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Karen's thoughts on the Social Economy

Entrepreneurs, Website Building and Tax Deductible Stamps

Thursday, 28th June 2012

Thanks for all the comments on last weeks Blog. It’s always good to know someone is reading you!

This week I attended the School of Social Entrepreneurs Melbourne graduation ceremony. It was terrific to see people of all ages with a project and vision. Tears and joy and a sense of achievement for many in the room who had come from as far as Bali to study the course. Some at the ripe old age of 21 were already “serial entrepreneurs”. Looking at the range of ages and the differing projects infused with the perspective of those differing ages, reinforces the mantra I have been saying to my kids for a number of years ….. that “life is long!”. Social innovation is for all ages. 

Also reassuring is seeing the growth of institutions in Australia that are purpose built to emotionally support, train and connect those individuals who want to change the world for the better. These include Social Traders, The school of Philanthropy and Social Investment Investment at Swinburne, Social Innovation exchangeThe Australian Centre for Social Innovation. Even five years ago many of these organisations didn’t exist or were just starting.

One site this week blew me away. http://themeforest.net/. If you want to build your own site complete with music and stock images it offers themed designs for every type of organisation including Not for Profits. And they look like expensive, well produced professional sites.. Our Marketing Manager here built his girlfriends cheerleading (!! – well each to their own I guess :)) site for $40. Check it out.

This week Pro Bono Australia News have written a story on a joint effort by Australia Post to give $2.00 out of every $8.00 spent on a special issue of Charity stamps. Australia Post provides the tax-deductible receipt on the stamp sheet. It will support the Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness centre at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. In effect you get $6.00 worth of stamps for $8.00 -but you’ve also made a donation to a good cause and received a tax deduction for it with incredible ease.

What a fabulous system. I know of other retailers who have donations to their Foundation or a cause facilitated, but I have not heard of other retailers making it this easy. Imagine if every retailer gave a tax deductible receipt on your garment – or on your purchase receipt. How easy would it be to give!  


The graduating class of the School of Social Entrepreneurs Melbourne
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Karen Mahlab AM
Karen Mahlab AM is the Founder and CEO of Pro Bono Australia. In 2015 she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to the Not for Profit sector and philanthropic initiatives.
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