Feenix Chief Operations Officer, Leana de Beer. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN –  Crowdfunding platform Feenix is connecting students with businesses and individuals who are able to donate funds to their tertiary fees. 

The crowdfunding platform was launched in June 2017 as a response to the #FeesMustFall movement that spread across campuses in South Africa during 2015 and 2016.

Feenix Chief Operations Officer, Leana de Beer said that the crowdfunding platform seeks to create debt-free education and was co-created with students, as a digital space where businesses and individuals are able to donate funds for tertiary education. 

"As an online platform, Feenix is scalable and transparent in that only 5 percent of funds raised are used for administrative costs. This ensures 95 percent of the funds are strictly used for the funding of student education," said de Beer. 

Standard Bank is the founding partner of Feenix and they are in the belief that access to education should not be dependant on wealth. 

"To start the process, students need to register on the Feenix crowdfunding platform, upload their fee statements and define a funding goal.“Once a student has registered, they are able to reach out to their communities, such as friends and family, individuals and businesses, who can all contribute to that student’s funding," explained de Beer. 

Funders are then able to donate directly to a student they connect with or to the Feenix Pool Fund. 

Feenix also creates potential long-term employment opportunities for students by connecting graduates with businesses upon request.

"Through the matchmaking process, donors can identify students they want to donate to. Even though all communication between students and donors are facilitated through Feenix, donors can receive progress reports of the students they funded. After graduation, should the corporate donor wish to get in touch with the student with regards to employment opportunities, this can be arranged through Feenix," said de Beer.

Feenix has raised R27.5 million to date which has impacted 860 lives. They currently have 117 corporate and 1139 individual donors. 

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