With almost 20,000 volunteers, nearly 17,500 members and more than 1.2 million supporters, we are a grassroots organisation of people helping people. Our outcomes will require us to find new and innovative ways to engage millions more people to take voluntary humanitarian action and to inspire the Australian community's confidence in what we do. We have a long way to go but in 2016/17 we started to lay the foundations required.
Making volunteering easier
We are working on making volunteering action easy, fun and socially engaging. During the year we worked on a solution to make volunteering easier: a simple four-step process that allows potential volunteers to register their interest for future opportunities. We have also introduced an easier option for people to volunteer for one-off activities, like helping out at a BBQ, without having to get stuck in red tape.
Our first volunteer and engagement hub has been set up in Adelaide and is already improving the way people can connect with Red Cross. We will establish similar models in all states and territories.
A newly created international volunteering and humanitarian training initiative will provide opportunities for volunteers to support other Red Cross national societies, both through in-country and virtual placements. In conjunction with communities, volunteers and staff, we developed a framework for ‘people taking action’. This looks at ways action can happen- whether by individuals, in a connected form or as part of a mobilisation- and is anchored by our fundamental principles. Next year we will explore what this looks like with groups across the country.
Red Cross Calling
A further initiative to increase volunteer numbers and connect people to their communities was the invigorated approach to our longest-running campaign,
Red Cross Calling.
Through Red Cross Calling, we were able to engage with local communities across the country such as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association which mobilised more than 550 volunteers in every state and territory.
Schools were also recruited, with more than 2,000 students and teachers involved. Among schools participating were Sydney Girls High, Melbourne Boys High, St Vincent’s College, The Mac. Robertson Girls’ High, Glen Waverley Secondary College and Perth Modern School.
Trust and Respect
Trust and respect are the most critical attributes for any charity. As measured by our internal brand tracker and according to a public panel of more than 1,000 Australians, Red Cross continues to be a highly trusted and respected brand in our sector. In the external AMR Charity Reputation Reptrak survey, we rated 14 out of 40 charities. While our position dropped two places from last year, our reputation score remained the same and is considered excellent.
We are planning to launch initiatives which allow people to understand our work better, to engage and support us in the way they would like to and to get engaged in the issues they are interested in.