From $200 in a sock drawer to a healthy financial organisation
Like many grassroots organisations, Rainbow Families started with a humble kitchen meeting, phone call to networks, and lots of passionate parents.
Of course LGBTQI people have been parents for ages, but recent years has seen an increase in opportunities available to us. Some of this has been access to clinics, changes in adoption laws, support for fostering, and having more parent role models in our community. There have been lots of parent social groups, but despite the growth in our community, a professional community organisation was missing.
In the first year the committee developed a constitution, sought to encourage and invite broad participation of community members in the governance of the work, became incorporated, formalised systems, and developed a strong brand. We also put on lots of events, started a newsletter, applied for grants, forged partnerships, and advocated for the community. We fundraised and had $200 stored in a sock drawer. But what was missing was formal accounting!
Each meeting the lack of treasurer was noted in the minutes. Few felt they had the skills or interest to take it on. Where would this magic person come from?
One day Rica was reading the newsletter and clicked on to read the minutes of the previous committee meeting. She read every line and noticed the need for a treasurer.
Rica wrote to the committee offering support, “I am not sure if you could use my help, been a treasurer before, worked managing financials for films..oh and I am an accountant.” Could she help us? Absolutely! Rica was what we were all waiting for.
Rainbow Families has grown from small amounts held in cash to being a community organisation with over $100,000 turnover each year. We don’t receive ongoing funding, but we fundraise and apply for grants for specific projects. We self –fund for our 2 day a week worker.
Rica is an amazing asset to our community. She manages the wages for our part time worker, ensures we meet ATO legislation, pays all accounts, juggles the cash flow for the myriads of projects we undertake each year, and is crucial in supporting our growth vision. She is also important in ensuring we run a transparent, ethical, professional and well managed community organisation.
Rica is a parent of 2 gorgeous sons. She also volunteers in her school’s P&C, and when she is not doing that her partner Min and her are currently supporting refugees in Naru.
We acknowledge and thank Rica for establishing some healthy accounting practices over the last 2 years. Rica is at the heart of our organisation, a volunteer who gives hours each week to ensure that we all have a thriving healthy community.
If you would have a passion for community or a skill to share please consider becoming a volunteer.