Generosity reigns during COVID-19

For over ten years, ICAN’s website PayPal donation button sat alone in cyberspace waiting for a donor’s generosity. Competing with so many worthy charities, and sitting within an organisation that never invested the time to fundraise, the PayPal button was sure to remain abandoned. Then came COVID-19 and all that changed.

All of a sudden ICAN’s CEO, Aaron Davis, received what felt like a significant number of messages from PayPal stating a person had donated. Twenty dollars; one hundred dollars and another donor even committing to give ten dollars every month. After ten years in the online ‘donation’ wilderness, ICAN’s CEO was baffled. What was driving this change?

With further investigation, ICAN’s finance department found another anonymous donor had been depositing random donations straight into our bank account over three years, adding up to a whopping eight hundred and fifty dollars. The unknown donor revelation piqued Mr Davis’s curiosity, and through some rudimentary investigative work, he was able to email the mystery donor. In the email, Mr Davis thanked the donor for their generosity and sought some clue as to why someone would donate to ICAN over all the other worthy causes. After all, they were the organisations first, real private donor.

Later that day, Mr Davis enthusiastically opened an email reply that said, “I enjoy reading about what you are doing and the way the financial information is spreading around Australia and empowering other communities. I have lived in NT on communities there and have seen first-hand some of the problems that ‘white fella’ money has brought with it.  I support two indigenous organisations, yours and Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV). I have been doing this because I think you are both doing fantastic work and I enjoy being a very tiny part of it.”

“Reading those words of encouragement meant more to me than any monetary donation,” said Mr Davis. “They inspired me to ensure that all our donations go directly to empowering the communities we serve. This year they will go directly to our “Reconnect” program that looks to establish a new community partnership model in Palm Island, Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands.”

“The reason behind the recent PayPal donations remain a mystery, however on behalf of the ICAN team I would like to thank them dearly for their support, when someone is prepared to invest in your work, you know you’re on the right track,” said Mr Davis. “ICAN’s financial counselling team has saved consumers over 1.3 million dollars over the last four months.”

If you would like to donate to ICAN and support our grassroots financial counselling and capability service delivery, please visit our website here

To find out more about the Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV), please visit their website