Philanthropy is Not Future Ready, But These 4 Steps will Help Turn the Corner

posted by Janita Suter, 27 Sep 2016

Despite decades of investment, good will and effort by Australia’s philanthropic sector, it surprised few attendees of the Philanthropy Australia conference last week that philanthropy is not future ready. To really move beyond ‘tinkering around the edges’ of complex social issues in Australia, the sector must embrace the reality that we – philanthropy, communities, business, government …read more


Second School Ball raises over $260,000 to improve early childhood outcomes in Australia

posted by Janita Suter, 13 Sep 2016

Oh, what a night! Thanks to the 450 (incredibly stylish and generous) supporters who gathered at the majestic Sydney Town Hall on 10 September, we’re thrilled to report that United Way’s second School Ball was a resounding success! Featuring fabulous entertainment care of MC Russel Howcroft and wonderful performances by Antigone Foster, Reigan Derry and La …read more


Business-community partnerships: re-thinking volunteering to deliver impact

posted by Janita Suter, 06 May 2016

More than ever, social purpose organisations are trying to achieve greater impact with less resources. It seems our sector’s need for volunteers to help deliver on our varied missions is set to increase, yet according to some reports volunteering rates in Australia have begun to decline (ABS 2014). The momentum towards increased business-community partnerships brings …read more


Charles Leadbeater (Guest Blog): Reflections on innovation in early learning

posted by Janita Suter, 17 Mar 2016

Thanks for the opportunity to speak at events hosted by United Way Australia around innovation in early learning. It was interesting to be speaking the same week as the Australian Government released its latest Australian Early Development Census results, which indicated little improvement in the headline statistic over the last six years – 22% of …read more


Ending ‘developmental vulnerability’ for children is everyone’s business, but how do we build effective collaboration to tackle this?

posted by Janita Suter, 10 Mar 2016

Last week the government released its latest Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) results, a mixed bag underneath the same headline statistic as the previous census 3 years ago – 22% of Australian children still start school ‘developmentally vulnerable’.  While there were very slight improvements in language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge, …read more


MEDIA RELEASE: Australian Early Development Census finds 22% children still start school ‘developmentally vulnerable’

posted by Janita Suter, 07 Mar 2016

Expert comment available in response to findings Key findings released today from the government’s survey of 96% Australian children in their first full year of school reveal: 22% of Australian children start school ‘developmentally vulnerable’ in one or more of the following areas: language and cognitive skills, communication skills and general knowledge, physical health and …read more


MEDIA RELEASE: Record number of Victorian children in foster care prompts early intervention announcement

posted by Janita Suter, 02 Feb 2016

Free books and support to help close early learning gap for state’s most vulnerable children – but more action needed A record 2,000 Victorian children under five years of age now live in foster or kinship care and are at high risk of continuing the cycle of disadvantage through school and adulthood, warned charity United …read more


From Struggle Street to Shining Light – does Mt Druitt have the answers?

posted by Janita Suter, 27 Jan 2016

For those who watched SBS’ controversial documentary series ‘Struggle Street’ last year, it would come as little surprise that one in three Mt Druitt children will start school this week ‘developmentally vulnerable’. Or that these same families experience twice the national unemployment rates, and are up to four times more likely to experience domestic violence …read more

Liz Dibbs

New Board Chair for United Way Australia

posted by Janita Suter, 27 Jan 2016

United Way Australia is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Chairperson, Liz Dibbs. Liz’s appointment follows two years of succession planning, with Brian Long retiring from the position of Chair in December, after a decade of board service. Liz brings a unique depth of experience to the role.  After a lengthy commercial and corporate …read more


Media Release: First day of school looms – but thousands of children start unprepared

posted by Janita Suter, 18 Jan 2016

Daily reading from birth vital to address literacy gap With Australian government data showing 22% of children start school ‘developmental vulnerable’ in at least one key area such as language and cognitive skills, communication or general knowledge, charity United Way Australia today highlighted simple actions to help children start school prepared. While many parents believe …read more

