CSI initiatives

Famous Brands makes a substantial contribution to economic and social development in SA and beyond through annual CSI initiatives.

Famous Brands’ Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Programme is a deliberate, focused, coherent and progressive programme that is professionally managed, guided by a common policy framework and is seen as strategic to the business. All CSI activities are coordinated by the Transformation Office and Social and Ethics Committee.

CSI Programme’s Strategic Objectives

To achieve our CSI goals, our policy and programmes are aimed at:

  • focusing on initiatives which enjoy broad-based stakeholders’ support while avoiding handout tendencies which prove unsustainable;
  • ensuring that communities and beneficiaries of the programmes are actively consulted in the process of project selection, implementation and evaluation;
  • quantifying the costs and benefits of the programmes selected and evaluating them in terms of their ability to contribute to capacity building, improving the quality of life and ensuring sustainable development;
  • defining the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and projects/programme beneficiaries, with specific emphasis on financial controls and corporate governance compliance;
  • building community awareness and recognition of the role played by Famous Brands in developing communities through appropriate and transparent outreach initiatives;
  • contributing to the socio-economic upliftment of primarily historically disadvantaged communities; and
  • to build and improve relationships with the company’s existing and potential stakeholders through forming mutually beneficial partnerships.

Corporate social investment initiatives

Our biggest CSI initiatives are driven by our Leading Brands. These brands’ promotional activities elevate the profiles of recipient charities and funding campaigns and the funds raised allow beneficiaries to expand their activities.

Sport is a big focus for all our Leading Brands. These brands support the FNB Varsity Cup (rugby for 2020). Sponsorships provide funding to talented student athletes after they leave school and before turning professional, boosting the development of rising sporting stars in SA.


According to Statistics South Africa, 11% of the population (6.5 million people) suffer from hunger. Steers has partnered with ROUNDA since 2018 to combat hunger and alleviate poverty in South Africa. ROUNDA is an initiative by the Nikela Charity Funding and Development Trust. The initiative, which runs both in-store and online, allows customers to donate an additional R1 with the purchase of any Steers product.

ROUNDA has fed thousands of hungry stomachs and enabled the building of five Shout libraries across South Africa. These libraries provide access to books for many South Africans who would not otherwise enjoy the benefits of reading. For Nikela Trust’s 2022 financial year, (March 2021 to February 2022), with the support of employees and franchise partners, Steers raised R1.07 million to donate to ROUNDA for running feeding schemes, supporting early childhood development and education programmes, and supported sick and vulnerable individuals, all working collectively to reduce the impact of hunger. The total collected for ROUNDA through Steers from inception is more than R4.2 million.

Debonairs Doughnation

Debonairs Pizza’s Doughnation is a community project that started in 2012 that uses excess pizza dough to make flatbreads delivered to organisations that feed children, the elderly, and families in need. Doughnation runs across South Africa and Botswana.

After the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal in July 2022, Debonairs supported the charities they already support with an additional R2 million.

Wimpy and Reach for a Dream

Wimpy has supported Reach for a Dream since 2013. This charity foundation helps children with life-threatening illnesses fulfil their dreams. Customers can purchase a sticker for Slipper Day for R20 or donate. For every sticker purchased, or every donation over R20, Wimpy will reward customers with a free coffee to be enjoyed on Slipper Day.

Wimpy began the Cups for Votes initiative in 2009. On 1 November 2021, Wimpy once again incentivised South Africans to vote in the national municipal elections by rewarding them with a free Wimpy coffee for voting. Customers responded positively to the campaign with high social media engagement rates.

The Wimpy Cups for Vacs initiative began in August 2021 when the COVID-19 vaccination programme became widely available. Wimpy rewards customers with a free coffee with proof of vaccination within 48-hours of receiving the jab.

As part of Wimpy’s sponsorship of Lifesavers South Africa, Wimpy created the ‘Hero of the Month’ award for a lifesaver who has made an outstanding contribution to lifesaving. The recipient received a Wimpy voucher. Wimpy also sponsored the Lifesaving Surfboat Shootout, where lifesavers race boats branded in Wimpy branding.

Case study: Mugg & Bean and Cupcakes of Hope

Since 2012, Mugg & Bean has been a proud supporter of Cupcakes of Hope, which assists families dealing with childhood cancer with day-to-day financial assistance. The brand’s ethos of generosity envisaged by the Mugg & Bean founders provides a natural fit with the valuable work undertaken by Cupcakes of Hope. The initial collaboration involved in-store activations encouraging customers to order specially developed cupcakes in our restaurants, with the proceeds donated to the non-profit.

Each subsequent year as Cupcakes of Hope supported more families, Mugg & Bean also expanded its activity. The brand enabled customers and franchisees to join in contributing more. The relationship evolved from purely a financial contribution to a true partnership. Franchisees actively participate in projects and activities run by Cupcakes of Hope. Mugg & Bean also linked its heritage giant muffin range to the campaign, allowing for a better fit for the brand and its products.

After the challenging COVID-19 period, Mugg & Bean launched its most ambitious Muffins for Kids with Cancer campaign in September 2021. In the spirit of partnership with the franchise network, Mugg & Bean donated R5 from every muffin sold. This was split 50/50 between Mugg & Bean and the franchisees.

Mugg & Bean also launched an exciting Giant Monster Muffin and received complimentary TV airtime from our media partners in addition to in-store, digital, out-of-home and social media elements. A comprehensive campaign and franchisee-driven activities allowed Mugg & Bean to raise R1.1 million for Cupcakes for Hope. This allows the organisation to assist over 200 families.

Milky Lane and the Smile Foundation

Milky Lane has partnered with the Smile Foundation since 2018. Milky Lane hosts fun events, including cycling challenges, to raise funds for the foundation.

Established in 2007, the Smile Foundation has helped provide plastic and reconstructive surgery to more than 4 000 children living with facial abnormalities, including cleft lip and palate, facial paralysis and burns. Milky Lane celebrates children who have undergone the surgery with NiceCream cakes, Stix and Conez for the celebration hosted for children and their families.

Tembisa Feeding Scheme

Famous Brands Head Office has supported Tembisa Child and Family Welfare since 2020. The canteen at the Famous Brands Midrand Campus supports the organisation through a daily feeding scheme for 80 children and staff members.

Tembisa Child and Family Welfare was established in 1986 to care for abandoned, abused and neglected children and HIV/AIDS infected orphans. Ideally, the organisation places children with foster or adoptive families. Where this is not possible, children are placed in two children’s homes. The organisation also creates local employment through projects such as a sewing school, a bakery, food gardening and soap recycling.