, Twine said: “These are just a few examples of how loyalty programmes can make a genuine impact, based on zero personal gain for the member.” 

You can sign up for a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card online or via the app (Google Play or Apple App Store) to give a little back — at no charge — with every swipe. BM/DM


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