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Donors & Partners


The MRF’s founding benefaction came from the partnership that Mr Mandela entered into with the Rhodes Trust in 2003. Since then, the MRF has benefited from the extraordinary generosity of major donors who have established further Mandela Rhodes Scholarships. These donors share our vision of equipping the next generation of leaders who will make meaningful positive change on the African continent.

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Endowment Donors

These organisations and individuals have made significant donations to our endowment, covering the cost of one or more Mandela Rhodes Scholarships in perpetuity.

The Rhodes Trust logo

‘Creating any serious, new organisation is challenging. History teaches us that creating institutions that will endure is even more difficult … the MRF has achieved the objectives in terms of Mr Mandela’s and the Rhodes Trust’s ideals. More than a decade on, the future of the MRF has never been brighter or more exciting.’

The Leverhulme Trust logo

‘The aspirations of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation and The Leverhulme Trust are in the happiest of resonance; the target itself remains as crucial and challenging as it ever was.’

The McCall MacBain Foundation

‘The McCall MacBain Foundation is very proud to support the important role The Mandela Rhodes Foundation plays in offering unique opportunities for some of Africa’s most promising young leaders.’

Oxford University Press

‘OUP is committed to transformation and empowerment in South Africa and we believe that our innovative partnership with The Mandela Rhodes Foundation goes right to the heart of the spirit of transformation.’


‘This is a journey of a million steps and we look forward to contributing toward promoting The Mandela Rhodes Foundation’s principles of leadership, education, entrepreneurship and reconciliation.’

Peter Cundill Foundation

‘The Peter Cundill Foundation Trustees believe that their mission – Promoting the health, education and well-being of young people – fits very well with The Mandela Rhodes Foundation’s central purpose of building exceptional leadership capacity in Africa.’

Old Mutual

‘We are investing in the success of future Mandela Rhodes Scholars. We are partnering with the MRF to help nurture future leaders, especially in the fields of maths and science. This partnership speaks of our commitment to SA and our drive to invest in education.’


‘46664 is delighted to be in a position to support the work of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation in identifying and nurturing the next generations of young African leaders, distinguished by their excellence and their ethics.’


‘In the end it is about creating opportunities … opportunities to learn, to grow, to develop, to help our youth to become the best they can be.’

Sibanye Gold

‘As the founding fathers of South African democracy and Sibanye Gold respectively, Nelson Mandela and Cecil John Rhodes have played a significant role in shaping the leaders of this country. We are pleased to be associated with The Mandela Rhodes Foundation.’

British American Tabacco

‘We are guided by the principle of creating a legacy of leaders and are committed to transformation and making a positive impact. We are proud to partner with The Mandela Rhodes Foundation – an organisation dedicated to making a difference to the futures of our young people.’

Unilever South Africa

‘Unilever South Africa believes true change comes from long-term investment in our country’s young people. We are proud to continue Unilever’s legacy of supporting the development of tomorrow’s leaders through our partnership with the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.’

The Friends of The MRF (USA)

‘The Friends of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation (USA) wishes all at the Foundation and all the Mandela Rhodes Scholars, every success in their continuing endeavours in this important work for Africa.’

David Cohen

‘The Mandela Rhodes Scholarships represent the future I wish for Africa – education, leadership and civic society – together realising the potential of this great continent.’

The Hunter Foundation

‘Leadership is the key to Africa’s future and the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships programme plays a crucial role in developing the leaders of tomorrow from Africa, for Africa.’

Gary Lubner

‘It is a source of great pleasure to me that we have been able to bring into being, in the name of my family, an additional Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. I know that the beneficiaries will make the most of the opportunity.’

Shaun and Stefania Johnson

‘Our family is honoured to be associated with The Mandela Rhodes Foundation and delighted to play a small part in supporting the future leaders of Africa in their quest to become all that they aspire to be.’

Mandela Centenary donors

To celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, the MRF attained the milestone of having 100 Mandela Rhodes Scholars in residence. The special donors who helped make these scholarships available are:

General donors

These individuals and organisations have given generously to the programmes, projects and operations of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation itself.

How to donate

Do you want to support the work of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation? You can contribute to our endowment fund to create a scholarship in perpetuity or make a general donation to the Foundation. The MRF has donation vehicles in South Africa and America - please get in touch directly to donate from other areas.

Become an endowment partner

Support one or more Mandela Rhodes Scholars each and every year – in perpetuity.

These donors receive full recognition for their support through the partnering of our name with theirs in respect of the scholarship(s) they support. Furthermore, they are provided with the opportunity (but not obligation) to develop a relationship with the scholars they support. The capital commitment required to establish a single scholarship per year in perpetuity can be donated over a period of 5 years. Any donor wishing to become an Endowment Partner with the MRF on this basis should contact Operations Director Ernst Gerber directly. Email [email protected].

Make a general, once-off donation

Donate any amount to support the work of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Many of our donors are unable to fund an entire scholarship but still contribute towards the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships and Alumni Programming. We gratefully accept all contributions no matter how small. These are aggregated with other partial donations and, when they are sufficient to fund an additional scholarship we then add a further scholar to the cohort for that year, or fund our additional alumni programming. To donate in this way, please use the details below.

Make a monthly donation

Sign up to donate an amount of your choosing to the Mandela Rhodes Foundation every month. Become a part of something bigger! Your contribution matters, no matter how small. This option is particularly aimed at alumni of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. Choose the amount that vou would like to contribute monthly and provide your credit card details; the MRF will automatically bill your monthly donation. You can cancel your subscription at any time. To start, please fill in the form in the section below.

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