Thank You Thursday: Give Simply this Christmas

With Christmas a mere few weeks away, I’m wondering if anyone else has felt like it has snuck up on them? No matter how much time I have – or in the case of this year, don’t have – for Christmas shopping I always like to make the effort to make an extra donation of sorts to a children’s charity or similar.

And this year, given I’m going to be pressed for time, I think I’ve found the perfect solution to spread a little extra cheer.

Simply Giving is an online toy drive facility bringing convenience, cost-savings and appropriateness to the giving process. They do this by partnering with charities and establish a branded page to facilitate a toy drive.

The business was founded about ten years ago as a way to assist charities reduce their costs, increase their donations and increase their efficiency of getting donated gifts to those in need.

Simply Giving not only provides the digital interface for charities, they also store and coordinate the toys in their warehouse before distributing them to various locations around the country – effectively taking the logistical challenges away. This makes it super easy for donors and the organisations who now only have to deliver to families and children.

Since beginning it has facilitated the giving of over $2m worth of toys. For charities in need of sourcing toys for their beneficiaries, or donors hoping to get into the spirit of giving, you need to connect with Simply Giving.

So, this Thank You Thursday, we say howdy to the team of elves at Simply Giving for helping bring Santa into the digital age and making an otherwise busy time of the year just that little bit easier for charities.

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.

Two Feet Gained for Fish

Earlier this year we were offered a place in the Two Feet accelerator program for social enterprises with The Difference incubator (TDi).

Wow, what a busy six months it has been and so much white-boarding! Haha! From refining our intent and theory of change, to identifying key the challenges of our client-base so we can better work with small charities. As the course comes to an end it has been nice to reflect on the experience.

In addition to learning from the expert presenters and business coaches, it was wonderful to connect with other social entrepreneurs and relate to their experiences too.

As part of the program we’ve developed a new initiative that will help connect and better support small charities across Australia. We hope to launch this in early 2018, so stay tuned. Exciting times ahead!

Presenting in Perth

Last week, The Fish Chick was in Perth to present at the Fundraising Institute’s WA Fundraising Forum.

With almost half of all philanthropic income for non-profits coming from individuals, the presentation delved into the importance of caring for our donors. Titled Devoted to your Donors, it focused on cultivation, stewardship and acknowledging those that invest the most in us, to ensure they continue to support into the future.

Sharing some key tips on donor engagement and useful examples, Bianca provided encouragement and inspiration for the room full of enthusiastic fundraisers.

Bianca was delighted to be part of a great learning and networking event and enjoyed hearing about both the achievements and challenges of charities in the west.


Thank You Thursday: Trash Talkin’

Chilli Beach is a really remote location in north Queensland, which takes two days of driving mostly on dirt tracks to get to from Cairns. It’s part of the coastline of Cape York Peninsula and could possibly be one of Australia’s most polluted beaches. What is most shocking, though perhaps, is that the rubbish there is not left from beach-goers because there are not many people that visit this beach due to its remoteness. It is purely rubbish that has washed up on the beach from the ocean.

2017 Fish Scholarship Winner Announced

2017 was the fourth year of our Fish Scholarship and we’re thrilled to announce it has been awarded to Mandy Linsley from Smile for Me.

Smile for Me is an Australian-based charity that works to improve the lives of children in the Philippines born with cleft lip and cleft palate deformities. They use the time and expertise of volunteer medical teams to perform the necessary surgeries to correct these birth defects that affect 1-2 in every 1000 Filipino children.

As a registered nurse, Mandy (pictured above) is one of these dedicated volunteers, as well as the fundraising officer and a Board Member of Smile for Me. Her enthusiasm for improving the lives of children and the work of the organisation is inspiring.

I want to learn more so we can secure the organisation and ensure we can continue to help the children in the Philippines. There is an overwhelming need for this life-changing surgery.

Fish Community Solutions’ Director, Bianca Crocker, is looking forward to seeing the progress that Mandy can have after being awarded the Fish Scholarship.

Mandy’s application demonstrated her understanding of the challenges faced by small charities and the complexities of the sector. We are confident that with a little extra support and guidance, Mandy will be able to learn the basics of fundraising theory to improve the success of Smile for Me.

Mandy hopes the Fish Scholarship will help her to fundraise more and allow her to teach others in the team to help with the fundraising.

I aim to learn more about fundraising this year so that I can develop a fundraising program that ensures we help as many children as we can. We raised enough for our recent mission but I have so much to learn to make this a and successful charity.

Here at Fish, we’ve very excited about our 2017 Fish Scholar and we congratulate Mandy on this achievement.

Thank You Thursday: Inspiring Philanthropy

The Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, approved 891 awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year, many among them were philanthropists and individuals involved in the charity sector. One appointment made was to Chris Cuffe, for distinguished service to the community as an advocate for philanthropy, as a supporter of improved financial efficiencies in charitable organisations, and to the funds management industry.

Private ancillary funds (or PAFs as they are known) are structures for strategic long-term giving that can offer donors tax deductibility, flexibility, and more meaning with their charitable giving. Since being introduced in 2001, there are now over 1,400 PAFs in Australia and collectively they have more than $4b in funds.

Chris Cuffe established a private ancillary fund himself and found the experience frustrating due to the lack of awareness of these structures. While he believed in the model, he quickly learned it was not that well known amongst wealthy Australians and their advisers. So, to inspire and support more individuals and families to use this structure to manage their giving, Chris founded Australian Philanthropic Services, a non-profit organisation helping increase the impact of giving and build the sustainability of those within the sector.

“The difference between a merely prosperous society and a truly great one lies in the strength of its non-profit sector.”

Chris also founded the Third Link Growth Fund, an equities investment fund that also donates to a number of charities that provides an opportunity for investors to participate in a professionally managed investment fund, but all fees received from managing the Fund’s investments, go to support the non-profit sector. They currently have about $140m of investors’ funds in it and in less than ten years the Third Link Growth Fund has distributed about $5.7m of donations.

Both of these organisations that Chris founded are supporting the philanthropic sector and inspiring people to be more planned in their giving and support of charities.

So, this Thank You Thursday, we send a big thanks to Chris Cuffe for his work in promoting philanthropy in Australia, and congratulations on your recent Officer of the Order of Australia award.

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.

Photo courtesy of The Australian