Our commitment to each scholar means up to 9 years of education and support.


Maintaining our corporate reputation is critical to the sustainability of MAD Leadership Foundation.


Francois Pienaar and a group of like-minded individuals shared a vision to develop academically talented scholars with leadership potential into future leaders for South Africa. Make A Difference Leadership Foundation NPC* was formed in 2003 to realise this ambition to transform South Africa – one scholar at a time. Francois Pienaar was appointed as the Founding Chairman and 15 businessmen made a personal commitment to the organisation and were appointed Members.

Make A Difference Leadership Foundation (MAD Leadership Foundation) is still working hard to fulfil the shared vision of the founding members to Make A Difference in the lives of talented, young South Africans with leadership potential.

*Previously also known as MAD, THE MAD BUNCH,


The key output is an alumni of Make A Difference Leadership Foundation Fellows who aim to invest back in South Africa and who are a powerful force for positive change in their own unique way and leaders in their own right.

With this vision, we aim to develop carefully selected scholars as leaders in their chosen fields: they define the parameters of leadership applicable to their lives, but all scholars are expected to step forward whenever there is a need to drive positive change. These leaders do what is right, not just what is popular; they inspire others and they Make A Difference, whatever their job title.

The foundation for this vision is their personal integrity, plus the core leadership values we seek to instil:


Ambition with hard work


Passion with discipline


Courage with honesty


Confidence with humility


It is the mission of MAD Leadership Foundation to provide academically talented scholars with exceptional leadership development opportunities through education and mentorship, in order to inspire a better future for South Africa.

We therefore focus on:

  • Carefully selecting scholars with academic and leadership potential.
  • Continuously developing, supporting and monitoring our scholars through an integrated, personal and comprehensive Scholarship Programme.
  • Removing every barrier between potential and future success for our scholars.
  • Maintaining a passion for what we do and what we want to achieve for the leaders of tomorrow.
  • Adhering to strict corporate governance principles and financial integrity.
  • Forming long-term professional partnerships with corporates, trusts, other organisations and individuals who are committed to our vision.
  • Hosting dynamic fundraising initiatives locally and abroad.
  • Creating a legacy to be proud of by nurturing the leaders and role models of tomorrow.


The ability to continue growing, so as to assist even more academically talented future leaders, has been made possible by our guiding principles, which ensure that our legacy is maintained.


Maintaining our corporate reputation is critical to the sustainability of MAD Leadership Foundation. The combined strength of the MAD Leadership Foundation Members’ corporate standing and the long-standing support of our Founding Chairman, Francois Pienaar, ensures that our reputation of excellence and financial integrity is never compromised.


Our commitment to each scholar means up to 9 years of education and support, including schooling and tertiary education. In order to honour this commitment we do careful financial planning and ensure we don’t take any new scholars onto the programme unless we have at least 75% of the funding needed for them to either finish their high school or tertiary career.


The MAD Leadership Foundation Team, Members and Scholars maintain the utmost professionalism when interacting with our partners, supporters and the general public.


We are a non-profit organisation with an investment approach, a big heart and a fun mind-set. We see you as our partner as we work together to build a better future for South Africa. We encourage you to invest with us and allow us to re-invest this back into our future leaders: scholars who will one day be leaders in their professions, communities and potentially your company.


The reputation and integrity of MAD Leadership Foundation will not be compromised and excellent corporate governance is achieved through the following focused approached:


Founding Chairman, Francois Pienaar, and the Members of the Executive Committee share a passionate commitment to MAD Leadership Foundation’s reputation for excellence and the highest financial integrity. This is monitored through the Finance Committee.


The Executive Committee consists of high profile respected business leaders, which ensures that MAD Leadership Foundation’s policies and procedures comply with the relevant statutory policies. These policies relate to the duties of the full Executive Committee and to the delegation of authority to its sub-committees and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).


