Aaron Sansoni is an international speaker, best-selling author and recent nominee for Australian of the Year 2017 and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2016.
The Aaron Sansoni Foundation was established to create real change where it’s needed. They do this by creating global awareness for the charities they partner with, as well as mobilising large volunteer networks to help on their Give Back days both in Australia and around the world. In 2018, The Aaron Sansoni Foundation partnered with OzHarvest as their charity of choice.
Q. How did you first hear about OzHarvest?
We came across the fabulous work OzHarvest were doing a couple of years ago and fell in love with the simplicity and later the authenticity of the cause.
Q. The Aaron Sansoni Foundation is a relatively new, can you tell us how it came about?
Many years ago my wife Elena and I were travelling through Sri Lanka on our honeymoon and decided to volunteer some time at an orphanage that we had previously fundraised for, and donated to from Australia. What was supposed to be a short visit soon became a life changing experience when we saw what a charity could do at a grass roots level. From there it was on the agenda to learn more and find a way to create real change. We soon decided on creating our own charity utilising my global business experience and connections with large number of business owners wanting to help our cause. We establish the foundation as a trust meaning we would cover 100% of the expenses to run the charity, allowing us to donate 100% of all money we raised to our charity partner, which in 2018 was OzHarvest.
Q. In its first year, the foundation raised an amazing $125,000 which can provide 250,000 meals to people in need. How did you go about fundraising?
We did this through many channels, which was part of the success in getting to our goal of $125,000. We donated 100% of gross ticket sales to a number of our business educational events around Australia, raised money from participants, sold books on the streets of Melbourne, held a Gala Charity ball and auction and our family also personally contributed to the final result.
Q. As a successful business leader, why do you think it’s important to give back to the community?
Where to start. Life is giving. It might sound ambiguous, but it’s really the essence of what I believe creating success in your life is about- passing it forward to others. When I first started the best I could do was lend an ear to someone who needed it, then it was giving a few dollars here and there to charities, now it’s about helping on a larger scale, and more importantly hopefully inspiring others to pay it forward in any way they might be able to, to a cause they believe in. Anyone can be a apart of change they just need to start.