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Unltd’s record $31.2m social impact during a ‘rubbish’ year




The Australian media, marketing and creative industry generated $31.2 million in social impact value to support children and young people at risk in the 2020 financial year.

The numbers are reported by UnLtd, the industry’s social purpose organisation, which today released its annual industry impact report.

The 12 months to June saw the total value generated by the industry increase by 138%. This includes cash as well as media inventory donations and skilled and unskilled volunteering.

Chris Freel, CEO of UnLtd , says the year was one of the most challenging.

“But it was so encouraging to see how even in the face of adversity, our industry came together like never before to help those less fortunate,” he says.

“When the pandemic hit, we saw a 50% increase in offers to help and volunteer and many of our corporate partnerships also kicked into higher gear as we rallied together to support our charity partners through this time.”

More than 200 corporations and 8,120 individual supporters got behind UnLtd’s work through CSR programs, project partnerships, media donations, volunteering and events.

UnLtd held 50 virtual and physical events, attracting more than1,800 attendees to take part in events ranging from surfing to eSports.

“FY20 started with us celebrating our industry’s impact with 500 guests at the Big Dream and we also got together to climb mountains, kick goals, bat and swing for good,” Freel says. 

“2020 saw us leap into the virtual world with the launch of our industry’s first eSports tournament, our Big Chat thought leadership series and of course our weekly virtual pub quiz.

“We’ve recently restarted our physical events again and it’s been fantastic to bring the industry together again in person to have some fun, healthy competition and to raise important funds for children at risk.”

In May, 35 companies got together to take a stand against bullying, by supporting Dolly’s Dream campaign promoting kindness. The campaign value exceeded $7.6 million and resulted in almost 50% increase in donations for Dolly’s Dream.

There was also an increased focus on giving back to the industry through work with Mentally Healthy together with Never Not Creative, as well as support during lockdowns through initiatives such as weekly Good News, Lockdown Survival Guide for Adland and Backyard Trivia and mental health initiatives such as COLIV-19 and #GotchaMelbourne.

“It’s been a rubbish year for many but we should all feel proud of the incredible impact our industry has generated working together,” he says.

“Whether you’ve used your skills for good, participated in our events, donated media inventory or helped us raise awareness, we want to say THANK YOU.

“Thanks to your generosity, we’ve helped indigenous kids learn to read, provided support for homeless youth, helped children overcome severe trauma and supported the increasing number of young people in need of mental health support and so much more.

“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being part of our movement and making the world a better place for tens of thousands of at-risk kids all across Australia.”

Megan Gilmour, Cofounder and  CEO of MissingSchool, one of UnLtd’s charity partners helping seriously sick children stay connected to education the connection with UnLtd – and by extension people in the media, marketing and creative industry – continues to be a source of critical support for young people who are isolated from their education and community by serious illness.

“This support goes beyond bountiful pro bono partnerships and funding, to the kind of moral support that helps us rise to our mission to change the course of these kids’ lives,” she says. “And that’s immeasurable.”


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