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About Us

THE CEO SLEEPOUT IS A GLOBAL MOVEMENT IN WHICH BUSINESS MOBILISES AS IT SHOULD, TO BUILD A BRIDGE BETWEEN THOSE
WHO HAVE, AND THOSE WHO NEED. IT WAKES THE ENTIRE WORLD TO SOCIAL CHANGE, ONE SLEEPOUT AT A TIME.

The CEO SleepOut is more than just an Event – it’s an ongoing project of positive change. We continue our mission before, during and after The CEO SleepOut Event and Special Chapters, through the work of our affiliated brands – all of which share a common goal; to raise awareness, and create sustainable change for vulnerable communities. Learn more about the Event, our affiliated brands and the global movement here.

THE CEO SLEEPOUT EVENT

The award-winning CEO SleepOut Event asks South Africa’s business leaders, entrepreneurs and influencers to spend a winter's night on the streets, gaining empathy for the homeless and raising funds for vulnerable communities.

The CEO SleepOut has always been hosted in notable locations; from ‘Millionaire’s Mile’, Gwen Lane, in Sandton, to The Nelson Mandela Bridge, a representation of Madiba’s dream for our united future. This year is no different. The 2017 CEO SleepOut Special Chapter, The SheEO SleepOut, will be held at the outstanding Union Buildings in Pretoria on 8 August 2017.

AFFILIATED BRANDS

Along with The CEO SleepOut Event, there are a number of CEO SleepOut affiliated brands, all of which share our mission. Portions of the proceeds of these projects are awarded to our Secondary Beneficiaries, which benefit vulnerable communities in many ways.

For more information on how we raise and allocate funds, read The CEO SleepOut Movement FAQs.

1World

In 2017, The CEO SleepOut will create Special Edition Publications, under our 1World Content Production arm, to share the message of positive change, and help South Africans find empathy for those who need it most.

HOPETALK

The third edition of HopeTalk will be published in 2017. Spearheaded by Caxton Local Newspapers, and featuring the work of notable editors and journalists, HopeTalk is given for free to the street vendors who sell Homeless Talk. They are able to sell the publication for R10, and keep all of the proceeds. Our Champions: Partners, Sponsors, and Friends, purchase advertising space in the publication, and a portion of these funds are awarded to Homeless Talk. “HopeTalk lies close to my heart as I’ve been working with this organisation for a long time. This single newspaper, published once a month, is sold by close to 200 street sellers, and it is amazing to see that a small paper pays it forward to assist and feed 200 households,” says Jaco Koekemoer, CEO of Caxton Coldset Printers.

Kidlanthropy

KidLanthropy is a 40-page, digital Special Edition Publication aimed at school children, featuring stories, news and ideas on how to build empathy and learn about philanthropy. KidLanthropy will be distributed online and through our Friend, Community Hours, to schools across the country, in May 2017.

The 2017 CEO SleepOut Trust Working Group

The CEO SleepOut Trust (No. IT00819/2015) is the crucial structure that supports all the above brands. The members of its Working Group ensure the business leaders’ generosity is turned into real, solid results for the appointed Beneficiaries, with total transparency. The Trust receives donations from third parties in relation to The CEO SleepOut Events, provides funding and support services, and ensures funds are disseminated to the Beneficiaries. The appointed Working Group that takes responsibility for this task is made up of our Champions of Change; representatives of the SleepOut Event's Founder, Title, City, Media Suite and Stakeholder Partners.

Global Events

CEO Sleepouts take place across the globe, as business leaders join the movement. The new era of philanthropy has dawned in the following places:

AUSTRALIA

In 2006, Sydney business leader Bernard Fehon conjured up the idea for The CEO Sleepout while working on a fund-raiser for the Australian non-profit organization, St Vincent De Paul Society (Vinnies). Fehon knew that elaborate fund-raising galas were, frankly, tired; not to mention often inappropriate when raising funds for those who could not afford a meal. He soon realised a CEO Sleepout would be easier than a CEO dinner. So, on one night, business and community leaders slept on the streets to reflect on their privilege. That first Vinnies CEO Sleepout raised AU$30 000. The Sydney Sleepout went national in Australia, and is now on its 12th year.

CANADA

In November 2014, 74 executives and community leaders slept out in Toronto and raised more than $925 000 for homeless youth. The Sleepout was held by Covenant House homeless youth agency in Toronto, and happened simultaneously at 18 other Covenant House sites across North America and Vancouver. Since 2011, over $600,000 has been raised by the private sector.

NEW ZEALAND

In New Zealand, more than 100 people “sleep rough” in Auckland’s city centre and thousands of vulnerable people live in unsafe or unsuitable accommodation. The Lifewise Big Sleepout aims to tackle that problem. It sheds light on homelessness by bringing the stories of the homeless to life during the Sleepout. New Zealand had its 7th Sleepout in 2016.

SOUTH AFRICA

While on a philanthropic fact-finding mission in Australia, Ali Gregg, now Founder and CEO of The CEO SleepOut, heard about the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. Gregg asked for – and received – Fehon’s “blessing” to bring The Sleepout idea back home. On 18 June 2015, business leaders braced the winter’s cold to spend a night on the streets in South Africa. The first event raised more than R26-million overnight – making it the most successful fund-raising event in the history of the country, and the most successful inaugural CEO Sleepout in the world.

THE UNITED KINGDOM

The UK’s Sleepout was officially formed in 2013. Since then, more than 1,000 executives have raised a staggering £1 Million for Homeless causes. The UK event collects funds by encouraging business leaders to raise sponsorship from their contacts and friends to spend a night sleeping outdoors. They’ve also seen high-profile sponsors become involved. In 2016, events were held across the UK.

THE UNITED STATES

Sleepouts across the US are organised by Covenant House. Since 1972, Covenant House has forged forward with its simple, profound mission to help homeless youths escape the streets. It is the largest, privately funded charity in the Americas, and has grown the Sleepout events to include various editions, including The Executive Edition for business leaders, The Young Professional Edition for future leaders aged 22 to 39, The Mothers Edition, The Corporate and Industry Edition, The Broadway Edition and the Student Edition.