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Goal 1: An active humanitarian movement

Connecting those who can lend a hand with those who’d like a hand.

More than 500 teams from netball, dodge ball, rugby, esports, boxing and other sports signed up to our Beat Loneliness campaign. With their help, we reached 45,000 people to tackle a problem that affects one in four Australians. Photo: Thinkerbell.

Goal: Build an inclusive, diverse and active humanitarian movement based on voluntary service

2.5 million people, reflecting the diversity of our community, take voluntary humanitarian action with us to help others

50% (of 2.5 million) are self-organising and leveraging our knowledge, expertise, and evidence to advocate for and help others

Australians trust and respect Australian Red Cross

We worked on making volunteering easier right now, but also planned for what it will look like in the future. We see Red Cross as a way for people to act on the issues they care about, beyond the boundaries of our current services and structures.

To deliver the change we want to see and connect with Australians, we need to be trusted and respected, a source of deep humanitarian expertise and the catalyst for a humanitarian movement in Australia. 

Making volunteering easier right now

We’ve been building a better experience for volunteers. We began establishing volunteering and mobilisation hubs in every state and territory and established a volunteering web page that connects people to the right role in just four steps. It’s also easier to connect with Red Cross at a grassroots level with new branch, regional office, university club and volunteer team Facebook pages.

Getting ready for volunteering 3.0

We want to explore how emerging technology can help meet needs in our communities and make it easier for people to take action. 

Our inaugural Humanitech Summit in February 2018 explored the intersection of humanitarian action and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and voice recognition; for example, whether digital ID can make it simpler to transfer a volunteer’s credentials between organisations.

Our partnership with Swinburne University’s Social Innovation Research Institute has led to a world-first social connection model, to better understand what healthy social connections mean for individuals and communities. 

We established a collective-impact working group with corporate and sector partners to transform workplace volunteering. Our partners want their staff to take meaningful action on community issues that matter to them. 

Helen and Joyce were forced to flee their homes when fires threatened the Victorian town of Cobden in March 2018. They spent the night providing psychological first aid to their neighbours in an evacuation centre. They spent the next day making sure families had clothes, toys and food. This is what community spirit looks like. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Zayne D’Crus.

Maintaining trust and respect 

Red Cross was ranked 19 on the AMR Charity Reputation Index, which measures the overall reputation of charities in areas such as services, innovation, governance and cost management. Although we dropped five places, our score remained virtually steady at 84.2 and is considered by AMR as excellent. 

Our own brand research shows that trust and respect measures remain strong, and that 36% of Australians would consider donating to Red Cross. We also recruited a new Customer Experience team to help create a deeper connection with those who support us.

We relaunched our website to make it easier for people to take action or get help. Additionally, we continued to roll out the ‘Trust Initiative’ – a project to ensure the information we are trusted with remains private and secure – by making technical and process improvements and training over half of our staff on data security.

What we learned

It takes a team to beat loneliness

This year we tried something different to combat loneliness – a problem facing one in four Australians. We asked sports teams across the country to do something simple: jump online, get a free sporting kit and change their team’s name to ‘Loneliness’ – making them the team to beat in every competition.

The campaign was measured by scale, action and value. In terms of scale, we recorded 3,827,954 impressions across digital channels and reached 45,000 people. Our target for action was 200 teams to join the campaign. But teams like Legacy Esports pitched in enthusiastically, as did rugby, dodgeball, netball and many other sports – 509 teams and more than 5,000 people in total. 

Participants fed back their rationale for joining: alignment with their personal experience, desire to support others in their team, and a belief in the cause. The #BeatLoneliness jerseys were also a significant draw.

We are still measuring the campaign’s value; however the reach and action results indicate a wide exposure to issues of loneliness, isolation and social connection.