Corporate philanthropy means more to MS Research Australia than just funding dollars. Whilst it accounts for up to 22% of our total gross income, the additional benefits come from both Probono support and professional engagement opportunities.
Since our early and quite humble beginnings in 2004, MS Research Australia has had a significant, measurable and unequivocal impact on the lives of people with MS, both nationally and globally.
The Macquarie Group Foundation has been one of our most important philanthropic foundation supporters over that time, and is largely invested in many of our greatest achievements. The benefit to MS Research Australia from this support however, goes deeper than just the dollars. The ability to have staff engagement at all levels across both organisations is much appreciated. We have been pleased to meet with executive staff and Board members of Macquarie as well as receive the support of Macquarie staff. Macquarie has also hosted donor boardroom lunches and supplied volunteers to help organise Kiss Goodbye to MS events. The mutual reward that comes with such interactions has made us better at what we do.
Lisa George, Head of the Macquarie Group Foundation said ‘We think it is important to contribute to a national organisation which has a clear mandate and history of excellence in research governance. The team at MS Research Australia are always more than ready to report on the outcomes of funded research. Donors like to see how their support has been utilised and MS Research Australia is able to deliver on that’.
Matthew Miles, CEO at MS Research Australia said ‘it’s rare to have the sort of relationship where the staff of a large corporate Foundation are so knowledgeable and engaged with what we stand for on so many levels. It is really encouraging and humbling to be able to work with the Macquarie staff on a fundraising event such as a golf day and then report to the Macquarie Group Board or the Macquarie Group Foundation Committee in Martin Place and hear a similar level of understanding and enthusiasm for our work’.
MS Research Australia is incredibly grateful to the Macquarie Group Foundation for its support over the years. The number of projects and initiatives it has supported with us are numerous, but several of the most recent include: staff development and training workshops, hosting a not-for-profit autoimmune workshop to encourage collaborations and cross fertilisation of ideas to accelerate progress in the sector and funding Fellowships and research projects.
The Macquarie Group Foundation recognises innovation and recently its funding of a unique joint Fellowship between MS Research Australia and JDRF led to an important finding of a genetic overlap between MS and type 1 diabetes.
The Macquarie Group Foundation and MS Research Australia hope to be able to announce another MS research collaborative project very soon. This project looks set to be one of the most exciting we have worked on together thus far. It is through the support of philanthropic organisations like the Macquarie Group Foundation that we can look to the future with confidence.