05/12/2006 - 22:00

To educate and commemorate

05/12/2006 - 22:00

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A charitable foundation estab-lished in memoriam can be a valuable way to raise community awareness of a particular disease or issue, while also commemorating an individual’s life.

To educate and commemorate

A charitable foundation estab-lished in memoriam can be a valuable way to raise community awareness of a particular disease or issue, while also commemorating an individual’s life.

 

One resource available to indivi-duals looking to establish a foundation is the Charities Aid Foundation Australia (CAF), which provides assistance with administration, in-house manage-ment and legal support of foundations.

 

CAF Australia national manager foundations services, Marlene MacFarlene, said the prescribed private fund was a relatively new and recommended structure.

 

“This is meant for private individuals, families, businesses and corporations who would like to set up an enduring endowment fund for the benefit of the community, and their sole purpose is to provide money, property and benefits to the community,” she said.

 

Ms MacFarlane said prescribed private funds ideally required capital of at least $500,000.

 

“Basically, once a client comes to me, I give them guidelines and decide whether they have the philanthropic motivation and financial wherewithal to proceed with one or other structure,” she said.

 

Once a foundation is established, raising profile and obtaining resources become major challenges.

 

For the James Crofts Hope Foundation Inc, they proved to be significant hurdles.

 

The organisation was established to enhance the quality of life for brain cancer and brain tumour patients, named after its first client, James Croft, who died from brain cancer in 2001.

 

James Crofts Hope Foundation treasurer Helen McNamara said the foundation was intended to provide financial assistance to James’ parents for treatment costs, however a larger issue emerged during the family’s attempts to research the disease.

 

“It was very hard to get the information that we needed through medical sources, so we decided…we would set up a resource centre,” Ms McNamara said.

 

The founders also recognised that medical information was often not fully understood following diagnosis, so a website was established to provide information about the various types of brain cancer, the latest treatments available and grief management.

 

James Crofts Hope Foundation president Joanne McNamara said it was difficult to compete with higher-profile charities, making fundraising a challenging task.

 

“We do not have the resources to be able to run massive fundraising events, as do the other better-known foundations,” she told WA Business News.

 

“To date, we have not had a great success in applying for grants for further research; we must rely on the generosity of those donors who realise the good work we are doing for brain cancer patients.”

 

Founder of the Amanda Young Foundation, Barry Young, said the usual hurdles of obtaining resources were alleviated somewhat by the Youngs’ existing networks.

 

“We were lucky; because Amanda went to Penhros College, we were able to piggyback on some of their infrastructure,” he said.

 

“To start a foundation and get it up and running quickly is a daunting task – you need a lot of resources to do it. 

 

"A lot of people have tried, but it gets too hard. We were fortunate in some respects – as both Lorraine [Mrs Young] and I were near retiring age, we decided to retire and effectively become full-time volunteers.”

 

The Amanda Young Foundation was established to build community awareness of meningococcal disease, following the death of Mr Young’s daughter, Amanda, from the disease.

 

Mr Young said the foundation had benefited from being unique in its field and having the right people on board.

 

“We’re a local charity – we weren’t competing against anyone in that particular field and because of the type of people we had behind us, our credibility was there from day one,” he said.

 

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