Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.
with Alexi Boyd from Boyd Office Management Services
Date: 20 June 2019
Managing the Business of an Australian Charity
Being the International Week on Rheumatoid Arthritis it is good timing to discuss the business of managing Australia’s Charity supporting half a million Australian sufferers and carers of RA Dragon Claw Charity.
This wonderful organisation which runs almost entirely on partnerships with private organisations, some funding but incredibly with the hard work and passion from it’s three Executive Directors supports not only the half a million australians, but those who support, work with and care for them - plus the millions of others around the world with this condition.
The website provides excellent advice, support and importantly a real connections with other sufferers where the real magic takes place.
Welcome to the show, Founder Michael Gill, former Strategic Director of Cisco Systems, Susan Hughes co-founder, formerly Corporate Business Development executive and Marketing Director Terry Jones former global advertising executive including Advertising consultant for Westpac bank.
- Why have you established this charity?
- Why is it called Dragon Claw?
- What were your backgrounds in business and how do you use your experience in managing the business of a charity?
- What are the benefits of managing a charity business compared to your corporate work?
- What would you say to other charities about how you maintain accountability and transparency for your charity business?
Michael Gill, Founder/Sec
Denis Tebbutt, Chair
Susan Hughes, Treasurer
Terry Jones, Marketing
Four retired corporate professionals volunteer to manage the Dragon Claw Charity, Australia’s online community supporting half a million sufferers and the carers of those diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Lupus disease.
Michael Gill believed that no one should face the challenges he did during the first two years of this debilitating and painful disease. He woke up one Christmas Day and couldn’t move and was also racked with pain. Michael, like Susan Hughes a Disability Employment and Business Development Consultant, who experienced workplace Post Traumatic Disorder and subsequent crippling RA pain, lost their careers as a result of this auto immune disease, so they refocused their high-level business skills and experience to support their co-sufferers.
Michael said, “except for about five days a year, when I am visiting my Rheumatologist the other 360 days per year we have no support to learn how to adjust our lives and get into the driver’s seat of managing our new health challenge. “We needed to learn about the right diet, exercise, stress management and most importantly be part of a group of the same patients to share our experiences to provide hope and reduce isolation and stress.”
Once their condition was stabilised by Consultant Rheumatologists with medications including biologic infusions, Michael, formerly Strategic Director of Cisco Systems, and Susan reached out to their professional network to inspire Denis Tebbutt, a global software industry CEO to be Dragon Claw’s Chair and Terry Jones, a global advertising executive to join them in developing their charity.
The concept is simple and very compelling to support the thousands who manage these hidden conditions and try daily to maintain their profession, family and lifestyle under constant pain and discomfort. An online resource and community for exchange of information of what works for them and a place to rely upon as the comprehensive repository of information from general guidance to research.
All of the information is supplied by qualified sources internationally and is complimented by an extensive library of short videos as a quick and easy medium to gain information and confidence about taking control and managing the Dragon within us before it flares up inducing the pain that is so descriptive of RA and lupus.
As a ‘Community of Common Interest’ Dragon Claw has inspired the support of 15 corporate partners including the British Medical Journal, Pfizer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. As a result of bedding down a strong business model with thousands of online visitors across 15 member countries they were awarded a grant by the Australian Department of Health to develop a video resource on the value of Medication Adherence for our first Australians who have a higher proportional occurrence of than the national average.
Denis Tebbutt, Dragon Claw Chairman has said, “When you learn about the pain that our bodies are capable of inflicting upon us you cannot imagine the courage and support that is required to rebuild your lifestyle and how it impacts family and friends around us. These conditions are not discriminating and have no boundaries or selection; they have no known cause and therefore no known cure which makes our focus on helping everyone in this community a very compelling cause and use of our time.”
Patient and Carer Committee Chair Susan Hughes said, “I just love this work with my Dragon Claw friends where I can be challenged to use my skills at my own pace and still manage my disease at home.”
Dragon Claw is always growing its volunteer community and we welcome any interest, support or enquiries at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Susan on 0421 459 747.