Telco Foundation Looks to Text-Giving, Apps & On-Bill Donations
25 July 2013 at 10:51 am
The Telco Together Foundation – a coalition of Australia’s major telecommunications companies – has celebrated it’s first anniversary announcing plans to fund major fundraising technology programs to assist the charity sector.
“Our focus for the year ahead will be the launch of initiatives that build on the strengths and capabilities of the industry to support the community,” Telco Together Foundation CEO, Renee Bowker said.
"Text giving is an important fundraising channel for charities around the world, and making this channel available within Australia is a great way for the telecommunications industry to assist the Not for Profit sector.“An example of this is our work around the effective use of mobile technology by Australian charities, including the development of text giving and a mobile application awareness program for charities.
“There are a number of hurdles that we need to overcome before we can release this service, but we are actively working with our members to overcome these issues,” Bowker said.
“Another project with massive potential includes an on-bill donations program, enabling consumers to donate small amounts through telco bills. A pilot program has been earmarked for trial by one of the Foundation members later this year.
"Mobile applications are another area that could significantly benefit Australian charities. Many businesses are already realising the benefits of mobile apps, through improved stakeholder engagement and service delivery.
“However, many charities working with limited resources, find it more difficult to realise the benefits of mobile technology, due to lack of knowledge, limited access to new technology and high costs.
“The Foundation is working on a program that raises awareness about the benefits of apps amongst Not for Profits , as well as delivering a low-cost entry-level mobile app option."
Members of the Foundation include Optus, Vodafone, NBN Co, M2, iiNet, AAPT, Aggregato, Alcatel, Cisco, Community Telco, Globe Telecom, Informatel, Smart Business Telecom, Skybridge, Telcoinabox, and Vocus Communications. The Foundation is governed by an Advisory Board that has CEO level representation from members.
Bowker says the Foundation has raised $180,000 for communities in need during its first year of operations.
Fundraising activity was largely driven through involvement in industry events such as the ACOMM Awards, (hosted by Communications Alliance and CommsDay Awards), and the Internet Industry Australia Gala Dinner.
“Telco Together have received a fantastic level of support from the telco industry, with an impressive display of generosity from both organisations and individuals through a variety of fundraising activities held over the last 12 months,” Bowker said.
“An example of this generosity was on display at the 2013 ACOMM Awards recently where 500 telco leaders and executives in the room, pulled together to raise and extra $75,000 in three hours, via the Telco Together fundraising raffle.
“Annual fundraising events created by individual member organisations or employees, including Rock Aid in Sydney, and charity auctions at member conferences, have also contributed significantly to fundraising efforts over year one, while simultaneously playing a critical role in engaging the wider telco workforce with a united vision to support Australians in need.
“All proceeds from member fundraising activities and events go to the Foundation’s Community Partners – the Inspire Foundation, Red Dust Role Models, SecondBite and Sports Without Borders.
“Telco Together’s inaugural year of operations has already achieved some great outcomes that will directly support disadvantaged communities across areas such as homelessness, mental health, Indigenous communities and social inclusion.
“With so many opportunities to support the Not for Profit sector by encouraging industry collaboration for positive social outcomes, we have much to look forward to as we embark on our journey to significantly increase giving in Australia,” Bowker said.
Launched in July 2012, the Telco Together Foundation is a registered charity that brings together the telecommunications industry in support of disadvantaged communities in areas including Indigenous communities, the homeless, mental health and refugees.