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