Starting A Charity In Australia

by Jake Thornton

Madeleine Buchner started a charity in Australia called Little Dreamers Australia at age 16 which today employees 40+ staff and has raised over $1.5m to support more than 4000 families in Australia.

In 2019, Madeleine was the recipient of the Order of Australia Medal, and is also a 2018 Westpac Social Change Fellow, 2019 AFR 100 Women of Influence and a 2018 Victorian Young Australian of the Year Finalist

For aspiring charity founders, here’s Madeleine’s advice for getting started:

“For fundraises watching this, who perhaps maybe want to consider a different pathway and start their own non-profit organisation. How could they get started?”

Madeleine Buchner shares her advice on how to start your own charity in Australia.

“I think if you’re clear on what you’re passionate about and the actual change and impact you want to have in the world, the first thing you need to do is to register your business and work out how you want to create that impact.”

And then my number one recommendation is to know your finances inside out. I think that I am someone who dropped maths at the end of year 10 and I didn’t know what I was doing, but I have great people around me, a treasurer on our board and a finance person in our team now who’s training me on how to better understand my own numbers.

But it’s so important from the very beginning that, you know, what money’s coming in, what money’s going at, how you’re spending it and how you want to create that impact with often very small amounts of money as well.

I think that my one piece of advice is that if you’re incredibly passionate about what you’re doing.

“One of the main ways that you’re going to succeed is by surrounding yourself with really supportive people.”

It is incredibly hard to run your own business. I love being able to sugar coat it, and I wish I could because everything is wonderful and there’s butterflies and flowers. And I love what I do every day. But it’s insanely hard and it takes literally blood, sweat and tears to be able to run your own business.

And I think that you need the right network and support network around you, friends, family, loved ones, the random guy at the coffee shop who gives you your coffee every day. Because those are the people that are going to get you through the really tough times. Otherwise, I reckon I would have stopped this probably 11 and a half years ago if I didn’t have the amazing network that I have.

Click here to see the full interview with Madeleine Buchner to hear the full story on how she started her charity in Australia, Little Dreamers Australia.

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