Benojo's weekly roundup of the top social impact stories

Each week we aim to bring you the biggest stories across the CSR, philanthropy and charity space. Here’s all the latest in the world of social impact.

OXJAM launches in Australia

Oxfam Australia is hosting its first ever OXJAM this August. It’s a month-long festival of DIY gigs and parties that are organised by good people across Australia in aid of Oxfam’s work. Read our blog for the details

Link to Oxjam here

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Do corporate mega mergers inhibit social responsibility?

The recent wave of attempted mergers in the food sector could be foreshadowing trouble. Large mergers cause organisational disruptions, and increase the likelihood that managers make costly mistakes. This is bad news not only for the companies, but also for society.

Link here

Salute to the (retail) sun: How Dharma Bums co-founder Debbie Lawson is giving yoga wear an ethical edge

Debbie Lawson has spent her career working in clothing retail. But it wasn’t until the now 45-year-old Sydneysider took a break from corporate life and trained as a yoga teacher that she got the urge to start her own business. That business is Dharma Bums, an ethically produced yoga and active wear retail brand that is now available in 60 countries. Lawson founded Dharma Bums with business partner Mat Guthrie in November 2013 and just over 18 months later, the business employs five staff and is expected to make $4 million in revenue this year thanks to double digit month-on-month sales grow.

Link here


Jack Ma: World War III is coming, but in a good way

World War III is coming, but it will be a good thing, according to one of Asia's richest men. Jack Ma , founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, said that the Internet and its various platforms will usher in a wave of global conflict.

It will not, however, pit countries against each other, but instead will see the likes of China and the U.S. teaming up to defeat societal ills.

Link here

Jack ma

Community groups given $40m in grants

MORE than 100 community service groups will get a share of $40 million to keep operating, following a review of a controversial government funding process.

THE federal government was criticised last year after some homelessness groups were told a week before Christmas their contracts would not be renewed.

On Wednesday it announced 94 organisations would be given new contracts following a review of the funding rounds, with a further 17 mental health service providers yet to be sourced.

Link here

Groups release toolkit for community solar aspirants

Canberra-based not-for-profit community organisation SEE-Change and community solar developer Solarshare yesterday launched a community solar toolkit to assist local residents pursue financial rewards through developing and owning a shared renewable energy project.

The toolkit includes guidance on getting started, establishing governance processes, finding a solar farm site, as well as conducting tender processes, the groups said.

The toolkit is based on the SolarShare project underway in the ACT.  When completed, SolarShare will be Australia’s largest community-owned solar farm.

Link here

Neil Balnaves advises unis on pitching for philanthropic funds

When pitching for a philanthropist’s money, universities would do well to have a clear set of measurable outcomes in mind. It also helps to keep the donor actively involved in the project.

But most of all, it’s not a bad idea to get someone influential to pitch the idea for you.

Neil Balnaves, a former television production tycoon who is now a full-time philanthropist, says the best pitch he has ever had from a university came from the University of NSW.

Link here

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