Business Investing into Changemakers

By April 20, 20158. General News

Get inspired with our 7 innovative ways for business to invest into changemakers. 

We have taken real life examples of business making big impacts in community with changemakers. 

There is so much value that changemakers provide to their community it really makes sense to enable changemakers to grow and expand their impact.

There are many ways businesses can invest in changemakers:

1. Partner or Sponsor Capacity Building Programs

On the web page “Our Reconciliation Plan” for bankmecu it is stated: At the heart of bankmecu is a belief that strong synergies exist between social and environmental responsibility and a cooperative approach to banking.

“We believe our community is diversified and so we invest into diverse future leaders in our community,” Derek de Vrieze, Community Development Manager for bankmecu, proudly explains. 

“The bankmecu indigenous scholarship with the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program has been in place for over four years. By providing opportunity for an
indigenous person to participate we can take steps towards closing the
gap of 17 years life expectancy between Australia’s first peoples and
other Australians.”  Read more about this exciting opportunity here.

2. Donation of Time Via Mentoring or Skills Training

Brien Baxter, Food Donor Relations Foodbank Victoria, gives his time as a mentor to assist others grow momentum and energy to make a change in their community. Brien shares with Make a Change; “It is important to support changemakers.  A lot of change in our community is a direct result of individuals and their passion to make a change”.

“I don’t always have the time and energy to be the changemaker.  I use my experience and knowledge to support changemakers.  Recently I mentored a social enterprise student through the Social Change program in Bendigo,” says Brien.  “I think it is valuable when people nominate themselves to make a change.  When there is collective support around individuals there is opportunity for collective knowledge and energy to be shared.”

3. Donation of Funds Towards a Project

Whether it be through direct donation or via a crowdfunded campaign, donations are great as it gets projects off the ground! Getting started to make a change is a sure way to learn and build capacity.

McKern Foundation have invested for over 5 years into local changemakers.  Director Michael McKern believes investing into local people is important as good people are the backbone of good communities.  He goes onto say, “We can do so much more if we work together. Investing is great for the community and also my business.  My staff thrive knowing that they have contributed to the growth of the community.” 

4. Donation of Funds Towards the Needs of the Changemaker

AMP’s Tomorrow Fund is an initiative of the AMP Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AMP which exists to make communities better places for everyone to live.  

Since 1992, the AMP Foundation has invested its resources to capacity build (helping people to help themselves) and community involvement (helping people to help others).   Last year the AMP Foundation launched AMP’s Tomorrow Fund, a $1 million grants program, as a way to reach these ‘amazing Australians doing great things’ to benefit the community.

In 2014, 47 individuals – AMP Tomorrow Makers, included social entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, inventors and disability advocates.  The feature image for this post is of Rob Caslick who is an engineer and social innovator.

5. Provide an Internship

an internship is a great way to provide a changemaker hands on
experience in the business world. The opportunity to gain experience in
running or working in an established organisation is so invaluable. The
experience gained can be taken back to assist in expanding the impact of
the changemaker’s own initiatives.

6. Build an Entire Organisation to Assist Changemakers

Owen, Foundation for Young Australians has spent her life investing
her time into supporting and empowering young changemakers. Now as CEO of FYA she is growing an entire organisation to keep doing this.

“We assist young changemakers by providing the resources, the skills and fast tracking networks. We grow young people’s purpose and passions to grasp opportunities for the future of Australia.” Jan’s enthusiasm is boundless. She believes a strong future for Australia will be made by facilitating opportunity for collaboration across sectors and disciplines. “Armed with a tribe made up of different people and different sectors young people will be equipped to address our future issues, challenges and opportunities.”

7. Partner with Make a Change Australia 

In 2015 your business can invest into changemakers via a contribution to one or more of Make a Change Australia’s upcoming initiatives:

  • Outside the Square Active Spaces – support this community engagement initiative addressing key challenges in the community
  • Host an Expand Your Impact workshop series in your community or within a community group you support
  • Lets Nut it Out – become a partner in this peer to peer training opportunity for social entrepreneurs and startups
  • Back a Changemaker – provide the opportunity for a changemaker to participate in our Make a Change capacity building programs and share in their journey of change.

 Contact us to start your changemaker investment today!

Thank you to AMP who supplied our lead image of  Rob Caslick – engineer and social innovator

In 2006, a blind woman opened Rob’s eyes to a new world. Impressed by her ability to guide him through a darkened building as part of Milan’s Dialogue in the Dark experience, the engineer and social innovator did a little research into blindness. Rob was surprised to learn that 90 per cent of people who are blind have light perception. So why didn’t public signs take advantage of this? This led Rob to hold an exhibition of backlit brailled signage with raised lettering and then design signs for Vision Australia in Melbourne. With AMP’s support, he has been able to pay for the signage moulds and is developing a working prototype for his cSigns. This is just one project Rob is working on, having already established an organic soup kitchen and rooftop garden in Sydney’s Kings Cross, which he is growing into a social enterprise.