MAD Leadership Foundation is a registered Public Benefit Organisation in terms of section 30 of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962; therefore donations to the organisation are exempt from donations tax in terms of section 56(1)(h) of the Act. Section 18A(1) of the Act provides for a deduction in terms of donations made in the form of cash or certain types of assets made, inter alia, to PBOs approved under section 30(1), provided that the donor is in possession of a valid receipt and that the donation does not exceed 10% of taxable income.

Donations that are allowed and for which MAD Leadership Foundation can issue an 18A certificate are those that comply with the following:

  • Donations need to be unencumbered (unconditional) to further the objectives of MAD Leadership Foundation.
  • There must be no contractual obligations that need to be fulfilled and no deliverables to be met in return for the donation.
  • MAD Leadership Foundation must be free to use its discretion as to how the donation will be utilised.


South Africa:
Make A Difference Leadership Foundation NPC. Registration no.: 2003/009386/08
Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) ref. no.: 52-838. Public Benefit Organisation (PBO)/Section 18(A) ref. no.: 930009667.

United Kingdom:
Make A Difference Leadership Foundation. Registration no.: 1126724

United States of America:
Make A Difference Leadership Foundation. INC. EIN: 27-0882749
Donations to a non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation are tax deductible for U.S. Federal Income Tax purposes.


Everything we do is measured against our values – which are based on a meaningful belief, mission and philosophy to Make A Difference in South Africa by developing future leaders. The foundation is built on the following precepts:


Ambition with hard work


Passion with discipline


Courage with honesty


Confidence with humility




  • Helette Pieterse – Chief Executive Officer
  • Amy Stevens – Marketing & PR Manager
  • Angelique Krouse – Finance and Administration
  • Carin Bester – Scholar Wellness Programme
  • Helena Herbert – Communications Officer
  • Helen de Wet – Scholar Support Unit: Scholar Coordinator
  • Jodie Donaldson – HR Practitioner (Volunteer)
  • Josephine Cilliers – Marketing & Communications Coordinator
  • Jocelyn Thomlinson – Project Assistant: Psychometric Assessments & Reporting
  • Madeleine Beyers – Events Coordinator
  • Marita Dewberry – Events Coordinator
  • Monique Levack – Scholar Coordinator
  • René Oelofse – Projects & Operations
  • Renee Scholtz – Accountant
  • Shannon Willows – Scholar Support Unit: Independent Psychometrist: Career Guidance and Planning
  • Wilmari du Plessis – Executive Coordinator


  • Francois Pienaar
  • Deon Huysamer
  • Francois Kuttel
  • Hein Koegelenberg
  • Helette Pieterse
  • Jannie Durand

Executive Committee:

  • Francois Pienaar (Chairman)
  • Jannie Durand (Deputy Chairman)
  • Craig Ceasar
  • Deon Huysamer
  • Francois Kuttel
  • Gavin Dittmar
  • Hein Koegelenberg
  • Helette Pieterse
  • Malcolm Hughes
  • Mark Sherrington
  • Riaan Winter
  • Rynard van der Westhuizen
  • Sharon Keith


  • Francois Pienaar (Chairman)
  • Jannie Durand (Deputy Chairman)
  • Craig Ceasar
  • Dawie Venter
  • Deon Huysamer
  • Dominic Silvester
  • Francois Kuttel
  • Gavin Dittmar
  • Hein Koegelenberg
  • Hendrik Kotze
  • Jean Engelbrecht
  • Jeremy Nel
  • Joe Kieser
  • Jonathan Ackerman
  • Karien Winter
  • Linda Geldenhuys
  • Malcolm Hughes
  • Mark Sherrington
  • Pierre du Preez
  • Riaan Winter
  • Rynard van der Westhuizen
  • Sharon Keith



  • David Grisley
  • David Hackett
  • Jeremy Thompson

MAD Leadership Foundation Golf Day Committee:

  • Clare Spedding
  • David Grisley
  • David Hackett
  • Dominic Silvester
  • Hendrik Kotze
  • Katie Barnes



