QLD Charity Starts Its Own Telco
26 February 2007 at 9:22 am
When staff from the Beenleigh Police Citizens Youth Club in Queensland needed a funding stream to maintain their youth development projects, including operating an FM radio station, they took a leap of faith. So as to not affect the clubs Not for Profit status, they resigned from the club and started their own telecommunications business.
BFM Telecoms offers discounted phone and internet for consumers and charities as well as an ongoing source of donation funding to community organisations anywhere in Australia.
From a Corporate IT background, founder, Paul Jacobs purchased an FM radio licence and started BFM Radio after deciding to have a lifestyle change and apply his talents at helping young people at the Beenleigh Police Citizens Youth Club.
Jacobs donated the complete use of the station to PCYC but found the lack of funds to run the many needed programs was frustrating. BFM Radio is run as a youth development tool of the Beenleigh PCYC and broadcasts to the local Beenleigh community.
Jacobs says it was obvious that a funding solution needed to be found to allow BFM Radio and many other programs to continue shaping the future lives of the many young people who frequent the club.
After more than two years of research and hard work Jacobs established BFM Telecoms using Queensland telecommunications supplier ECN Communications Solutions.
At age 53, Jacobs says this project has become a passion!
He says unlike the telecommunication giants, ECN shared his passion and helped arrange a funding template that can see as much as 10% of turn over going to charity.
The BFM website describes the concept as a world first – a telecommunication business set up specifically to raise funds for community activities.
Jacobs says when the process was established by BFM Telecoms to help generate funding for youth development activities, he found that the template could be easily applied to any community organisation.
He says the advantages to inviting other organisations to participate is that collectively its allowed for a greater product volume that attracted a higher discount from the service supplier – and everyone received this benefit in the form of increased funding.
Under BFM Telecoms when a customer wants to save money and switches to BFM Telecoms for their phone and Internet – the first thing they do is nominate their favourite community group to receive an ongoing slice of their bill that they pay every month for as long as the customer stays with BFM.
Charities can register also to be included without having to purchase phone and Internet products.
Jacobs says it’s a very exciting project especially as his supplier ECN has pledge to donate $1 million to match the first million dollars that BFM Telecoms give away to Australian charities.
To find out more and register online go to: www.bfm.net.au