The Student Sponsorship Program

Developing leaders through academic excellence.

aka SSP   |   Dover, DE   |
GuideStar Charity Check

The Student Sponsorship Program

EIN: 13-4099659


To serve as a dedicated and dynamic force within the Student Sponsorship Program, the U.S. entity is committed to harnessing its resources, expertise, and networks to further the mission of empowering underserved students in South Africa. Through strategic partnerships, fundraising efforts, and advocacy, we strive to create pathways to quality education, mentorship, and comprehensive support, ensuring that talented individuals have the opportunity to rise above challenges and become future leaders who drive positive change and lasting impact.

Ruling year info


Administrative Director, United States

Debra Winter

Executive Director, South Africa

Namhla Ruselo

Main address

8 The Green #17820

Dover, DE 19901 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info



Population served info

People of African descent

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SSP (Student Sponsorship Programme) is dedicated to addressing the critical need for equitable access to quality secondary education in South Africa. The organization focuses on overcoming the barriers faced by underserved students, who, despite possessing remarkable talent and potential, lack the financial resources and support systems necessary to pursue and excel in high-quality educational environments. This gap not only limits individual prospects but also hinders broader societal progress by failing to nurture the next generation of leaders, professionals, and change-makers. SSP aims to fill this void by providing comprehensive scholarships that cover not just tuition, but also mentorship and support, thereby fostering an environment where these students can thrive academically and personally.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Education Scholarships

Scholarships enable academically distinguished, low-income learners to attend South Africa’s top secondary schools.

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Education Scholarships

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Number of academic scholarships awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Education Scholarships

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SSP (Student Sponsorship Programme) aims to transform the landscape of education in South Africa by providing underserved students with access to quality secondary education. Our mission encompasses not just financial support but a holistic approach to development, ensuring that talented young individuals can realize their full potential.

Access to Education: Central to our mission is granting comprehensive scholarships that cover tuition, books, and essential academic resources. This enables students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to attend top-tier secondary schools, removing financial barriers to quality education.

Holistic Development: Beyond academics, SSP fosters overall growth through mentorship, leadership training, and life skills workshops. Our program pairs students with professionals for guidance and introduces them to a wide range of career opportunities and personal development practices.

Sustainability and Expansion: A sustainable model is crucial for SSPs longevity and growth. Strengthening donor networks, engaging alumni, and forming strategic partnerships allow us to increase our scholarship offerings and support more students annually.

Advocacy for Educational Equity: SSP actively advocates for systemic changes to promote educational equity. Through policy engagement and public campaigns, we aim to ensure that all South African students have the opportunity for quality education.

Community Building: Creating a supportive community among scholars, alumni, and partners is vital. This network not only supports current students but also mobilizes a collective force for societal change.

Impact Measurement: Rigorous evaluation of our programs impact helps refine our approach. Tracking academic achievements, tertiary education enrollment, and alumni success allows us to maximize the benefits for our scholars.

Long-Term Goals: Our vision extends to increasing the number of scholarships, leveraging our alumni network for broader impacts, influencing educational policies for greater equity, and gaining global recognition as a transformative educational initiative.

SSP is more than a scholarship program; it's a catalyst for nurturing leaders who will drive positive change. Through education, mentorship, and advocacy, we're committed to creating a brighter future for South Africa.

To achieve SSP's ambitious goals, our strategy is multifaceted and designed to ensure both immediate impact and long-term sustainability. Heres how we plan to make it happen:

1. Enhancing Partnership Networks
We aim to broaden our base of support by strengthening existing partnerships and forging new ones with corporations, foundations, and individual donors aligned with our vision. By showcasing the tangible outcomes of our work, we'll inspire increased investment and commitment.

2. Elevating Our Brand and Visibility
A key component of our strategy involves boosting SSP's visibility through strategic marketing and compelling storytelling. By sharing success stories of our scholars and the program's broader impact, we'll attract new supporters and deepen engagement with current ones.

3. Diversifying Funding Sources
To ensure financial sustainability, we're committed to diversifying our funding streams. This includes exploring grants, initiating endowment funds, organizing fundraising events, and launching digital campaigns to widen our donor base.

4. Expanding Scholarship Offerings
With a solid financial foundation, we plan to steadily increase the number of scholarships awarded. This expansion will enable us to support more students, extending the reach and impact of our program.

5. Advocating for Systemic Change
SSP will intensify its efforts to advocate for educational equity through policy engagement and collaboration with educational authorities. We'll leverage our platform to influence systemic changes that benefit all students.

6. Implementing a Comprehensive Alumni Program
Recognizing the power of our alumni network, we'll implement programs to engage alumni as mentors, donors, and advocates. This approach will not only support current scholars but also strengthen our community of change-makers.

7. Focusing on Impact Measurement and Adaptation
Continuous evaluation of our programs effectiveness is crucial. By measuring academic performance, graduation rates, and other key indicators, we can adapt our strategies to ensure we're meeting the needs of our scholars and maximizing our impact.

8. Building a Strong Organizational Foundation
To support our ambitious goals, we'll invest in our organizational capacity, enhancing our teams skills and resources. This includes professional development, technology upgrades, and operational efficiencies.

