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A message from Vanessa and Scott

What the proposed changes to the constitution mean for Rainbow Families and why we need your support

A few days ago, Rainbow Families paid financial members received a notification from our Public Officer Morri Young about proposed changes to the Rainbow Families constitution. As Co-chairs of Rainbow Families, we wanted to share some further information to help our community understand why we are proposing these changes and how they will benefit Rainbow Families to become a more sustainable organisation that will be around to support our community into the future.

Looking back, we incorporated as a community association in 2016 with a mission to connect, support and empower LGBTQ+ families in New South Wales. We began providing support and resources to members of our community so that they and their families can live their best and most colourful lives. We started hosting events that connected LGBTQ+ families, particularly those that are feeling isolated because of social pressures, financial difficulty or where they live. We also began to advocate on behalf of our community, and today we are a strong and consistent voice for Rainbow Families in NSW families to address discrimination, raise awareness and promote acceptance. 

We would not have been able to achieve all that we have done without the huge number of parents, kids and community members that have volunteered and showed up at our events. A huge thank you for your help and support.

As we have moved forward since our inception, in addition to delivering on our mission, one of our major goals has been to ensure the sustainability of the organisation for the future.

We believe it is important to look forward and ensure that Rainbow Families will be around to support our community for future generations of parents and children.  And one hurdle we need to overcome to ensure we have the best chance to for Rainbow Families to sustain is for the organisation to become a charity with DGR status.

Achieving DGR status recognises the work that Rainbow Families does to support the community, and this status means that when we receive financial donations and when people buy tickets to attend our fundraising events, they will receive a receipt that allows them to deduct the amount of their donation or the ticket price form their taxable income. Not having DGR status is also a major hurdle in securing a large portion of grants and other funding sources as they are limited to only giving to organisations that have DGR status.

The proposed change to our constitution, including the addition of a preamble, does not fundamentally change what we do to support our community. But what it does do is to clearly reflect our mission and provide crystal clear clarity for the Australian Tax Office and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission on what we do in a way that matches their framework.

We have drafted these changes with advice from seasoned professionals whose careers have been within in the not for profit space. One of these people is our new Public Officer Morri Young. Morri, who has been working with us to strengthen compliance, has significant professional experience in the not for profit space, including at Family and Community Services, the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies and as the founder of Accounting for Good.

As detailed in the notification, the Special General Meeting to vote on the proposed constitutional changes will be on 7 May 2020 at 7 pm via a Zoom meeting.

https://zoom.us/j/5623100248

Meeting ID: 562 310 0248

Password: 7890555

To move forward with the changes and continue with our application to the ACNC to become a DGR charity, we require three-quarters of the attendees (paid financial members of Rainbow Families) to support the motion. We are thrilled with how Rainbow Families has developed since our inception and are excited about how the organisation is moving forward to become more sustainable. By voting to accept these changes, you will be helping us to continue on that pathway so that we can all have confidence that Rainbow Families will be here to continue supporting our families and the families of the future.

We look forward to seeing you on 7 May at 7 pm.

 

Vanessa Gonzalez and Scott Brunelle

Co-Chairs of Rainbow Families

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