Starfish Greathearts Foundation launches disruptive approach to charity fundraising with interactive, iPad e-book

A first for a South African charity; challenging the traditional business model and providing consumers with a product of value when donating to a cause

Technology has aided in facilitating the disruption of every major, global industry – from taxis to hotel bookings. Today, Starfish Greathearts Foundation launches an interactive e-book, in order to turn the traditional, charity, fundraising model on its head.

Belinda te Riele, CEO of Starfish explains, ‘It is a challenge raising funds in our market, as South Africa is considered a middle-income country with less foreign aid coming through. Also, many people are experiencing donor fatigue and so we need to find more innovative ways of raising funds and to build a community of support for children’.

She continues, ‘We approached Retroviral to develop a campaign for us that would support an earned income strategy, which would enable Starfish to further extend services to children orphaned or vulnerable in South Africa.

‘Charity is often a grudge purchase, so our challenge was to create something “sticky” that members of the public would find valuable in exchange for the disposable income that they are parting with when supporting Starfish over other charities’, adds Mike Sharman, co-founder of digital advertising agency, Retroviral.

Sharman adds, ‘We modernised and localised the Starfish narrative, collaborated with the finest team of designers (You and Me) and developers (Aglet) and today we are proud to launch a paid-for, interactive, iPad e-book, where all proceeds from the sales will go directly to Starfish.

The tale follows an original story of Nozi and her mother tucking her daughter in at night, and the magical adventure that ensues as Nozi drifts into a deep slumber. The story is ideal for a child’s first book, as parents can read the text or choose to have the story beautifully narrated, by Lebo Motsoeli. For older children who are learning to read, the tale includes a series of interactive, ‘Easter eggs’, such as lighting, and animals that come to life on the screen when they are clicked, or as the iPad is hugged, tapped or moved from side to side.

“We are incredibly excited about this e-book and look forward to receiving feedback from parents and children, both locally and internationally. Enjoy the gift of giving this festive season, and a big thank you to everyone for supporting Starfish”, concludes te Riele.

The app is currently only available on iOS for iPad and can be purchased here for $9.99:


About Starfish Greathearts Foundation

For children who are valued, protected and empowered to realise their dreams.

Support Starfish and help make a difference to children orphaned or vulnerable in South Africa, one child at a time.

Section 21 Company No. 2003/002865/08

Non-Profit Organisation No. 039-447-NPO

VAT Registration No. 4490217140


Starfish Story credits


Starfish Greathearts Foundation

Belinda te Riele– CEO Starfish Greathearts Foundation

Lorin Edgar – Fundraising Manager

Voiceover Artist – Lebo Motsoeli

Voiceover Test – Rafiloe Raya Ram



Chief Creative Officer – Mike Sharman

Copywriter – Gregory Walker

Production Manager – Asta Geldenhuys

Client Service – Cherry-Lee Bekker


You and Me Design

Art Director – Jenna Kerr

Illustrator and Graphic Designer – Megan Elliott


Aglet Creative Technologists

Software Designer and App Developer – Rodney De Souza

10th Street Media

Production Consultant – Darren Kerr

Technical Consultant – Bradley Reynolds


The Darkside Studio

Sound Consultant – Ariye Mahdeb

Sound Designer – Charles Singleton



Additional Agency:

Ebony + Ivory

Client Relations – Sheena Spies

Client Relations – Mark Middleton