Helping consumers manage
their financial challenges

Generosity reigns during COVID-19

26/07/2020

Source: ican.org.au

For
over ten years, ICAN’s website PayPal donation button sat alone in cyberspace
waiting for a donor’s generosity. Competing with so many worthy charities, and
sitting within an organisation that never invested the time to fundraise, the
PayPal button was sure to remain abandoned. Then came COVID-19 and all that
changed.

All
of a sudden ICAN’s CEO, Aaron Davis, received what felt like a significant
number of messages from PayPal stating a person had donated. Twenty dollars;
one hundred dollars and another donor even committing to give ten dollars every
month. After ten years in the online ‘donation’ wilderness, ICAN’s CEO was
baffled. What was driving this change?

With
further investigation, ICAN’s finance department found another anonymous donor
had been depositing random donations straight into our bank account over three
years, adding up to a whopping eight hundred and fifty dollars. The unknown
donor revelation piqued Mr Davis’s curiosity, and through some rudimentary investigative
work, he was able to email the mystery donor. In the email, Mr Davis thanked
the donor for their generosity and sought some clue as to why someone would
donate to ICAN over all the other worthy causes. After all, they were the
organisations first, real private donor.

Later
that day, Mr Davis enthusiastically opened an email reply that said, “I enjoy
reading about what you are doing and the way the financial information is
spreading around Australia and empowering other communities. I have lived in NT
on communities there and have seen first-hand some of the problems that ‘white
fella’ money has brought with it.  I support two indigenous organisations,
yours and Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV). I have been doing this because
I think you are both doing fantastic work and I enjoy being a very tiny part of
it.”

“Reading
those words of encouragement meant more to me than any monetary donation,”
said Mr Davis. “They inspired me to ensure that all our donations go
directly to empowering the communities we serve. This year they will go
directly to our “Reconnect” program that looks to establish a new
community partnership model in Palm Island, Cape York and the Torres Strait
Islands.”

“The
reason behind the recent PayPal donations remain a mystery, however on behalf
of the ICAN team I would like to thank them dearly for their support, when
someone is prepared to invest in your work, you know you’re on the right
track,” said Mr Davis. “ICAN’s financial counselling team has saved
consumers over 1.3 million dollars over the last four months.”

If you would like to donate to ICAN and support our
grassroots financial counselling and capability service delivery, please visit
our website here https://ican.org.au/about-us/make-a-donation/

To find out more about the Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV), please visit their website https://www.communityfirstdevelopment.org.au/