It Gets Better Australia Explain Reporting Anomaly

Jamison Parker

Suicide Prevention charity It Gets Better Australia (IGBA) has explained a discrepancy between their public activities and their formal reports to Australia’s governing body for charities by explaining that a campaign run by the organisation’s CEO was not an official fundraising campaign.

In 2013 the organisation appeared to run a fundraising campaign through the crowd sourcing website Pozible. The campaign asked people to pledge money in return for merchandise promoting the organisation. The campaign raised $8,100, with 94 people supporting it. Supporters who pledged $25 received an ‘It Gets Better’ t-shirt, while a $50 was awarded with a hoodie.

Despite raising over $8,000, in their annual report to the Australian Charity and Not for Profit Commission the organisation reported that their total income for the 2013-2014 period as $1,350.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IGBA Jamison Parker (pictured) has told OUTinPerth that the revenue from the Pozible campaign was not included in the organisation’s formal reporting because it was run by him personally as an individual.

“In 2013, in order to kick start the activities of the charity, I personally carried out a fundraising campaign for It Gets Better Australia by selling licensed merchandise on the Pozible Website.  The monies raised by this fundraising campaign were used to pay for the costs of stock and postage. All left over stock was donated by me to It Gets Better Australia for it to use.”

Parker said at the time the organisation was very young and without significant funding and was largely run by volunteers.

“Since 2013, we have been fortunate enough to gain the support of sponsors that have donated both funds and in kind support, which has meant that we haven’t had any need to carry out further fundraising of this nature.” Parker responded to OUTinPerth’s inquiry. Parker said the organization took its obligations as a charity seriously.

Major Sponsor BT Financial Reviews Support

The concern over the organisations fundraising ethics comes as the Star Observer reveals that the groups major sponsor BT is reviewing their support of the organisation.

In May last year the BT Financial Group was announced as a major sponsor as IGBA announced it would hold a gala event to highlight the issue of LGBT youth suicide.

After several delays, the proposed event was launched last month. ‘It Gets Better Live’ will see American band G.R.L perform alongside the Australian artist like Paulini, Matthew Garwood and Anja Nissen.

The event was originally slated to be held at ‘The Big Top’ in Sydney’s Luna Park but poor ticket sales have seen the event moved to the nightclub ARQ, where it will be an 18+ event.

The concert is scheduled to go ahead this Sunday. Parker has told the Star Observer that the event was scaled down due to poor ticket sales.

The Star Observer has revealed that BT Financial are now reviewing their support of the organisation.

Our sponsorship specifically related to an event that they have had difficulties being able to deliver. This event was agreed to be held in October last year and we have been continually working with them to help them achieve and deliver what they promised. We are reviewing this contract as a result of the event not going ahead as planned,” a BT spokeswoman told the Star Observer via a statement.

“We are disappointed our sponsorship wasn’t fulfilled however we still fully support the intentions of their campaign to build confidence and self-esteem of LGBTI youth and reduce suicide and self-harm of vulnerable members of our community.”

Read More

20-04-15   It Gets Better Live Reveal More Acts

25-03-15   It Gets Better Australia Goes Live

28-08-14   BT Financial Group Show LGBT Youth It Gets Better

22-05-14   It Gets Better Recieves Major Funding

11-10-12   It Gets Better Starts Fundraising

Graeme Watson

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