One of the benefits of self-employment is being able to dedicate time to causes you care about.
Aside from being a volunteer official at Tennis Australia which resulted in a fabulous experience officiating lines at the 2017 Australian Open: my contribution to community service, I wanted to spend some time helping a local NFP or charity.
The problem is there are so many not-for-profits and charities that are doing great things, often with minimal budgets and limited staff that it’s hard to decide which one is more deserving of your time and energy.
Because animal welfare and conservation is close to my heart, I decided to volunteer my copywriting and marketing communication services for a few hours per week to two small Melbourne based NFPs: Australia for Dolphins in late 2014 and Palm Oil Investigations in early 2015. Both organisations rely heavily on volunteers to help with their day-to-day operations including administration, marketing and fundraising and without volunteer support they would not be able to achieve as much as they do.
During December and January 2015, I helped Australia for Dolphins (AFD) with their communications and wrote blog posts for their website. Click here to read a post on Life After Seaworld and here to read a post that talks about the pros and cons of swimming with dolphins.
Palm Oil Investigations (POI) came on my radar back in late January 2015 when they were looking for businesses to advertise on their new website.
I had no idea what palm oil was and after doing some research discovered that it is a cheap, flavourless oil that is used in a lot of products on our supermarket shelves including food, toiletries, cosmetics and household goods. Its production is having a devastating impact on the environment and habitat of wildlife that live in forests being cleared for palm oil plantations, mainly in Indonesia and Borneo.
I worked with Lorinda Jane, Founder of POI on various communications projects and helped get media coverage for the world’s first palm oil barcode scanner app, which POI launched on 1 April 2015. The app is the result of many months of blood, sweat and tears from these wonderful, dedicated people and all the hard work paid off with the app quickly getting to number one in Apple’s list of top free food and drink apps. I sent their first newsletter to a database of over 3,000 subscribers and advised on the layout and content of a new POI website. Click here to read the media release and here to view the newsletter.
The number of animal welfare and conservation organisations that I follow on social media are far too many to list on this page but here are links to a few that I am particularly passionate about. Click on the links to find out more about what they do and how you can help.
Animals Australia (AA)
AA is Australia’s leading animal protection organisation whose investigations and campaigns are recognised the world over. The organisation unites millions of people who believe in a world where animals are free from cruelty. AA’s most recent campaign has been exposing abuse subjected to Australian cattle at Israeli abattoirs. Following AA’s investigative reporting, Israel’s agriculture ministry has ordered the indefinite closure of the country’s largest slaughterhouse.
Located in Abbotsford, Melbourne Wildlife Victoria is a charity organisation committed to reducing the suffering of wildlife by providing an emergency response service for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife across Victoria. This vital community service is supported by over 1,500 trained and experienced volunteers, other wildlife groups and generous vets.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) stands for ecological sustainability. This visionary, principles-based NFP gets to the heart of environmental problems by tackling the underlying social and economic causes and works across society to influence urgent, transformative action to deliver lasting change on the scale required to secure a sustainable environment. They bring people together to champion the true value of our environment and its critical role in sustaining all other systems and in achieving human wellbeing.