The new Philanthropic Generation
In today’s so called compassion fatigued society, how does a charity gain leverage in an already saturated market? By building an innovative, daring organisation targeting a generation many charities would consider to be unreliable and fickle, Gen Y.
Five years ago I saw the need to develop an outlet and create opportunities for privileged Gen Y’s in every community to give back to a cause that I felt fiercely passionate about, support services for victims and survivors of human trafficking.
At the close of the FY2014, our statistics tell their own success story:
- $2.4 million raised to date
- Six major corporate partners
- 482 individual fundraisers
- 102 speaking engagements
- Over 300 victims and survivors of slavery supported
PROJECT FUTURES’ objective is to empower individuals with tools to raise awareness and funds for programs dedicated to combating human trafficking and slavery globally. Our humble beginnings started by planning events and parties for a cause and in five years we have branched out to include community engagement campaigns, corporate social responsibility programs, do-it-yourself fundraisers and school and university social justice projects, all run and championed by Gen Y.
One unique feature of our charity, which began amid the global financial crisis, was allowing young people to take ownership of our cause. We encouraged them to become ambassadors and to create their own individual way of raising funds and awareness no matter their age, background, skills, profession or locality. Through the autonomous nature of PROJECT FUTURES initiatives, interested people are able to run their own events, create an online profile to raise funds, present to school and university groups, be a champion in their workplace or become a volunteer – all at their own pace and time and engaging with a like-minded network.
Perhaps the biggest opportunity for the growth and sustainability of PROJECT FUTURES and its fight against human trafficking, is corporate partnerships. Companies are increasingly exercising their social responsibilities and the issue of human trafficking and slavery is gaining momentum. Companies are beginning to understand that their workforce is increasingly demanding engagement and understanding of what the company’s greater purpose and vision is for the world around them. Employees want to be inspired, they want to hear from leaders that don’t just look at the bottom line as a measure of success, they want to know they have the ability to make a difference as an individual and as an employee.
Corporate Social Responsibility is the onus of an organisation to be responsible for the impact of its decisions and activities on society and the environment. They do this by demonstrating transparent and ethical behaviour and contributing to sustainable development, including the health and welfare of society. I believe this merging of for profit and not for profit worlds in creating strong social, environmental and humanitarian strategies is something to be welcomed. For too long these sectors lacked collaboration and connection, but the youth of Australia has a calling to bring these world’s closer. How else will we be able to solve some of the world’s most challenging social and moral issues of our time? These are the risk takers, the game changers, the disruptive ones who might just be daring enough to challenge the status quo and in the famous words of Ghandi; Be the CHANGE you wish to see in the world.”
Don't miss a chance to hear more from Steph Lorenzo as she takes the stage as one of five incredible women sharing their game changing and risk taking stories at BOLDtalks Woman on 27 November 2014 at the Forum in Melbourne. Steph will be telling her amazing story of her mission to end human trafficking.
A fun night of discussion and story-telling you won't forget. Five diverse high-profile female raconteurs will grace the stage in an intimate evening of moving storytelling where each will share their uniquely inspirational account of how they have challenged traditional thinking and disrupted their chosen field in a unique and thought-provoking way.