Homelessness is a stark reality facing tens of thousands of individuals throughout Australia. With the majority of popular Australian media constantly focusing on the difficulties of young adults entering home ownership and other related plights, a few beacons of light are supporting young adults that are in a far direr situations.Open Families Australia provides support to over 32,000 Young Australians sleeping rough each and every night, and 99designs is proud to have provided Open Family Australia with assistance around the annual 21 Challenge.
Open Family Australia was formed in 1981 as a charitable, not-for-profit organisation providing outreach support and services for young Australians that are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.As individuals aged between 12-25 years old represent the largest single group of homeless people, Open Family Australia not only provides direct assistance to those sleeping rough in the locations where they congregate, but also goes into high schools to run programs to prevent Australian youths ending up on the streets. With the estimated community cost of supporting a person who is homeless from youth to death being upwards of $2M, Open Family Australia understands not only the social and moral benefits but also the economic benefits of supporting the homeless and preventing homelessness. With this in mind, each June Open Family Australia runs its major fundraiser: The 21 challenge.
Open Family Australia CEO Dr Emma Cassar (2009 National Young Business Woman of the Year) is all too aware of the potential consequences of street life through her extensive work in the corrective services industry. Since her appointment to CEO in 2009, Open Family Australia has flourished under Dr Cassar’s leadership including the ongoing success of The 21 Challenge, the organisations largest and most publicised fundraising event.
The annual Open Family Australia fundraiser, “The 21 Challenge”, involves participants pledging an action for 21 days to raise money for the organisation. The Challenge culminates on the 21st of June, which is the longest night of the year and therefore one of the toughest nights to be sleeping rough.
As it is Open Family Australia’s largest fundraiser, CEO Dr Emma Cassar felt a dedicated website was required to maximise the campaign’s appeal. A contest was hosted by 99designs asking for a web design that not only engaged a wide and varying audience, but also allowed for donations to existing challenges and a community, shareable feel and function. Emma really wanted the ability for participants to share their 21 Challenge stories and triumphs whilst being completely integrated within a range of social networking services.
Run over twelve days, the 99designs funded contest attracted submissions from six professional web designers from around the world and garnered a total of 19 different design concepts.
The wide range of submissions enabled the Open Family Australia team to view a number of different styles and subsequently discuss which design they preferred. After selecting the design they all loved, conversation between the Open Family and the designer ensued to tweak the design until it was perfect.
The winning submission was successfully incorporated into the 2011 Open Family Australia 21 Challenge.The result of the contest was a sharp, easy-to-use website built on WordPress that allowed for effective engagement with a broad audience and highlighted participants stories that they could share with the public. This year’s 21 Challenge attracted several notable Australian celebrities, and with the interactive website enabled for easy donations, plus support and social media interaction, Open Family Australia could not have been happier with the end product and have stated that when further design needs arise 99designs will be the first and only stop.
Customer: Open Family Australia
Need: Web page design for The 21 Challenge
Contest Submissions: 19
Cost: $795 – Funded completely by 99designs