When Caz lived in Cambodia in 2010, she was introduced to, and later volunteered as a Teacher Trainer in English as a Second Language for, the US-funded, Cambodian-owned orphanage and school, The Center for Children’s Happiness. The experience was one that changed her life irrevocably. Not only did she see the power of social change in these children’s lives from the orphanage’s care and their education but she also experienced first hand how doing something doesn’t take a lot of time or money.
Life in Phnom Penh showed Caz the other side of the not-for-profit industry too. The ugly, tainted, government-greedy, Lexus-driving side. The knowledge that people’s hard-earned donated money was being so grossly misused made Caz feel like the NFP industry was a lost cause. Upon returning to Australia at the end of 2010, this jaded representation of charity persisted. For a long time, Caz gave up giving money.
Gradually, as she researched different charities and their public financials, Caz came to learn that some organisations did everything they could to be public about their income and expenses in an attempt to counter the negative reputation some organisations were giving the industry.
Fast forward to April 2016 and her return from three months maternity leave, Caz doesn’t have the same access to give as she used to. To counter this, Caz has implemented a new giving program called, Pays to Give, in which she will return to donating money to worthy (vetted) causes through her business’ income at no extra cost to the client.
The Pays to Give program is a pledge Caz has publicly made to give 5% of every invoice paid in full to one of the nominated charities below (as selected by the client) at no extra charge to the client.
Funds will be collated in a separate bank account to the business’ every day banking account and her tax allocation account. Payments will be made by direct deposit at the end of each quarter and declared publicly on this page.
And how do we know Caz will maintain the pledge?
Upon payment of each invoice, Caz will send this link to the applicable client advising of the amount of donation and requesting their choice of organisation.
To maintain transparency of her donation pledge, Caz will maintain a donation spreadsheet collated through this site. A copy of which can be provided upon request. At the end of each financial quarter, Caz will declare the donated amounts and name the clients whose invoices provided the donations on this page underneath the organisation’s profiles.
What are the organisations and how does Caz know they’re above-board?
For over 20 years Urban Seed has been gathering around food, recreation and creative art to foster a sense of home – especially for those of us experiencing homelessness, addiction, mental illness and isolation. This gathering is the foundation of their unique community development approach, where they seek to draw out the gifts, skills and potential of all involved.
By attending lunches hosted at Credo Cafe, Caz has experienced first hand the value donations provide. The stigma of being homeless, an addict or coping with mental illness isn’t felt within the warm, welcoming walls of the cafe. Participants speak positively of their experiences with the various active groups, learning opportunities and community involvement. And, while Urban Seed does not publicly declare where they spend their donations, the impact of these donations can be clearly seen in all who volunteer, work, or require the Urban Seed services.
The Center for Children’s Happiness, via Friends of Cambodia
Caz has met the founders of Friends of Cambodia, Elia and Halimah Van Tuyl during her volunteering experience. Friends of Cambodia is a Donor Advised Fund associated with Give2Asia, a U.S. registered 501c3 charity headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA. Friends of Cambodia operates on a completely volunteer basis, they do not take money for anything—no salaries, no expenses or reimbursements. Give2Asia does charge about 7% for their services.
The Center for Children’s Happiness is an orphanage that supports homeless & orphaned children, raising, housing and educating them in both local and international educational programs.
Friends of Cambodia release regular statements of progress on their website and through their newsletter.
The Thin Green Line Foundation
Caz’s close friend and business associate, Andrew Batt, Director of the virtual CFO service, Epoch CFO Advisory is the treasurer for The Thin Green Line Foundation, an organisations whose mission is to protect nature’s protectors by providing vital support to park rangers and their communities who are the front-line of conservation. They work predominantly in developing nations and conflict zones, and with Indigenous park rangers within Australia and abroad. They provide rangers on the front-line of conservation with essential anti-poaching equipment and training, and financial support to the widows and orphans of park rangers killed in the line of duty.
Caz trusts Andrew’s commitment to the organisation and feels their publicly released Annual Report enables the transparency she needs to their financial commitment to protecting the protectors.
Through Caz’s participation with Kerwin Rae, Caz came to learn about this international mentoring program that provides a hand up, not a hand out. They help to lift the poor to become self reliant by helping aspiring entrepreneurs to receive critical business training, making a small loan and letting them work with dignity to support their families.