I well remember a conversation with family friend Matt Tilley over five years ago, discussing the need to increase community generosity … “Jo what if everyone in Australia on one day just gave a dollar…we could raise $20 million in one day.”
Matt of course in his energetic way went on to try and make that happen with the Aussie Dollar Drop Foundation at the Victorian election in 2018. The ever delightful Hamish Blake joined in to help.
And now this idea of everyone contributing their change, has expanded to a specially minted charitable coin , a world first coin to remind people how easy it is to give and in giving you are part of #ChangeforGood.
And if not now, then when would be a better time to have everyone join together, give a little for the benefit of others, and be part of the better future we can create with change for good?
Current COVID times are disrupting old ways and opening up possibilities for new ways of living and working. Change also means things we give up in order to embrace the new.
Hence we know some will resist change and want to go back to when everything worked well for them. Others will see the opportunity for a better future where perhaps they are more safe, secure and successful. And then there are all those along the continuum from status quo to disruption with more or less appetite for change.
It seems to me that where ever you sit on the continuum what we need is for everyone to want a better life for others, not just themselves. The old ways of profit before people and planet are being well and truly challenged. Those accustomed to having influence and power are increasingly exposed to the challenge to demonstrate they have a social license to trade and are worthy of community trust. Just watch the change in advertising messages as we are told the big banks are here for us and care about their customers.
Meanwhile Community Services are agitating to get their messages into the mainstream for everyone to be aware that the caring and social assistance industries are critical to the wellbeing of our population, brought into sharp focus by the invisible fast moving COVID19 virus, and that they cannot operate without proper funding.
And this is not a one way proposition. Money spent in the community sector is money which employs people and circulates into the economy. Caring and social assistance is a much needed and significant part of economic recovery and well being.
As reported by the Centre for Social Impact and Social Ventures Australia (2020)
Charities’ total economic contribution is equivalent to 8.5% of Australia’s GDP, and they employ more than one in ten employees in Australia – 1.3 million people. That’s around the same number of people as retail trade (10.0% of people employed, our second largest employing industry after health care and social assistance), and more people than the construction (9.2%), professional, scientific and technical services (8.6%) and manufacturing (7.2%) industries.
Add to that expectations of increasing demand for services and assistance with projected increases financial stress, drug and alcohol abuse and family violence. These problems affect adults capacity to cope and meet their family and parenting responsibilities. When parents do not cope, children can become more vulnerable to neglect and abuse and then the more complex and tertiary services are needed. The cost of helping each person will increase.
So what to do? We can start by sharing across social and mainstream media the important messages and advocacy from authoritative groups like the Community Charities Crisis Cabinet, Philanthropy Australia and public good journalism like Pro Bono Australia. At every stage Governments need to factor in community serving industries as part of economic and community recovery planning.
These groups bring evidence and data to support intelligent analysis informed by values based leadership.
And if these expert voices don’t convince you, then who couldn’t be happy to stand with Matt and Hamish and contribute your smile and a dollar for a better future for all.
Let’s get to it and each add our contribution to #ChangeforGood.
Be safe and well, with best wishes
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