Our first featured happreneur!

Our first featured happreneur!

Only 4 years ago Ash Rosshandler was working in advertising writing ads selling Toyotas and 2 minutes noodles. Today he is responsible for rescuing gorillas and finding cures for cancer. He also aids in clearing landmines and educating kids. As founder and CEO of the Karma Currency Foundation and the Australasian Fundraiser of the year 2009, it is his job to help companies and individuals throw their support behind 100s of leading Australian charities. He is what I would call a Happrepeneur –  entrepreneurs who are trying to make the world a happier place and here is his story. We hope that this will become part of a series so if you know a Happrepeneur please email us…

Karma Currency from Ash

Like many, I’d always been uncomfortable with the idea of giving unwanted gifts to friends and family. So when my wife and I attended an engagement party for a couple who had everything, we thought ‘Eureka! We’ll give them a ‘goat’ from a charity’. But on second thoughts… what if they weren’t happy with a goat? Maybe they were into educating kids or protecting rainforests or finding cures for cancer. That was the genesis of the idea for Karma Currency – Australia’s first Charity Gift Voucher.

The way it works is simple. I like to think of it as a happiness circle. To begin, the gift giver goes to http://www.karmacurrency.com.au where they get to send a personalized charity gift voucher to family and friends, staff or customers. The giver is happy that they are giving a meaningful gift and as it’s tax deductible it also adds a smile. The lucky recipient is then directed to a website where they are empowered and engaged and happy to pass on the donation to the charity and project of their choice. And finally the charities receiving the funds are happy as they get to fulfil their mission. And is the happiness circle working? You bet it is!

In fact, a recent study with Harvard Business School, Karma Currency and a major bank where staff were given a $100 of Karma Currency to pass onto their charity of choice found “giving employees the opportunity to give significantly increased their job satisfaction” (check out this great video

So far the Karma Currency Foundation has distributed over $1 million to charity. And has put a little dent in the hundreds of millions of dollars that is spent each year on unwanted gifts that end up in landfill.  And now the foundation also now helps both companies and individuals raise funds through Charity Gift Registries, Fundraising Pages, and Workplace Giving Programs. So please feel free to check out http://www.karmacurrency.com.au 

PS: With 72 hours to go to the end of the financial year, here’s a tax deductible idea that I hope will bring you and your family and friends and charities around the world much happiness…