16 September 2023

Local businesses can play critical role in animal welfare

| Dione David
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Leelu eyeing off the cupcakes

Leelu, who has been at RSPCA ACT since January 2023, eyes off the cupcakes at Mondiaux Solar’s Cupcake Day fundraiser. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

When Lisha Ouyang of Mondiaux Solar polled staff a couple of years ago on what social issues were important to them, there was a clear frontrunner – animal welfare.

That’s why for more than two years the company has supported the RSPCA with various fundraising initiatives.

And although life is not always cupcakes and puppies, for at least one day a year it can be – and she says it doesn’t even require a big commitment.

Mondiaux Solar staff standing around the cupcake table with RSPCA staff and dog up for adoption

Mondiaux Solar smashed its fundraising target of $604 at its Cupcake Day last month, thanks to the business matching funds raised dollar for dollar. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

The concept for the RSPCA’s Cupcake Day fundraisers is simple. As an individual, group or business, participants can bake cupcakes any time in August and sell them to family, friends, colleagues and surrounding businesses, and the proceeds go to the RSPCA.

Lisha says buy-in has never been a problem for the Mondiaux team.

“Taking part in this fantastic event is a no-brainer. It’s delightful to be able to combine baking sweet treats with such a meaningful cause,” she says.

“That’s a win-win – enjoy delicious cakes and help puppies. It’s not a hard sell.”

READ ALSO RSPCA ACT calls for more ‘absolutely vital’ volunteers amid influx of animals

While preparing to join the organisation’s Cupcake Day fundraiser, Lisha discovered it cost the RSPCA $604 to care for a litter of puppies for one week, and that became the fundraising goal.

But she was delighted when management agreed to match the funds raised dollar for dollar.

“We ended up raising $812. It’s such a feel-good story and, if you have a business of animal lovers like ours, it’s great for employee engagement,” Lisha says.

“The RSPCA has done all the planning and created all the assets so that the process is very easy. All you need is the motivation to participate, and you’re all but guaranteed a successful event.”

RSPCA ACT Fundraising and Marketing Communications executive manager Rhiannon Kwateng says RSPCA cannot overstate the importance of corporate Australia in fundraising efforts.

“RSPCA ACT is only at the early stages of growing our corporate partnership opportunities here in Canberra and it’s something we want to tap into better, because we know the potential social impact of local businesses is not to be underestimated,” she says.

“We believe the key to that will be making partnerships mutually beneficial. For us, a business’ ability to leverage their network to spread the word has enormous value.

“I also think businesses are becoming increasingly aware that social responsibility is important to their employees, and creating these kinds of opportunities can only be beneficial to businesses who want to become employers of choice.”

The organisation is on the right track. Last year, Cupcake Day raised about $20,000. This year, more than 100 local businesses got involved to raise about $34,000, topping the organisation’s $30,000 goal.

“We’re thrilled to have exceeded our goal this year and see so many local businesses and their staff get involved,” Rhiannon says.

“All that money raised from RSPCA ACT’s Cupcake Day stays in Canberra to help animals at our western shelter. The fact that it’s a local charity makes it a cause close to home.”

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Rhiannon says just as important as the funds raised, is the awareness around animal welfare issues that events such as Cupcake Day generate in our local communities.

“Being able to build strong relationships and spreading our message far and wide is a critical component of what we do,” she says.

“It gives us a bigger reach, and it’s the animals who benefit – whether that be through increased adoptions and fostering, increased local fundraising efforts or simply awareness of the issues surrounding animal welfare in the Territory.”

To learn more about the various fundraising opportunities for local businesses, visit RSCPA ACT.


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