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FAT aim to sponsor a busload of kids

For as little as $23.08 a week (four takeaway coffees), your business can contribute to providing safe housing for an Australian family experiencing homelessness or maternity care, clean water wells or education and meals to kids in poverty in Uganda.

Katoomba-based transport company Fantastic Aussie Tours (FAT) supports entire communities in Zambia by sponsoring children.

Like all charitable projects under the Pro Purpose non-profit organisation umbrella, the child sponsorship is delivered by an established registered charity (in this case, World Vision Australia).

Pro Purpose co-founders Joshua and Alana Nicholls have grown their purpose driven business Platinum Electricians into a country wide brand that has directed over $1 million of profit towards overcoming poverty and disadvantage.

Their 'One Van One Child’ idea involved a scalable model to sponsor a child in need for every van in their business. Within eight years, they were sponsoring more than 200 children.

Other businesses can do likewise, increasing their impact relative to their business growth.

FAT sponsors 14 children – one for each bus in its fleet (look for the One Bus One Child sticker on the back).

Managing director Jason Cronshaw said: ``We’ve just bought another bus, so that’s another child we can sponsor.

``It’s a fantastic motivator for our business, knowing that a child’s life and their family, even their whole community, depends on our success.

``Our aim is to sponsor a busload of kids!’’

Pro Purpose partners with other charities too to provide other sponsorship options.

There is help for Australian First Nations youth to reach their full potential, domestic violence workshops for Indigenous women and microfinance loans to support disadvantaged families in Asia start their own business.

Any size business in any industry can join Pro Purpose and share as little as $1200 a year of their profit with the charitable project they choose, with 100 per cent of donations going directly to projects (a one-time $1450 activation donation and a $39 monthly partnership donation cover admin costs).

Pro Purpose CEO Ms Nicholls said the ``collective impact’’ method meant businesses didn’t have to wait until they’re large to help others.

They can grow their giving as their business grows, ``so businesses can embed generosity into their business, even from the beginning’’.

As well as customers being impressed with businesses that have a purpose beyond the goods or services they provide, staff also love working for an organisation that is making a difference, she said.

One supporting business makes and sells products for babies and young children and is connected to a project that helps provide maternity care in Uganda.

Another sells water bottles and is connected to a water project.

Others connect with causes personal to them.

The FAT One Bus One Child World Vision partnership began about 10 years ago when Mr Cronshaw heard Mr Nicholls speak about the One Van One Child project.

Man wearing glasses smiling
Fantastic Aussie Tours managing director Jason Cronshaw

``Child sponsorship enables us to be of service and expand our family to include children in need, thereby creating an enduring and positive legacy in the world.

``Sponsoring a child is proven to be one of the greatest drivers of change. We help with basic needs like clean water, health care, education and farming to transform the whole community and create lasting generational change.’’

Today, FAT and its sister companies Christian Fellowship Tours and Blue Mountains Explorer Bus sponsor 14 children in Zambia.

While the company has long given 10 per cent of profits to charity, charitable works became part of the company’s official business strategy when Mr Cronshaw began studying a Masters in Business Administration (Social Impact) at the University of NSW in 2017.

The course helped him identify initiatives and expand the company’s social impact potential.

``We were doing stuff out of the generosity of our heart more than weaving it into the business model,’’ he said.

Mr Cronshaw said he was pleased to see that philanthropy was becoming a larger part of Australian business culture, particularly among young entrepreneurs who were likely to make ethics and cause-based decisions.

``Any business can do something. If every business did a little bit, it would help society enormously.’’

Email for more information about Pro Purpose.

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