Kevin Robbie_sq

‘Merge or shut down’: moving beyond debate towards real social change in Australia

posted by Janita Suter, 13 Nov 2015

This week’s call for charities to merge or shut down by David Crosbie, CEO of the Community Council for Australia, has come at a tipping point for our sector. The communities we serve, the staff on our programs, fundraising teams and CEOs know it is time to move beyond debate.   This need to change …read more


United Way School Ball – thank you!

posted by Kathryn Richards, 21 Sep 2015

Thank you to all who attended, sponsored, donated auction items and otherwise supported United Way Australia’s inaugural School Ball at Sydney’s Town Hall on Saturday 19th of September. The black-tie event raised approximately $400,000 (inc pro bono support) to lift the literacy skills of children in disadvantaged Australian communities. “Our annual charity event was an opportunity …read more


Children’s Book Week: Can we be ‘UNITED THROUGH BOOKS’?

posted by Janita Suter, 20 Aug 2015

While Children’s Book Week began back in 1945 after WWII, with the idea that we could be ‘United Through Books’, seventy years on and with the advent of new digital channels, it remains a challenge to ensure quality books are available in every Australian home. As Australia marks the 70th anniversary of Children’s Book Week …read more


Increasing Financial Literacy for young people in disadvantaged Australian communities: New Program Announced

posted by Janita Suter, 08 Jul 2015

Youth unemployment in Australia is at its highest in a decade, with almost one in four young people in low socioeconomic status (SES) communities not fully engaged in work or study. It is particularly crucial for these young Australians – some of who have grown up in a household where neither parent is able to …read more

Kim Berry

Navigating End of financial year philanthropy dilemmas: a ‘how to’ guide

posted by Janita Suter, 09 Jun 2015

There are 54,367 charities currently registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (fear not if you don’t like any of the current ones though as there are 6-7 new charities registering each day). Each and every organisation is dependent upon donors like us to survive.  So how on earth do we choose which ones …read more


Same, same, but (very) different: reflections of a long time corporate executive on shifting to the not-for-profit sector

posted by Janita Suter, 25 May 2015

Have you ever considered moving from the corporate world to the not-for-profit (NFP) sector? Does an executive role creating positive social impact appeal? For me, such a move came out of the blue. Although I had been a member of United Way Australia’s Sydney Council for five years and had performed pro bono work for …read more


Those who Give Happy, Live Happy: National Volunteer Week

posted by Janita Suter, 12 May 2015

Volunteers are United Way Australia‘s ’extended family’, helping drive our work to halve the percentage of children starting school unprepared and halve youth unemployment. Fortunately they tell us that volunteering makes them happy too. And this is just the beginning. Businesses providing staff to volunteer with us tell us it increases their staff engagement and …read more


Why developing literacy in the early years is critical for educational engagement, academic success and maximising post-school options

posted by Janita Suter, 17 Apr 2015

During this national week of celebration of Australia’s young people, I thought it appropriate to reflect on the impact of the early years on ensuring all young people are indeed able to celebrate. It cannot be stressed highly enough how important the first five to six years of a child’s life are on their future …read more

Kevin Robbie

Announcing the new CEO of United Way Australia

posted by Geoff, 02 Apr 2015

United Way Australia is delighted to announce that Kevin Robbie has accepted the role of CEO, United Way Australia. Kevin is passionate about social change. Having spent over twenty years in executive roles working in the non-profit sector, he brings a strong track record in leading successful organisations. Kevin’s most recent role was Executive Director, …read more

Reading Tips Booklet

Reading Tips Booklet

posted by United Way, 02 Mar 2015

In Australia today, almost 1 in 4 children start school without the skills they need to learn. Sadly, most of these kids will never catch up. The good news is that reading daily to a child from an early age dramatically improves their literacy skills, and their chances to succeed both in school and later …read more


