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Real Business : 2013 Issue 1
as the foundation had recently lost the sponsorship of an airline and travel played a role in 65 per cent of all wishes. Senior and Robertson hit upon the idea of working with a travel company that dealt with accommodation and ground travel as well as ights, only to discover that Australian agency Flight Centre has been a corporate partner to Make-A-Wish in Canada since 2003 and had more recently established a relationship with Make-A-Wish in the US. "We said, 'Why don't you get Flight Centre involved here in Australia, where their headquarters are, and use Canada and the US as case studies for the pitch?'" Senior says. In response to a request from Make- A-Wish for a workplace giving program, Senior and Robertson reviewed the charity's existing corporate partners and found several likely targets for a scheme. Using computer modelling that presupposed a participation rate of 5 to 20 per cent, at a rate of A$5 a week, the pair estimated the scheme could generate about A$400,000. "On top of that, most organisations involved in workplace giving match their employees' donations. If a company raises A$400,000 through individuals, the charity could get A$800,000," Senior says. But the showpiece of the plan was an idea they labelled RoundUp to Make-A-Wish. e proposal involved working with existing corporate partner Coles to establish a month- long campaign inviting supermarket shoppers to round-up the dollar value of their basket, with the balance going to Make-A-Wish. Conservatively, their modelling showed that Make-A-Wish stood to gain A$10.8 million from the campaign. "At that, the eyebrows of the Make-A- Wish CEO went up, and the CFO of CPA made a little note to ask us how the hell we came up with that -- and we were more than prepared to answer," Robertson says. In their presentation, Senior and Robertson ran through the modelling process and added that a more optimistic projection took the tally close to A$20 million for a one-month campaign. Double the wishes "Whatever way you ran it, whatever happened, Make-A-Wish (Australia) stood to gain quite a large amount of money," Robertson says. "We estimated they would be able to clear their backlog of wishes by Q2 of 2013, and could grant up to 1000 wishes over the course of 2013 and 2014. at means doubling their capacity for wish-giving as a result of two one-month campaigns over those two years." Robertson and Senior went into the nal round full of con dence. "We believed in our ideas. We'd also come up with a pretty incredible PowerPoint presentation," Robertson says. en, just minutes into their presentation, Robertson discovered it had lost all its formatting when it was transferred to the presentation room's PC. He rushed to grab his MacBook, only to nd its battery was almost dead. " ere was nothing for it but to forge ahead, dragging up facts and gures from memory," Robertson says. e unplugged presentation was a success and the QUT students were named the winners of e CPA Big Break Project for 2012. Their modelling showed that Make-A-Wish stood to gain A$10.8 million from the campaign. To make a donation, log on to www.makeawish.org.au or www.makeawish.org.nz. For more information on The CPA Big Break Project, see cpabigbreak.com. 17
Issue 3 2012