“The world remains beset by so much human suffering, poverty and deprivation. It is in your hands to make of our world a better one for all.” – Nelson Mandela, 2008.


The Nelson Mandela Foundation launched a global movement for good in honour and celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy. The United Nations adopted 18 July, the late Nelson Mandela’s birthday, as an annual international day.

The campaign call to action is simple: Take action. Inspire change. Make every day a Mandela Day.

Mandela Day celebrates the potential that each individual has to transform the world – we are inspired by the example that Madiba has set for us: each of us taking responsibility for ourselves and acting on the responsibility we have to others.

To become part of the Mandela Day movement, all that is required is an action that helps change the lives of people for the better. To ensure that their actions have lasting benefits, they should with and within communities, always strive to leave behind not only physical changes but also a sense of empowerment, helping to build pride among those communities so that they can take charge of their destinies and change their circumstances. The cumulative actions of people, even if it is one small step at a time, can become a transformative momentum.

Mandela Day is the initiative of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and its sister organisations, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Ethical requirements


In line with the ethos underpinning the campaign (which is all year round to make every day a Mandela Day), people and organisations are free to organise and partner as they wish, provided that their activities fall within the ethical framework of “service to one's fellow human” – and the Foundation encourages these to be effective, sustainable, consistent, empowering and, above all, to realise and/or restore human dignity. Mandela Day efforts should strengthen local resources, both human and material. It is vital that support from sponsors/donors should not be sought in ways that divert funding normally available to communities and their non-governmental partners.


Reputational guidelines have been designed to ensure that all parties implementing Mandela Day initiatives function within a framework (guidelines) respectful of the late Founder of the NMF, and the ethos that is true to the intent and purpose of the campaign. Our aim is to honour and embrace Nelson Mandela’s values and legacy.

These guidelines include that:

  1. The name and/or image of Mr Mandela (and any reiterations thereof) are not directly associated with any product, brand or commercial promotion
  2. Participation by any member of the Nelson Mandela family must not be a prerequisite; any such participation will be based on their voluntary willingness and availability, and such participation must be sought directly by the party implementing the action
  3. The initiative being developed must not promote or in any way be linked to the production/sale of cigarettes, alcohol, firearms, weapons of war, etc.
  4. Nelson Mandela's image should not be used in promotional material or branded publicity material. The branding should rather make use of the Mandela Day iconography, logos and the words “in support of Mandela Day”
  5. All such material should be sent to the Nelson Mandela Foundation for approval prior to use via mandeladay@nelsonmandela.org
  6. The Mandela Day campaign and the Mandela Day branding, or any other link with Mandela Day, should not be used to further narrow political and ideological interests, or any commercialisation or retail activity
  7. The NMF will not provide individual or organisational endorsements for Mandela Day activities, but will rather understand and list all initiatives under the umbrella of its Mandela Day initiative. Such requests should be sent via email to mandeladay@nelsonmandela.org
  8. Any requirement on the part of the NMF to participate, contribute human resources, infrastructure, etc. must be within the NMF’s capacity, which it alone will determine

Marketing and communication activities and events

Furthermore, as a principle, the NMF and its sister organisations plan to substantially reduce involvement and co-responsibility for major fundraising events or activities such as concerts or sporting events. In the future, its link with such events, marketing or communications activities will be consultation, giving guidance on concepts, and managing rules and procedures to protect its late Founder's rights and reputation where applicable.

Marketers, communications professionals and event organisers will be required to operate within the guidelines articulated above, and will need to comply with reasonable terms and conditions as put forth by the NMF and its sister organisations. This will be dependent on the nature of the event or activity.

Marketers, communications professionals and event organisers will also be required to undertake all costs arising from event or activity implementation and will provide express, written indemnification to the NMF (and its partners) confirming same.

Further information on Mandela Day can be obtained from: www.mandeladay.com or mandeladay@nelsonmandela.org