Volunteer Conference Resorts to Crowdfunding
13 May 2014 at 11:34 am
Australian organisers hosting the World Volunteer Conference in September have resorted to crowdfunding to raise additional money to pay for scholarships for people to attend the international gathering.
Australia was successful in winning the rights to the 2014 International Association of Volunteer Effort (IAVE) conference with Volunteering Australia, the peak body for volunteering, as the host organisation. The Conference is due to take place in September 2014 on the Queensland’s Gold Coast.
However, the organising committee has opted for a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo to raise as much as $200,000 that they had hoped to acquire through corporate sponsorships.
IAVE is the global peak body for volunteering set up to promote and facilitate volunteering effort around the world with a conference every two years with countries bidding to host the event.
“We have worked tirelessly to secure sponsorships and funding but economically it's not a great time in Australia and the Federal Coalition’s focus on reducing the deficit has impacted us,” the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the 23rd IAVE World Volunteer Conference and Patron of Volunteering Australia, Margaret Bell, said.
“Add to this the nervous corporate sector and our job has been challenging. We need help from people committed to volunteering; to companies who recognise the value volunteers are to their communities worldwide; foundations who believe in promoting volunteering, learning and networking opportunities for the volunteer sector.
“We need to raise vital funds to bring people together to debate, discuss and develop volunteering activity. Many of the people who should join us at the world event can't because they simply cannot raise the funds and so we need to provide scholarships to ensure they can attend.”
Volunteering Australia CEO Brett Williamson said Federal Government funding for the conference amounted to about $400,000 but the corporate sponsorship for the event was down.
“The corporate contribution hasn’t reached the expected $1 million in cash and in-kind support and so we have had to scale back on the conference budget,” he said.
However, he said he did not think this would compromise the quality of the conference.
Margaret Bell said the IAVE World Volunteer Conferences attracts international delegates who come together to share experiences and proactively work together to develop new initiatives.
“Volunteers are the ultimate global movement ‘without borders’ and now they need help from the community,” Bell said.
“One in six people perform a voluntary act every day contributing trillions to world economies. Government recognise the contribution but do they do enough to support volunteers?
“The Conference will provide scope to debate and discuss how volunteers can be better supported; how governments can contribute more to supporting volunteer organisations and Not for Profit organisations will showcase some extraordinary projects.”
Donations to this campaign are now tax deductible.
To view the Indiegogo Fundraiser, click here.