The Story Behind Signature of Hope

The Signature of Hope Trust was initiated by 4 goal driven achievers who all share a vision of “giving back” and initiating projects that will empower young minds.

Signature of Hope is an accredited non-profit, public benefit (18A) organization, structured as a charitable trust focused on providing “Hope” to those less fortunate.

Our greatest challenge is utilizing our means in a way that will have the most effective and impactful results. Addressing challenges such as, “how to access deserving causes”, “how to contribute effectively”, “what will make the greatest difference in the lives of others” are what the team at Signature of Hope are committed to succeed at and find the best solutions possible to meet these goals.

We have not set out to be in the business of running a specific charity. Our purpose is to raise funds through personal and corporate donations and to disperse these through a series of grants to organisations that are making real and sustainable differences in people’s lives.

Our Team

Craig Featherby - Chairman


Looking back, Craig says “it appears as though I lived in a bit of a selfish world, spending my ‘growing years’ doing just that, growing…in character…by experience…my marriage…building my business!”

Having started his adult life living on a farm and studying, and then moving into the city and marrying his wife Di, he had no idea that the career opportunity that presented itself would be in Kuwait, leading to further opportunities in Dubai, Tokyo and Japan and eventually home to Africa.

Africa has been both exciting and frustrating says Craig. “There is so much more the continent could offer its people. Despite unstable economies, crime and unemployment amongst other challenges, Africa’s time is NOW! Individuals are going to need to step up to help others take a step forward. The continent has much to offer, individuals have much to offer – we need to capitalise on that and keep on keeping on – only, do it better.  In the spirit of author Jim Collins “Why be good if you can be great?”

Although Craig donated generously, time and business pressures simply did not allow for personal involvement. Founding the Signature of Hope Trust changed all that and Craig and his fellow Trustees are fully involved in not only the running of the Trust, but are passionate about giving back and can often be seen rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck right in at the various fund raising events.

Kieron McRae - Trustee


Having spent the last 20 years in management consulting, Kieron enjoys nothing more than working with groups and individuals, bringing their visions, dreams and goals to life.

Married for over 20 years, Kieron says wife and two daughters have taught him, among many things, patience and compassion.

Kieron believes that Africa has the ability to be great; however the legacies of the past have created a seemingly insurmountable number of people and communities who need help. He believes that all people have potential and he is driven to continue helping people reach that potential. Signature of Hope Trust is a vehicle that allows him to fulfill his dream of creating a legacy that will continue long after he is gone.

Kieron says, “We have a duty to acknowledge the challenges we face as a nation and as human beings. We need to see things for what they are, and then move to make changes that will have a direct, positive impact on the most number of people, in a sustainable, life changing way. No small feat, but I am up for the challenge. I hope you are too.”

Natalie Philander - General Manager


Giving back and making a real and sustainable difference in people’s lives is more than a passion for Natalie – it is part of her DNA.  Her talent for business administration introduced an elevated level of efficiency and productivity to Carrick Financial Services in 2015 as Executive Assistant to the Group Director of Business Development.  Her professionalism, relationship skills and years of experience in recruitment management opened the door to her current role as GM to the Signature of Hope Trust.

Born in Cape Town, Natalie travelled extensively throughout South Africa as a child and continued to explore the world with her husband, having worked and lived in both California and Amsterdam. Yet it’s her resilience to change, and life opportunities - brought about by relocation and travel that she believes have allowed her to flourish as the leader of a public benefit (18A) organisation.  

Natalie’s extensive travel experiences have given her an appetite for experiencing different cultures and meeting people from all walks of life.  Married, and a mother of two boys, she lives by the ethos that family is a beautiful commodity that needs nurturing and spends quality time at their home in Blouberg  – along with their 3 dogs.

Her favourite quote:

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate” - Oprah Winfrey

How you can get hold of her:

Mike Fannin - Co-Founder


A successful career in financial services, an addiction to fast cars and endurance sports, and a taste for good food and great wine, Mike says that from an early age he was lucky to have people in his life who taught him the value of giving.


However, the more successful he became, the more he became painfully aware of how little other people had, and a growing urgency to make a difference developed into an overwhelming need to be involved in charitable enterprises. Upon the sale of a business, he became involved in the founding of Zanathemba, which started out as a small orphanage. Then, upon meeting Craig Featherby he realised they shared a similar vision, which led to the founding of Signature of Hope Trust.

While leading a full life with many interests, Mike loves the moments that the Trust has given him: the look on a child’s face when you give them a new pair of shoes, the look of amazement on an aid workers face when they realise what they can do with the money you have given.

Mike says “It takes so little to change a life, and the return is far beyond what can be measured by a monetary gauge.”

Bryan Austen - Trustee


An accountant by profession in the financial services industry, Bryan is the Financial Officer for the Trust.

Born and raised in Cape Town, Bryan lives the ultimate outdoor lifestyle along with his wife and young son. He enjoys spending time with his family outdoors, frequenting the Cape’s beautiful beaches, mountain ranges or participating in extreme sporting events to raise funds for the Trust and ultimately its beneficiaries. Being an active person you will often find him participating in charitable events to build and better communities.

A nature lover by heart, Bryan is passionate about helping others and doing his part to save the environment. “Africa has so much more to offer, we need to appreciate this beautiful place we have to call home and the wonderful people and animals that we share it with."

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