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JOHANNESBURG, 19 August 2015: A record-breaking R26,054,869 has been revealed by auditors BDO SA, appointed Stakeholder Accounting Partners to The CEO SleepOut™ and The CEO SleepOut™ Trust (The Trust), as the official figure raised at the widely-publicised charity event held in June this year.


See The Social Legacy, the event’s official video just released.


Ali Gregg, founder of The Philanthropic Collection, which brought the CEO SleepOut™  concept and brand from Australia, has confirmed that the monies are being held by Girls & Boys Town (GBT) and were raised by the inaugural 702 Sun International CEO SleepOut™  held on June 18th.


It is the largest sum ever raised by a single South African charity event, while worldwide it is the largest amount of funds raised for any inaugural event.  Sydney hosted their 10th event this year and Johannesburg raised more than Sydney in year one – despite the weakened exchange rate.


“Accountability and transparency are key, and GBT will release details on the allocation of funds after consideration from The CEO SleepOut™ Trust and appointed Working Group.” she added. Details of these projects will soon be announced to the media.


“Everyone involved is thrilled to see an organisation like Girls & Boys Town receiving a donation of this size, knowing that GBT offers long-term, sustainable solutions and care to homeless and vulnerable children.” said Gregg.


Whereas globally The CEO SleepOut™  brand principles rest on the pillars of Shelter, Healthcare, Education and Nutrition, the trust has included a 5th pillar unique to the South African landscape - Community. 


GBT’s CEO Lee Loynes says: “This is a moment in our history that we will never forget because through the event our children, those cared for by other similar organisations and those living on the streets – young and old – have become visible.”


“The CEO SleepOut™ illustrated the power of collective energy to show the true spirit of 'ubuntu',” says Brett Levy, Joint-CEO of Blue Label Telecoms, who contributed the highest donation of R540,000.


Two hundred forty-seven CEOs and business leaders participated in The CEO SleepOut™  on 18 June this year—an evening in which the temperature dropped to -3ºC. The business elite and decision-makers were challenged to reveal their character, compassion and grit by donating R100 000 to be part of an organised experience of sleeping on a cold pavement for just one night, with only a sleeping bag and cardboard floor-covering.


In doing so, Gregg believes they have become powerful agents of change to drive social innovation in their own circles of influence.


The CEO SleepOut™  originated in 2006 in Sydney, Australia, by local business leader Bernard Fehon. In 2012 Gregg engaged Fehon to extend the concept to South Africa.



A local and international team ensured the ethical, transparent success of Fehon’s idea – and created an opportunity for homelessness to be highlighted across South Africa, while enabling those in a position to effect immediate changes to do so.


Although the mood was particularly sombre and even solemn that night, the huddled-up business leaders of this country reported feeling a profound appreciation for the plight of the homeless.


“It was indeed a humbling experience,” says Paul Dunne, CEO of Northam Platinum, who contributed the second-highest sum of R429,900, exceeding over four times the set-minimum of R100,000 per contributor.

Investec Bank’s CEO Stephen Koseff, who raised R400,500, added: “We live in a world of inequality and if you become a CEO you are very privileged. Being one of the privileged few, we have to understand how the underprivileged live.”


Moreover, and owing to the great success of this event, Gregg has announced that The Philanthropic and CEO SleepOut™ Trust have already made plans to host nationwide SleepOuts™  in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth in 2016.


Thanks to other sponsoring companies such as Discovery, Hogan Lovell, Sage Pastel Accounting, and others, other similar events have been created in support of this initiative—one of which, “Sympathy SleepOuts™ ”, was created by the afore-mentioned companies for all staff members to sleep outdoors. In addition, learners from Auckland Park Preparatory, Fairlands Primary and King David joined together in their “School SnoozeOuts™”. Both events are being planned to roll out again in 2016.


For more information, visit The CEO SleepOut website at