How Macquarie Telecom raised payroll giving to 10 times the national average

posted by United Way, 21 Jan 2015

How Macquarie Telecom raised payroll giving to 10 times the national average Macquarie Telecom is one of United Way Australia’s longest supporters. In 2015, we celebrate the 20th year of our partnership – a wonderful achievement in a time when charitable partnerships often only last a year or two. Over the past 20 years, we have …read more


New CEO search underway for United Way Australia

posted by United Way, 05 Dec 2014

Dear Friends of United Way Australia, At December’s board meeting I announced that, sadly, Doug Taylor will be leaving his role as Executive Director and CEO of United Way Australia. We have been most fortunate to have Doug as our CEO; he has been largely responsible for reshaping United Way in Australia, building a highly talented and committed …read more


CEOs of Fairfax and United Way share truths about organisational transformation

posted by United Way, 01 Dec 2014

By Doug Taylor, Executive Director and CEO, United Way Australia I recently spoke at a business leader’s event with Greg Hywood, CEO of Fairfax, about a CEOs view of ‘organisational transformation’, facilitated by veteran ABC journalist Peter Thompson. From the outset it was clear how similar the experiences were between Greg and I, albeit in …read more


It’s time Not For Profits become more than just service delivery professionals

posted by United Way, 18 Nov 2014

By Doug Taylor, CEO United Way Australia. Recently I was sitting at my desk and jumped when I heard fighter jets fly over the Sydney CBD. It was not an invasion but the RAAF acknowledging the Memorial service for Gough Whitlam at Sydney Town Hall. Although I wasn’t inside the Town Hall, I did see …read more


The ‘On-Ramp’ and ‘Continuum’ of Corporate Volunteering

posted by United Way, 25 Sep 2014

By Mei Cobb – Global Head of Volunteer & Employee Engagement for United Way Worldwide. This blog appeared first on Wednesday 24th September on the probono news page of ProBono Australia Microvolunteering and progressive pathways in corporate volunteering programs will lure the millennial workforce as they seek out opportunities to make a difference, an international expert …read more


Reflecting on the Salt Lake City Journey with a Collective Impact Approach

posted by United Way, 28 Aug 2014

David Lilley, Collective Impact Consultant for United Way Australia reflects on hearing Bill Crim of United Way of Salt Lake USA present at the Place-Based Solutions Conference in Sydney 26th August, 2014. I’m someone who has worked to address place based disadvantage for many years, and I’ve seen quite a few methods and approaches come …read more


Critical Questions About Place Based Solutions for Disadvantaged Communities

posted by United Way, 25 Aug 2014

Let’s ask the right questions about place based solutions for disadvantaged communities This is a summarised version of a keynote speech Doug Taylor, CEO of United Way Australia, gave at a Conference in Sydney on ‘Place Based Solutions’ on Tuesday 26th August, 2014. You can access the full version via the link at right Criterion …read more


Marathon Gold, a Mother’s Passion for Learning and Harry Potter’s Imprint

posted by United Way, 30 Jul 2014

After a terrible run of injury – Australia’s new marathon hero Michael Shelley was doubting the future of his athletics career. This week Australia celebrated his triumph. Shelley celebrated the support of his parents. “They’re the reason I’m still running and are a major support. I had about 12 months of just feeling sore and not …read more

Paint Penrith Read

Shared Measurement and the Promise of the Future for Children in St Mary’s

posted by United Way, 21 Jul 2014

By Jenny Riley – Head of Community Impact Manager for United Way Australia. In the Western Sydney suburb of St Mary’s there is a historical homestead called Mamre House. It’s roots go back to the colonial chaplain, magistrate and pastoralist, the Reverend Samuel Marsden. Marsden received a land grant at the key geographic marker in the area …read more


What the Social Sector can Learn from Building the World’s Tallest Building

posted by United Way, 08 Jul 2014

Community Impact Manager for United Way Australia, Jenny Riley, offers three ways to start to work differently as she reflects on the construction of the Burj Kahlifa. “The way you build a building like this is to fast track it, you can’t wait until you get all the designs in place.. . or you will be …read more


