Audi Australia and the Audi National Dealer Network form charitable foundation to help those in need.
16 June, 2017
The launch of a philanthropic foundation designed to help those in need around the country is a milestone for the Audi brand in Australia.
17 June, 2017
Audi Australia has long worked with Australian charities in an effort to ‘give back’ to the local communities that support the brand, but the establishment of the Audi Foundation marks a quantum leap in terms of the company’s commitment to assisting those in need and its ability to do so.
The Audi Foundation is a corporate philanthropic foundation that is funded by Audi Australia and the Audi dealer network nationally. A registered charity in its own right, it is designed to inject privately sourced funds into the broader community, targeting specific areas of need.
The mission statement is simple and straightforward: The Audi Foundation is literally designed to ‘help strengthen the communities in which we operate’, by providing long-term financial assistance through a grants program, to selected registered charities that share the brand’s focus and ambition.
Born out of a desire to put back into the communities around the country in which Audi has operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AUDI AG since 2004, the Audi Foundation represents a tailored approach to making a real difference in these communities, says Tom Keenan (pictured), Head of the Audi Foundation.
“We have long been considering what Audi’s contribution to community should be and the Audi Foundation is the result,’’ he says.
It [the Audi Foundation] is designed to maximise the impact on each of the selected charitable causes using a model that differs from the more traditional approaches to philanthropy. Rather than the accepted practice of straight donations to multiple charities, this approach will see the foundation provide significant, long-term support to selected registered charities with deductible gift recipient (DGR) status, and which have a proven track record of success.
Keenan, who is completing a PhD on the effectiveness of charities in Australia says that the research bears out this approach as the most effective way to maximise the long-term impact on the selected organisations.
The Audi Foundation is a corporate philanthropic foundation that is funded by Audi Australia and the Audi dealer network nationally
We are committed to using the most effective philanthropic modelling to inform our decisions
“The research is telling us that short-term funding projects and straight donations which have been the accepted way of doing things for so long, in fact have a significant negative impact on the effectiveness of the not-for-profit (NFP) sector.”
“We are committed to using the most effective philanthropic modelling to inform our decisions about how we use our grant monies. Effective and efficient grants will help many more vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians.
With more than 600,000 registered not-for-profit organisations operating in Australia, it is no small task just identifying which areas to target.
“You can’t boil the ocean,” says Keenan, but by focusing on organisations that align with the Audi focus and purpose and have a proven track record, key areas for assistance have already been identified. Organisations must also have Deductible Gift Recipient Status to qualify for consideration.
The Audi Foundation’s areas of focus include the strengthening of rural and regional communities, assisting women in securing employment in non-traditional environments, assisting the unemployed re-enter the workforce and assisting young people in achieving their potential through improved health and education outcomes.
To this end, several partnerships have already been approved by the board of the Audi Foundation and will receive grants to further their important work.
The Country Education Foundation Australia (CEFA) helps rural and regional communities support their local school leavers through the provision of scholarships for young people who have to leave home or travel to attend university, training and apprenticeships.
The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Back to School helps students to participate in education by providing gift vouchers, redeemable for items such as school uniforms, shoes, school bags and stationery items – all items necessary to attend and participate in school.
ReachOut is an online mental health organisation for young people that provides support for mental health issues and aids suicide reduction. Available anytime and from pretty much anywhere, ReachOut.com is accessed by 110,000 Australians each month. The Audi Foundation is supporting ReachOut in developing a program that will help parents’ better help/support their children.
The Smith Family’s Work Inspiration program provides young people with opportunities to experience the world of work first hand in a meaningful and inspiring way. The program is based on the research that well planned interactions with employers significantly reduce the risk of school leavers being ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ . The program also provides opportunities for students to broaden their perspectives and develop career aspirations, whilst also allowing businesses to showcase their work and employment opportunities.
You can’t boil the ocean,” says Keenan, but by focusing on organisations that align with the Audi focus, key areas for assistance have already been identified
As the Audi Foundation’s first major fund-raising initiative, an Audi R8 V10 plus is on offer as the grand prize in a raffle, where a ticket worth just $50 could see the lucky winner drive away in one of the most desirable sports cars in the world and help support a charitable cause in the process.
There’s a great deal to do, but the Audi Foundation is there for the long term to help make a difference.
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