SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — February 1, 2018 Sharon Melamed, Founder of business matchmaking site Matchboard, may have started a new trend in the small business community – supporting small charities with pro bono marketing.
In her New Year’s manifesto, Melamed wrote: “The wake-up call happened last month – two people I knew personally and professionally died of cancer. As a business owner with a large network, I realised there’s more I could and should be doing to give a voice to the many incredible not-for-profits, who work so hard to repair the lives of the disadvantaged and the distressed.”
Melamed’s company will provide marketing support to a different charity each month, leveraging a network of 12,000 LinkedIn followers, as well as thousands of website visitors, subscribers and clients. “Even cash-poor, database-rich startups can contribute in this way!” she said.
“Matchboard’s goal is to encourage other small businesses to copy our approach, to make them see how easy it is to support the incredible work of the not-for-profit sector, in ways other than just donations. We need to think less about money, more about method.”
Melamed hopes the initiative will lead to a groundswell in similar partnerships with small businesses, which amplify the voice of smaller charities.
The first charity to participate in the initiative is Act for Kids. Melamed said she was shocked by the statistic that one child is abused or neglected every 12 minutes in Australia, and every 90 seconds there is a report made to child protection authorities. The specialist teams at Act for Kids support children, young people and families across the spectrum of child protection from community education programs to tertiary services, helping almost 25,000 children from 2016 to 2017. “So many more are in need of urgent assistance, so it’s a no-brainer for Matchboard to promote the crucial work of Act for Kids.”
Matchboard’s charity partner for March is the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, dedicated to helping people with HIV, with more charities to be announced throughout the year.
Melamed’s thinking reflects a new breed of entrepreneurs with a social conscience, focused not only on their business vision but contributing back to society.
Matchboard is a free online matching service which uses powerful matching algorithms to help companies find the right suppliers for their needs. The platform, which brings the online dating model into a business-to-business context, specialises in the supply chain around sales, service and back office. More than 2000 buyers at small, medium and large organisations have used the platform since its launch in 2012.
In 2017, Westpac named Matchboard one of Australia’s 200 Businesses of Tomorrow.
Complementing its core online offering is an offline matching program, delivered via boardroom lunch events in Sydney and Melbourne.