Seven Principles of Impact Reporting

posted by United Way, 01 Jul 2014

The Community Impact Manager for United Way Australia, Jenny Riley, offers seven principles of impact reporting as she reflects on designing and writing United Way Australia’s first Community Impact Annual Report. In putting together United Way Australia’s first Annual Community Impact Report, we had a blank slate and the opportunity to apply some of the …read more


Doubling our Investment to Help Kids Read

posted by United Way, 18 Jun 2014

Doug Taylor, CEO reflects on Doubling our Investment to Help Kids Read. Many of our generation, especially in the big capitals such as Sydney – have been able to ride the property boom to more than double their investment. Very often the latest trend or data dominates the daily news and even many a dinner conversation. Let’s …read more


Let’s remember that a backbone has multiple parts.

posted by United Way, 24 Feb 2014

  Doug Taylor, CEO and Jenny Riley, Head of Community Impact from United Way Australia will be presenting on mobilisation at the Collective Impact Conference. Here, Jenny Riley comments on an emerging distributed backbone model.   Did you know your backbone, also known as a vertebral column, is made up of usually 24 vertebrae? However when discussed in …read more


Towards Collective Impact

posted by United Way, 20 Feb 2014

Reflections on ‘Towards Collective Impact’ by Jenny Riley, our Community Impact Manager. Shared measurement requires us to each understand each other, after two days at the Progressing Social Outcomes Measurement I am hopeful because the discourse is getting stronger and we are getting better at asking better questions i.e.  is what we are doing making …read more


Shared measurement – the way to get us all measuring?

posted by United Way, 11 Feb 2014

United Way is pleased to be nominated for the Impact Measurement Awards, presented by SIMNA at the ‘Progressing Social Outcomes Measurement’  conference. Jenny Riley – our Community Impact Manager – comments below on shared measurement as a way towards better outcomes.   Someone said to me the other day that measurement was just too hard, that …read more


The “One Day” Video

posted by Geoff, 09 Feb 2014

Understanding why we focus on Read Learn Succeed.


Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library & Rotary – helping kids in Noble Park

posted by United Way, 14 Jan 2014

  Dolly Parton’s aim with the Imagination Library is simple: to improve early childhood literacy for children by giving them a free, high-quality, age-appropriate book each month from birth to age five. As a little girl, Dolly’s dream was to be a writer and singer. Her strong belief is that the seeds of dreams are …read more


Why funders need to get out of their swimming lanes – the benefits of Collective Impact

posted by United Way, 08 Jan 2014

There’s something inherently appealing and logical about using our respective assets and capabilities to work together to achieve a common goal and it’s most evident in our community when we face a crisis or natural disaster. Somehow on those occasions the social sector is able to shift from running our own individual races in swim …read more

The Age Article Snipped

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is helping to make a world of difference!

posted by United Way, 18 Nov 2013

Earlier in 2013 United Way launched its early literacy initiative, which incorporates Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – a monthly free book program for children aged 0-5 years, at risk of low-literacy!Kayla is one of 171 children living in Doveton and Eumemmering, VIC, already participating in our program. During a recent interview with a journalist from The Age in …read more

SMH Artlice Snipped

Reading is becoming a family affair – with the help of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

posted by United Way, 18 Nov 2013

For the Hobson family, reading is becoming a family affair. Both Emma, aged 4, and Samuel, just a baby, are already benefiting from the free monthly books provided as part of the Imagination Library. Their 7 year old sister Lily, also enjoys reading their new books to them. The Hobson children are two of the 850 …read more


Literacy rates affecting workers’ competence, with early childhood reading key

posted by United Way, 05 Nov 2013

As reported on ABC World Today, and also on 7 News website, yesterday Australian companies are reporting an alarming deterioration in levels of worker literacy and numeracy. In a survey of more than 500 employers by the Australian Industry Group, 93 per cent of respondents said their employees’ poor literacy was affecting their business and …read more