  • Dominic Silvester
  • Francois Pienaar
  • Jannie Durand
  • Marco Masotti

MAD Leadership Foundation Golf Day Committee:

  • Conrad van van Loggerenberg
  • Dominic Silvester
  • Eitan Arbeter
  • Marco Masotti
  • Stephanie McCavitt
  • Tanya Kaur
  • Victoria Forrester










* Donation in ZAR

For a Full list of all our Donation options and infomation please Visit our Full Donation Page using the button Below

Donation Page



Graduated: 2007
Qualification: Biokinetics (Hons)
Institution: University of Johannesburg
Currently: Biokineticist business owner Leadership Aims to assist others in starting their own Biokineticist business venture


Graduated: 2014
Qualification: BSc in Human Life Sciences
Institution: University of Stellenbosch
Currently: Temporarily waitressing at Bistro1682 team
 Leadership: Aims to mentor at Kronendal Primary School Netball Team
Currently part of the senior service team at Bistro1682


Graduated: 2011
Qualification: BA Humanities & BPhil in Document Design and Analysis (Internal & External Effective Written Communication)
Institution: University of Stellenbosch
Currently: Fulltime freelancer (editor, writer, proof-reader, content & online community specialist) at a transformational leadership organisation
Goals: Establish her own consultancy business
Leadership: Aims to develop an educational curriculum and life skills training program, long with a dialogue program in her hometown for disadvantaged adolescents


Graduated: 2010
Qualification: 2008 – 2010: B.Comm Investment Management, University of Stellenbosch
2011 – 2012 : Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning, University of Stellenbosch
2012: CFP® Candidate
2013 – 2014: FAPM Honours. University of Cape Town
2014: CFA Level 1
Currently: Security Valuations Specialist at a Fund Administration Company
Goals: CFA level 2 exam in June 2016 Senior Security Valuations Specialist – Team Leader Analyst at an Asset Management Firm
CFA Chartership in 2017


Graduated: 2011
Qualification: 2009: BA (LLB) Degree
2011: LLB Degree
Institution: Stellenbosch University
Currently: Social Justice Attorney at Equal Education Law Centre (EELC)
Goals: Continue working at the EELC or similar organisations to build up her expertise within the sector
Leadership: Aims to become an activist for the advancement of the rights of learners with disabilities and/or learning barriers to ensure their right to a basic education is realised


Graduated: 2012
Qualification: B.A (Mathematics) Degree
Institution: Wesleyan University (USA)
Currently: USA High School Mathematics Teacher
Goals: 2016 Masters in Mathematics Education at UCT or Wits
Once completed, aims to return to the USA to study toward an Education Doctorate specializing in curriculum & instruction
Leadership: Nominated as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction in recognition of his impact as an educator, leader & role model
Guest speaker at a recruitment & immigrations information session
Guest speaker at a Washington DC Symposium on teaching


Graduated: 2014
Qualification: Bachelor of Law
Institution: Stellenbosch University
Currently: First year Candidate Attorney at Catto Neethling Wiid Inc
Goals: Aiming to complete remaining 3 board exams by February 2016 & to complete his Articles of Clerkship before being admitted as an attorney


Graduated: 2013 (BComm) & 2014 (BCommHons)
Qualification: BComm (Actuarial Science)
BCommHons (Actuarial Science)
Institution: Stellenbosch University
Currently: Actuarial Analyst
Goals: Qualify as a fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa
Leadership: Attended the ICMIF Advanced Management Course in 2013
Aims to add value to CSI or community development initiatives by helping quantify the value that they add to society


Graduated: 2014
Qualification: Mechanical Engineering
Institution: Harvard University
Currently: McKinsey & Company


Graduated: 2014
Qualification: BCom (Financial Accounting)
Institution: Stellenbosch University
Currently: Trainee Accountant. Registered with SAICA doing Articles at FODB in Ceres
Goals: Bachelor of Accounting Science in Financial Accounting at UNISA in 2016


