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The power of the crowd for Wayside

17 Jul 2019

People often turn up to community service centre Wayside Chapel on the worst day of their lives. When they arrive, they're treated as a person to be met, not a problem to be solved, which has been Wayside's ethos since it opened its doors to Sydney's homeless and disadvantaged in 1964.

To celebrate Wayside’s 55th anniversary, a live crowdfunding event took place earlier this year, presented by former Macquarie Group Foundation grant partner The Funding Network and organised by a Wayside and Macquarie staff team.

Applying The Funding Network’s philosophy to build impact far greater than our individual capacities, the collective giving momentum in the room inspired generous pledges on the night, which was combined with matching by the Macquarie Group Foundation to raise over $150,000.

Wayside program leaders each had six minutes to pitch and garner support for three of the non-profit’s life-changing programs: the Twilight Program, the Community Services Centre, and the Wingspan Project at the Heart Café.

The event was held at Wayside and organised with the help of Macquarie employees Georgina Jarvis, Ivan Power and Rosemary Hannah.

Rosemary has been supporting Wayside for six years, and she’s always liked that the outcomes from her fundraising efforts are obvious.

“I’m inspired by the way Wayside provides support in such a positive and pragmatic way,” she says. “They provide really practical solutions and treat everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

For some of the Wayside program leaders, it was their first time speaking in public, so Georgina, Ivan and Rosemary helped with advice and coaching.

Following the pitches, the three Macquarie employees then worked the crowd and spoke of the energy in the room.

“We hyped up the crowd to gain their support and pledges,” Rosemary says. “It was so much fun and an even bigger success than we thought it would be.”

Macquarie Group has been working with Wayside since 2015. Staff from Macquarie’s Financial Management Group (FMG) have supported various Wayside initiatives through an annual Macquarie volunteering program that connects pro bono volunteers with a local Sydney charity.

The program uses Macquarie staff skills to solve different challenges faced by a charity while helping build their collaboration skills and challenge their business thinking. In 2017, FMG employees worked with Wayside on its aim to establish a social enterprise café in Bondi Beach. The Heart Café trains and supports young people affected by disadvantage to enter the workforce by working in the café itself.

The Macquarie FMG team developed a comprehensive business plan that helped Wayside build a sustainable model for its café. On top of this, Macquarie employees and the Macquarie Group Foundation raised $130,000 for the café through the annual ‘Mad Dash’ challenge that sees employees race up several flights of stairs in Macquarie’s Sydney headquarters.

Heart Café opened in November 2018. It’s a living example of what can happen when non-profits and corporate partners unite in the belief that young people deserve the opportunity to escape the generational cycle of poverty.

“From the Foundation’s perspective, we love seeing how Macquarie can really amplify support for a charity with time, treasure and talent,” says Anna Le Masurier, partnerships director for Australia and New Zealand at the Macquarie Group Foundation. “With Wayside, there has been some incredibly generous individual and team fundraising efforts over the past few years, which the Foundation has matched under our staff support policy. Having the pro bono support on top of that really deepens the impact we can make overall.”

Read more about Wayside Chapel’s programs here.

Caption: From left to right: Ivan Power, Georgina Jarvis and Rosemary Hannah at the Wayside Chapel fundraising event.

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