CEO United Way Worldwide interview with Fran Kelly – ABC Radio Breakfast

posted by United Way, 16 Oct 2013

During his recent visit to Australia, Brian Gallagher, CEO United Way Worldwide, was interviewed by Fran Kelly – ABC Radio Breakfast. During this interview Brian provided some insight in to our work globally, the challenges of dealing with the social issues of today and on a ‘new way to do business’ – in particular how engaging across …read more


Deloitte CEO champions role of business in driving significant social change

posted by United Way, 16 Oct 2013

Barry Salzberg, Global CEO of Deloitte and Chairman of United Way Worldwide, recently spoke at a United Way Australia Corporate Leader breakfast hosted by Colliers International.   Business has the opportunity to drive significant social change both through innovation and professional volunteering, Deloitte CEO Barry Salzburg said recently at the United Way Breakfast Forum. “Society …read more


CoAPAC Community Impact Summit calls for Cross-Sectoral & Transnational Collaboration

posted by United Way, 08 Oct 2013

United Way was the proud host the 2013 Asia Pacific Corporate Community Impact Summit in Sydney recently. To open the Summit leaders from business, government and the not for profit sectors highlighted the role of cross-sectoral and transnational collaboration in advancing community development to an audience of over 100 Corporate representatives. As reported by ProBono Australia, Brian Gallagher, CEO of …read more


Australian Corporations opportunity to be more active citizens in the Asian Century

posted by United Way, 05 Sep 2013

The Australian Government’s Australia in the Asian Century White Paper has documented what many of our most forward thinking leaders have been writing and talking about for decades; Australia’s future is in its backyard and not far across the seas with our traditional partners of England and the United States. Business leaders have certainly led …read more


Mobilising people to support Collective Impact

posted by United Way, 04 Sep 2013

  Doug Taylor, CEO – United Way Australia, recently presented at the 2013 Volunteering Australia National Conference. Below is an edited version of his presentation – The new frontier of volunteering- mobilising people to support Collective Impact.   My first job out of University was as a Residential Care Worker for people who had previously been homeless. It …read more


Why doesn’t Generation X join organisations committed to public service?

posted by United Way, 14 Aug 2013

Across the world these ancient institutions are dying on the vine and we sit at home surfing the net or watching TV. Okay – perhaps that’s a little unfair – many of us are actually quite busy with both partners working long hours and loads of time spent running children to their next extra curricula …read more


Achieving impact by collaboration

posted by United Way, 02 Jul 2013

Doug Taylor, United Way Australia CEO recently presented on Achieving Impact by Collaboration at the 3 Pillars 8th Annual Givewell Not-for-Profit Strategy Series: Social Impact & Outcomes Forum. This forum, which also involved Luke Branagan, Executive Manager, MLC Community Foundation, Sandy Blackburn-Wright, Head of Social Innovation, Westpac  and Bill Petch, CEO, Leukaemia Foundation, focused on the opportunity for …read more


Lessons from the IGNITE Volunteering 2013 Conference

posted by United Way, 25 Jun 2013

In the below Lyndsey McKee, Corporate Partnerships Manager shares the learnings from her recently facilitated “Consult & Collaborate” session at the IGNITE volunteering conference in Sydney. Last week I got the opportunity to present at the 2013 IGNITE Volunteering Conference.  I was asked to host a workshop on corporate volunteering, aligned to the theme “Consult and Collaborate.” …read more


From mulching to mentoring: the journey of corporate volunteering

posted by United Way, 15 May 2013

National Volunteering Week takes place from 13-17 May and highlights the contribution Australians make to the community. Lyndsey McKee from United Way, one of ING DIRECT’s community partners, talks about the impact made by corporate volunteers and the growing trend for drawing upon specialist skills to make a difference. When United Way first started organising …read more


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