Through this comprehensive strategy, SSP aims to not just meet the immediate needs of our scholars but also to lay the groundwork for a future where every talented, underserved student in South Africa has the opportunity to thrive. Our approach is dynamic, allowing us to adapt to changing needs and opportunities to ensure the greatest possible impact.

SSP (Student Sponsorship Programme) possesses unique capabilities that position it effectively to achieve its transformative goals in education within South Africa:

1. Proven Track Record:
With years of experience, SSP has a solid history of providing scholarships and support, proving its ability to elevate the educational journey of underserved students.

2. Robust Networks:
Our extensive networks across schools, alumni, donors, and partners are invaluable for mobilizing resources and creating opportunities for scholars.

3. Holistic Approach:
Beyond academics, SSP emphasizes mentorship and personal development, ensuring scholars grow into well-rounded individuals ready to impact society positively.

4. Adaptive Programs:
Our programs are dynamically designed to meet evolving educational needs, demonstrating our commitment to maximizing impact and effectiveness.

5. Passionate Team:
SSPs mission-driven team and leadership are key to our strategic execution, showcasing dedication and expertise essential for our success.

6. Data-Driven Insights:
We employ a data-driven approach for decision-making, enhancing our program design and strategic direction to best serve our scholars.

7. Community Insight:
Our deep understanding of the communities we serve ensures our interventions are culturally relevant and impactful, addressing specific needs effectively.

8. Financial Stewardship:
SSPs responsible financial management has secured donor trust, ensuring resources are optimized for scholar benefit and program sustainability.

9. Advocacy:
As a thought leader in educational equity, SSP leverages its platform to advocate for systemic changes, benefiting a broader student population.

Leveraging these strengths, SSP is geared towards expanding its reach and deepening its impact. Our strategic ambitions, backed by our capabilities, aim to transform more lives and communities by ensuring access to quality education for underserved students in South Africa.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


The Student Sponsorship Program
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Average of 8.60 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Average of 9.2 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The Student Sponsorship Program

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Student Sponsorship Program

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Student Sponsorship Program

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of The Student Sponsorship Program’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$28,191 -$75,184 -$25,508 $354,353 $5,607
As % of expenses -6.4% -19.4% -7.1% 239.0% 4.9%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$28,191 -$75,184 -$25,508 $354,353 $5,607
As % of expenses -6.4% -19.4% -7.1% 239.0% 4.9%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $524,713 $436,084 $369,492 $179,637 $120,775
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0% -16.9% -15.3% -51.4% -32.8%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 99.8% 97.1% 99.7% 99.8% 99.7%
Other revenue 0.0% 2.7% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $443,204 $387,768 $359,276 $148,258 $115,168
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0% -12.5% -7.3% -58.7% -22.3%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 13.1%
Professional fees 25.3% 22.9% 18.6% 20.1% 21.3%
Occupancy 1.4% 1.5% 1.7% 4.0% 3.9%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 68.6% 70.6% 77.6% 71.2% 51.2%
All other expenses 4.7% 5.0% 2.2% 4.6% 10.5%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Total expenses (after depreciation) $443,204 $387,768 $359,276 $148,258 $115,168
One month of savings $36,934 $32,314 $29,940 $12,355 $9,597
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $480,138 $420,082 $389,216 $160,613 $124,765

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Months of cash 10.0 13.5 14.8 37.6 54.7
Months of cash and investments 10.0 13.5 14.8 37.6 54.7
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 5.6 4.1 3.6 37.3 48.6
Balance sheet composition info 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Cash $368,084 $437,795 $442,371 $464,766 $524,738
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $31,000 $0 $0 $1,000 $12,325
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $1,749 $1,749 $1,749 $1,749 $1,749
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 7.3% 4.4% 3.4% 1.3% 13.3%
Unrestricted net assets $207,339 $132,155 $106,647 $461,000 $466,607
Temporarily restricted net assets $163,750 $287,250 $322,974 $0 $0
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total restricted net assets $163,750 $287,250 $322,974 $0 $0
Total net assets $371,089 $419,405 $429,621 $461,000 $466,607

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Administrative Director, United States

Debra Winter

Debra is committed to guiding SSP towards success, making sure that all efforts align seamlessly with our mission. She works to ensure that we stay on track and deliver on our promises to underprivileged youth in South Africa. She takes great pleasure in supporting our US Board of Directors and collaborating closely with our South African counterparts to achieve our common goals.

Executive Director, South Africa

Namhla Ruselo

Namhla is a development-oriented leader with a combined 14 years’ experience in human resources, project management, and management consulting. She has worked in private and public sectors leading high-impact projects to enable women-owned MSMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Creating Markets Advisory Window 1 programme at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Namhla has extensive experience leading edu-focused programmes such as graduate recruitment and outreach programmes at PwC, and teacher training and youth skills development at British Council (Southern Africa).

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

The Student Sponsorship Program

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

The Student Sponsorship Program

Board of directors
as of 02/21/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Teresa Clarke

No Affiliation

Teresa Clarke

No Affiliation

Jill Zimmerman

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/10/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black South African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/12/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
There are no contractors recorded for this organization.

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser