Centre for Community Justice and Development: Using Innovative Financing to Sustain Legal Empowerment Work in South Africa

By: +Acumen, Open Society Justice Initiative

This case study follows the story of Winnie Martens, founding director of the Centre for Community Justice (CCJD) in South Africa, as she shaped the organization into a nonprofit social enterprise focused on the intertwined mission of “justice” and “development” for local communities surrounding The University of KwaZulu-Natal. Today, the organization supports a network of 15 advice offices that provide free legal services to rural South  Africans.

The case study discusses the need for innovative financing in the legal empowerment sector and documents Winnie’s efforts to develop a social enterprise model for CCJD. Today, Winnie’ s organization still receives grant and donor funding, but their funding base is complemented by innovative financing from three sources: cost savings from local in-kind contributions, research and consulting services for other organizations, and monthly rent from the University for student housing located on property owned by CCJD.