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The importance of accepting online donations: The Alannah and Madeline Foundation

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is a national charity that protects children from violence through a range of programs and initiatives. Its website accepts a range of different online donations, which are playing an ever-larger role in the foundation’s fundraising work.

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation was founded to honour the memory of two young victims of the 1996 Port Arthur shooting, Alannah and Madeline Mikac.

Alannah and Madeline were just six and three at the time of the tragic shooting, which also claimed their mother and 32 other people.

Today the foundation runs national programs throughout Australia to protect children from violence and bullying.

Mike Zervos, General Manager, Operations and Company Secretary for The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, says: “The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s stated goal is keeping children safe from violence. That has evolved into work in bullying prevention, as bullying is the most common form of violence against children, and we also run cybersafety and wellbeing programs.”

One of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s most well-known programs is Buddy Bags, which provides backpacks with essential items for children entering emergency care. It also runs Better Buddies, to help children in their first year at primary school to feel safe and connected, by pairing them with an older buddy.

Ambassadors and supporters

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has a number of high-profile patrons and ambassadors, as well as a range of corporate and individual supporters. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is its international patron and Prime Minister Tony Abbott is its national patron.

While these well-known personalities do vital work in spreading the foundation’s message locally and overseas, it’s the corporate and individual donations that make The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s work possible. The foundation’s website is playing an increasingly important role, not just by providing information about initiatives, but also by allowing people to make a donation then and there.

“We want to get as many people to support us as we can. We want to make it as easy a transaction as possible. The question for us is: How can we help [and make it easy for] the people who want to help us?” says Zervos.

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has worked with SecurePay since 2008 and its website can take secure one-off or monthly donations, or accept bequests, via a SecurePay payment gateway. Individuals can also purchase a variety of merchandise, including gift hampers and Christmas cards, from The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s online shop.

Online safety and security

Zervos says The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s relationship with SecurePay has helped the charity to facilitate more donations from individual supporters.

“In many ways, with suppliers like SecurePay, success is when we don’t have to talk about them. If it works and individuals feel an online donation is easy and safe, then we’re happy,” says Zervos.

Being able to facilitate secure online donations is vital for The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, and Zervos says the charity plans to grow its online presence in the future.

As The Alannah and Madeline Foundation looks ahead to a busy year of educational and fundraising events, its website will continue to play an important role in helping to keep children safe from violence.

“Online is offering up opportunities. We are not scared of change. Our mission is keeping children safe from violence; our job is to improve our communications and reach as many people as possible,” says Zervos.

Social media and online donations

Included in the online growth plan is expanding The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s social media presence. Its Facebook page is its most popular social media platform, with over 19,000 Facebook fans. This is regularly updated with news and information about upcoming events.

“We need to keep our social media presence up to date and we’re certainly getting more attention from those channels,” explains Zervos.

Get involved

Individuals and organisations can get involved with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation through donating, fundraising and volunteering .

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