"to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention"
From 2009 to 2014, Black Dog Ride was supported in it's operations solely by volunteers. In 2014, to sustain and strengthen it's vital work in the suicide prevention sector, Black Dog Ride was incorporated as a national not for profit (NFP) registered with the Australian Charities and Not For Profit Commission (ACNC). Black Dog Ride then obtained deductible gift recipient endorsement (DGR) as a health promotion charity from the Australian Tax Office.
Obtaining not for profit status and DGR endorsement has transformed Black Dog Ride from an informal operation running fully on the goodwill and resources of full time volunteers into a sustainable national organisation with federal regulatory oversight.
The 2014/15 financial year was Black Dog Ride's first year of operation as a charitable not for profit. During this time, Black Dog Ride not only acquired staff for the first time and established a national office, but distributed over $515,000 to 25 mental health projects or organisations via funds raised through the Black Dog Ride around Australia, the 1 Dayer, and Black Dog Ride's weekly community activities.
In the past, whilst raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention through various community activities including rides, Black Dog Ride partnered with mental health organisations to assist with community fundraising and expenditure. Since incorporating as a national charity, it has no longer been necessary to partner with a charity as Black Dog Ride has become the charity.
In turn, although not obligated to, Black Dog Ride gifts funds to other mental health projects or organisations, and works with them to raise their profile locally to benefit both the organisation and to assist with informing community members of their local mental health services. Gradually, these beneficiaries are becoming more diverse as the national footprint of Black Dog Ride grows.
Black Dog Ride raises most it's operating costs through ride registrations. Limited corporate sponsorship and the sale of merchandise also contribute to Black Dog Ride's annual income. Black Dog Ride is not dependant upon government grants and is proud of not only being self sufficient in it's funding but being a benefactor to other worthy charitable organisations. As a health promotion charity, Black Dog Ride is not obligated to raise funds for other organisations.
100% of all incoming funds from Black Dog Ride's activities - both registration fees and donations, go to charity: Black Dog Ride. Black Dog Ride utilises ride registration fees, which as a fee for service are not tax deductible, for it's operating expenses. Proceeds of funds raised during rides are directed to local mental health projects or organisations. During 2016 alone, Black Dog Ride will have gifted funds to Lifeline Australia, Mental Health First Aid Australia, 21 local Lifeline Centres, 2 Headspace Centres, 3 local mental health organisations and 1 local mental health project.
Black Dog Ride is not raising money on behalf of other charities; it is raising awareness of a major health issue affecting over a million Australians, raising the profile of local mental health services and projects, raising funds to continue the work Black Dog Ride achieves in the community, supporting local mental health organisations to assist with their service delivery and fostering social inclusion through new networks and friendships with likeminded people.
The vast majority of the 600,000 not for profits and 54,000 charities in Australia do not run on goodwill and must meet costs for wages (nearly 1 millions Australians work for not for profits), operating expenses and fundraising expenses. At Black Dog Ride, the Board of Directors evaluates these costs annually to ensure that Black Dog Ride meets it's legal obligations, fulfills it's purpose as a health promotion charity, and can continue to operate sustainably.
There is no regulatory pre determined amount for operating expenses that charities must comply with, as expenses differ vastly from metropolitan areas to regional areas and between low risk and high risk demographics. The ACNC advises that the public should not judge a charity upon it's administrative expenses. You can read more from the ACNC about the operating or administration costs of charities on the ACNC site:
Black Dog Ride's mission as a health promotion charity is to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention. Black Dog Ride's activities achieve this mission with hundreds of activities each year engaging thousands of Australians, each starting community conversations around depression and suicide, which encourages help seeking behaviour and ultimately prevents suicide.
The social value of Black Dog Ride's activities is difficult to measure, but when you balance the value of these suicide prevention activities against Black Dog Ride's expenditure, Black Dog Ride's operating costs equate to an outstanding social investment.
Black Dog Ride continues to strive to meet it's objectives of raising awareness about depression and suicide prevention whilst keeping administrative and operating costs to a minimum. Black Dog Ride values our volunteers, riders and supporters as dedicated community advocates, and trust you will join with us on the road ahead to prevent suicide and improve the mental wellbeing of all Australians.