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Case Studies

Sage Foundation

We are passionate about our communities and giving people the tools to make a difference

These are just some of the projects that Sage Foundation is honoured to support:


In 2016, Sage’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Hare made a risky commitment.

He told people he’d do something he hated if they would sponsor him to do it – he would run. And not just a light jog every now and then – but a pledge to run 500k. Not all at once, of course.

This was all to raise money for Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project (CVYP), a small charity that offers a range of opportunities to help young people in the North East of England. They provide safe and friendly services that meet the changing needs of young people of differing ages and abilities, working with around 250 young people every week.

Steve was very firmly Not a Runner, and a self-confessed spectator rather than participator when it came to sport. ‘Gym – sure. I’d even stretch to a misadventure with a wakeboard on holiday’ – but that was about it.

His family and friends weren’t sure about his plan. “I was confronted with a mixture of laughter and concern for my joints.”

The trick was to start slowly and not overdo it, mixing running and walking. It wasn’t always easy – especially in the winter months in the rain and the cold. The key was to remember why he was doing it. “Every time you want to find a reason to cancel, you need to know why you are running. As people in business like to say – find your why.”

And before long, it wasn’t just Steve who was finding his why. What started as his own personal fundraising journey spread across the whole finance team at Sage, and now it’s gone global. 

To put 500k into context, it’s about –

Five marathons…

56 times the length of the Great Wall of China…

And 73 times the length of the Nile.

Now, Steve’s set himself a new challenge – to take his total raised for CVYP up to £150,000 – helping Sage Foundation get closer to the ambitious $2 million target. The money raised will go towards helping the charity build a new recreation centre – providing the disadvantaged young people in the area with the opportunity to experience bike riding, camping, archery, sailing, water sports, heritage walks and much more; usually for the first time.

One thing’s for certain – Steve can’t say he’s not a runner anymore.

Join Sage’s $2 million challenge today.


Non-profits are businesses. They just sell ideas, not products. Sage Foundation partner Literacy Action sells the idea that every adult, no matter their background, economic circumstance or access, has the right to an education.

Founded in 1968 as a part of the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia, Literacy Action teaches literacy, life, and work skills to undereducated adults. Students range from 16 to 86 in age, hail from 13 Atlanta-area counties and 37 countries, and juggle jobs and children at home.

More than 2,000 adult learners enroll each year to build their skills and move ahead. About 80% of students enter Literacy Action's programming at a third grade level or below; its efforts raise educational level, enhance employability, and empower parents. Literacy Action develops economically and socially viable adults every day.

Over 90% of Literacy Action's $2.3 million annual operating budget comes from philanthropy, and Sage Foundation is proud to be one of its supporters.

But successful non-profits need more than donations; they need technological solutions to move their mission forward.

That is why Sage has today launched its award-winning, real-time Sage Live accounting solution for non-profit organisations at Dreamforce. The Sage Live Non-profit solution will help thousands of charities benefit from cutting-edge technology and donated software through Sage Foundation.

Building on market and customer experience, Sage wants to do more to support non-profits. With tightening budgets and a need to diversify funding streams, charities big and small need to make their money work harder to go beyond just the financial compliance of tracking, budget reduction and auditing.

The Sage Live Non-profit solution, built on the Salesforce1 platform was designed specifically for non-profits just like Literacy Action — to give them access to cloud accounting technology and tools tailored to their needs, including balance sheet, Statement of Financial Activities (SOFA) reporting, general processing and fund management capabilities.

Literacy Action are the first non-profit to benefit from both the Sage Live Non-profit solution and a software donation from Sage Foundation. The charity is already using the software to improve effectiveness and realise efficiencies that maximise donors' contributions. Combined with their Salesforce platform where they use the Non-profit Starter Pack, Literacy Action has been able to take its financial management to a new level.   

“It's important for us to have a single view of what's happening across the organisation at any given moment. Sage Live makes this incredibly easy. It's intuitive and, because it's real time in the cloud, we know it's always accurate,” said Austin Dickson, Literacy Action's Executive Director. “Using Sage Live has not only made our finances much easier from a workload perspective, but the platform has helped us build a foundation on which we can grow the organisation to scale. That's thrilling.”

Sage Foundation will provide every eligible non-profit, charity or social enterprise with two donated Sage Live user licences, and a 50% discount on any additional licences.

Join @Sage Foundation on Twitter and follow the #DF16 #SageLive conversation.


On Mandela Day in South Africa, their country’s citizens are asked to donate 67 minutes of time to give back to their communities. Sage employees took this call to action to heart, organising a volunteer day with Afrika Tikkun, a charity that works towards transforming today’s children and youths into productive citizens of the future. Sage employees dedicated the day to working with children in Diepsloot, an impoverished area north of Johannesburg. Diepsloot has a high youth unemployment rate, and is lacking in child development programmes. When combined with the socio-economic status of the area, the residents there suffer from a breakdown in family structures and struggle to see a better future. In partnership with Afrika Tikkun, Sage employees bonded with the children through fun and educational activities.

“How do you measure the smile on a child’s face when they live in such extreme poverty? And for one morning, we help them forget that,” said Joanne van der Walt, Sage Foundation Programme Manager for Africa. “I’m so pleased that we came together to experience the joy of volunteering and make a difference in the lives of these children.” Volunteers hosted a Career Readiness workshop, supporting Afrika Tikkun’s “cradle to career” model of support. During the workshop, employees from Sage spoke about managing a personal brand on social media, developing a winning CV, and ways of succeeding a job interview. In addition, Sage volunteers helped children aged 4 to 8 years old decorate cupcakes with icing and candies, adding a sweet and creative aspect to the day. “We will definitely volunteer with Afrika Tikkun again,” said Joanne. “It was the perfect way to help those in need on Mandela Day, and our employees loved the experience of working with children.”