Avid birdwatcher and photography hobbyist Michael Livingston heard about the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) on Indigenous Literacy Day a few years back, and was immediately impressed by the work we do.
Initially fundraising for BirdLife Australia, Australia’s largest bird conservation organisation, Michael decided to look at fundraising for something broader as well. As an avid book reader and someone who cares about the disadvantages that remote communities face, the ILF seemed like an obvious choice to him.
With his passion for bird photography, Michael wanders through parks and reserves of Melbourne taking photos of all kinds of birds.
He printed his work onto a calendar to sell, with profits split between Birdlife Australia and our Foundation, a great idea that has been extremely successful.
“It turned out to be surprisingly popular and the project has grown year after year to the point that this year I sold 700 calendars to people all around the country and raised over $20k, which I split 50-50 between ILF and BirdLife.” Michael tells us.
“It's a lovely project that has developed a brilliant little community around it.”
He says that the calendars have been a positive distraction during two years of Melbourne's lockdowns.
Michael runs the whole process himself, except for the printing, which he outsources. He takes the photos, advertises on social media, packages the calendars, and even does some of the delivery on his bike to those who live nearby!
“And then of course the most satisfying moment comes at the end of it all when I total up the various columns on my spreadsheet and figure out how much I get to donate this year.”
Overcoming logistical skills and the struggling postal system have been challenges in the process over the years. His fundraiser has grown so much that it can be difficult to process all the orders.
Due to Michael’s incredible efforts and the community of people that he has created, his calendar is widely loved and has a massive social impact.
“It feels like I'm representing the goodwill of all of the hundreds of people who buy the calendars and I love that I've built this little community that helps ILF and others do the incredible work they do.”
Thank you to Michael for being such an incredible supporter.
To check out Michael’s photography, click here.
And check out our fundraising hub for more great stories and information.