Graduated: 2014
Qualification: Coaching Science Diploma & Sport Management Diploma
Institution: ETA College
Currently: Fitness Instructor & Trainer / part time Football coach
Goals: Working in the UK as a football coach, for Coaching for Hope using football sessions as a tool to educate the youth on HIV/Aids and substance abuse, as well as to create future leaders
Leadership: To become a sports mentor, a motivational speaker to the youth and to be known as an influential and charismatic coach


Graduated: 2014
Qualification: Degree in International Communications
Institution: University of the Witwatersrand
Currently: Admin in the Private Office of the President
Goals: Training as a Media Liaison Officer
Develop in the fields of Strategic Management, Policy Development & International Relations
Masters Degree in Strategic Management (2016)
Leadership: Received competency certificates for: Emerging Managers Development Programme, Events Management, Records Management, Diversity Management & Project Management


Graduated: 2015
Qualification: BA in Economics, minoring in Women and Gender Studies
Institution: Bucknell University, USA
Currently: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in their New York Tax Group
Leadership: Create an organization that provides South African students with the opportunity to learn about the ever growing and changing global landscape, and to help position South Africa as an effective global participant


Graduated: 2015
Qualification: Media Practices majoring in TV Production
Institution: Boston Media House
Currently: Freelance Actress currently on the show Muvhango
Goals: To study either International Communication or Corporate Communication
Leadership: Visit students in less fortunate schools to assist those scholars who would like to pursue a career in the dramatic arts


Graduated: 2014
Qualification: 2013: Bachelor of Social Science (Social Anthropology, Sociology, Public Policy & Administration)
2014: Honours in Social Anthropology
Institution: University of Cape Town
Currently: Masters of Practical Anthropology (UCT)
Goals: Obtain PhD in Anthropology at a South African and/or an international university Become a social science researcher & academic
Leadership: Become a leading scholar of feminist anthropology in SA, representing the social realities of women through qualitative research
Become a tenured Professor of Anthropology, in order to address the underrepresentation of black academics in South African universities, as well as to encourage other students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue their goals and dreams



Our long-term financial commitment would not be possible without the extraordinary generosity of our partners, who do so much for MAD Leadership Foundation. We value this support tremendously, as it assists us in growing the number of scholars we can support each year – and therefore allows MAD Leadership Foundation to make an even bigger difference in South Africa, by developing more leaders to be a positive force for change. Thank you for partnering with us to build a better future for South Africa.

We have always believed in the vast potential this beautiful country has. First and foremost we believe that real change will come from strong leaders and that their potential needs to be developed through education and mentorship. Our belief is that creating an alumnus of MAD Leadership Foundation Fellows – who are leaders across many different professions in all walks of life and who are educated, mentored and developed with a strong guiding value system – will make all the difference in South Africa.

The ability to continue growing, in order to develop even more future leaders, has been made possible by our guiding principles, which ensure that our legacy is maintained.

Read more here. We want to work with you to invest in South Africa’s future leaders. Each partnership is unique and aligned with each corporation’s goals or skills development and CSI initiatives to invest in education and develop talent to its full potential.


The importance and value of a MAD Leadership Foundation mentor to the success of the programme is without question: they are there to act as a safety net, to identify possible problem areas and to help with personal skills development.

Mentors help empower our scholars with life-skills development, expose them to the business world,
create networking and internship opportunities, and guide them in the direction of becoming agents for positive change in our society.

Commitments of a mentor:

  • Workshops and written guidelines are provided, in order to ensure that the mentor is equipped to mentor effectively and knows what is expected of him/her.
  • Regular communication with his/her mentee is recommended.
  • At least one monthly meeting with the mentee is compulsory.

Apply to be a mentor:

  • Mentors go through a thorough screening process and references are checked, before MAD Leadership Foundation matches a scholar with a new mentor.
  • The match-making process is based on gender (e.g. male to male), proximity to each other and rapport between the mentor and MAD Leadership Foundation scholar. You can download an application form here and submit it to


Find out more:

+27 (0) 21 948 9871