Our Portfolios - The five focus areas where we believe our investments will have the most impact.

DGMT recognises the critical role of social dynamics in shaping programme outcomes. For that reason, we have created a cross-cutting strategic focus on key aspects of social dynamics, to:

  • Build connectedness between people and groups in order to overcome the social and structural divides of our country;
  • Change the terms of recognition of people, so that all feel affirmed to seize opportunity for themselves and, at the same time, contribute to shaping a better society;
  • Challenge power differentials between rich and poor, black and white, men and women, children and adults, and public administrators and service recipients – to promote a society that is fair and just;
  • Confront societal norms that perpetuate inequality, injustice or tolerance of corruption or social hazard;
  • Promote institutional effectiveness by supporting systemic improvements, while at the same time building processes of accountability;
  • Inspire innovation in the mindset of public servants and society at large, because that is what drives both economic productivity and social change.


ilifa labantwanaIlifa Labantwana is an initiative to develop quality, scalable and sustainable early childhood programmes for disadvantaged children in South Africa. It originated as a funding partnership between the DG Murray Trust, the UBS Optimus Foundation and the ELMA Foundation.Its second phase started in June 2013 and will run until June 2016. The UBS Optimus Foundation has stepped down as a full strategic partner for the second phase, but continues to provide generous support to the programme and focus on the innovations of particular interest to its funding portfolio. New to the partnership is the First Rand Foundation which will form part of the core donor team with the DG Murray Trust and the ELMA Foundation.

Activate! Leadership for Public InnovationActivate! Leadership for Public Innovation was launched in 2011 and is co-funded by the DG Murray Trust and the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW. The goal of the programme is to spark public innovation and accountability by charging up a network of young leaders so that they can link the poles of South African society. ‘Activators’ are young leaders between 20 and 30 years old who are capacitated through a three year training, experiential and mobilisation programme to be innovative change drivers. Through Activate! young people come together from all walks of life across South Africa, to forge a better country for themselves and for others.
The Innovation Edge supports new ways of thinking, ideas, processes, systems or products that fundamentally shift the way in which we approach early learning in South Africa. It is a social innovation fund established by Ilifa Labantwana in 2014 and is jointly funded by the funders of Ilifa labantwana and the Omidyar Network.The Edge supports innovation through three core practices:

  • Commissioning innovation – contributing to the development and funding of innovations that enhance early learning ecosystems, access, quality and outcomes;
  • Communicating innovation – Enabling the lessons from innovations and from analysis of innovation processes to be widely disseminated;
  • Connecting for innovation – bringing together diverse interests and expertise to contribute to the development, implementation, evaluation and scale of innovation.