Assistance Dogs Australia

Assistance Dogs Australia has been recognised for Outstanding Achievement in The Australian Charity Awards 2016. The Australian Charity Award for Outstanding Achievement [OAA] recognises charitable organisations that have achieved outstanding results through initiatives that have significantly benefited charitable causes.

Founded in 1996, Assistance Dogs Australia is a national charity which trains Labradors and Golden Retrievers to help people with disabilities, providing them with greater freedom and independence. Recipients include those born with developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy and spina bifida, those who acquire debilitating illnesses like multiple sclerosis and those who have been in accidents and will never walk again.

Each Assistance Dog takes two years to train and requires an investment of over $27,000 – this covers all training, food, veterinary treatment, kennelling costs, placement and follow up care. However, Assistance Dogs Australia receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity and philanthropy of individuals and organisations. In 2011, Assistance Dogs Australia made a commitment to a new fundraising programme with the hiring of its first dedicated fundraiser. The aim of the programme was to increase both fundraising income and the number of people and/or organisations who supported Assistance Dogs financially.

The first action of the fundraiser was to perform a review of existing fundraising to look at what was in place already and what worked and what didn’t. This review formed the basis of a five-year fundraising plan, which outlined a plan for the fundraising programme and the steps that would be taken implement and extending the programme.

The donation programme took a two pronged approach working with both direct mail and telemarketing, which was used in conjunction with initiatives such as grants programmes and a corporate relationships program. This process included regular performance reviews to track progress and identify points for improvement.

The programme has seen a 10-fold increase in supporters within databases, from 6,000 to 60,000 and an increase in income from $1.5 million in 2010 to $5.4 million in 2015. The result has been a significant increase in those provided with service dogs and an expansion of services to those with Autism, Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD) and Dementia.

The Australian Business Awards are the regional chapter of an integrated, hierarchical leadership program conducted on a national and international level. Eligible organisations from each region are invited to participate in the international chapter of the program at The World Business Awards. Conducted annually and currently in the second year of its international launch, The World Business Awards seeks to engage with the world’s business, innovation and technology leaders through a global recognition and knowledge building initiative that is underpinned by the program’s established framework. The program engages with organisations worldwide to benchmark the full spectrum of their products, services and initiatives and to review their business performance. The cycle culminates in the recognition and celebration of organisations that implement world-class business initiatives and industry leading products and services on a prominent and far-reaching scale. All entries must be entered in the regional chapter where the organisation is based.

Entry is open to all registered charities throughout Australia. The program is open to charitable organisations including charitable funds and charitable institutions located in Australia. Charitable institutions include Public Benevolent Institutions and Health Promotion Charities.

Initiatives can include but are not limited to projects, programs, processes, systems, technologies, developments, ventures and undertakings.

Entries are assessed utilising a robust and dynamic framework to ensure that the assessment process is pertinent and objective. The World Business Awards Framework (WBA Framework) is utilised as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organisations to be benchmarked against world class performance standards. The Framework consists of specialised assessment modules pertaining to the evaluation criteria for each of the award categories. The criteria and sub-criteria provide a robust set of requirements that are used as the methodology for benchmarking and learning among the participating organisations.

The Australian Charity Awards have been established to identify, recognise and reward organisations for the exceptional work undertaken through their charitable activities. The Australian Charity Awards are a method assessed program providing organisations with the opportunity to have their projects, initiatives, contributions and achievements recognised on a prominent and far-reaching scale. The Awards provide the ultimate platform for charitable organisations to build knowledge and raise awareness of their causes through increased exposure, recognition and acknowledgement.