What is the Big Day Off? Great question!
The Big Day Off (BDO) is the fundraising brainchild of a group of businesspeople in Albury. The group were inspired to help all Australians with spinal cord injury following the injury of young AFL player, James McQuillan, who sustained quadriplegia during an AFL game in 2013.
It’s a simple and engaging way for businesses to support a great cause by donating an additional day/days off work for their staff. Staff can then buy tickets in a draw to win a day off work, with all proceeds from ticket sales going to Australian spinal cord injury support and research charities. (Find out more about the not-for-profit organisations that we support)
The BDO was piloted in 2015, primarily in Albury and regional NSW and in 2016 we are taking the BDO national.
How does it work?
The entire BDO sign-up and ticket purchase process takes place online between March 31 and June 30. The draw takes place electronically and BDO winners are announced July 1.
Participating businesses register and nominate number of days off available for staff. The registrant then receives an ID code that staff can use to purchase tickets. Employees can nominate their boss to register for the Big Day Off and once they’re signed up staff can purchase as many tickets as they like to win an additional paid day of annual leave – to spend doing whatever they like!
Sound like fun? We think so too!
Wondering why you should register your business or nominate your boss to register?
We think there are plenty of good reasons, here are a few of the most important ones:
Firstly, every day in Australia someone is told they may never walk again due to a spinal cord injury. This has a devastating and often overwhelming effect on the person who sustains the injury, as well as their family and friends – an injury does not just mean loss of movement, but also bladder and bowel control, sexual function and even the ability to breathe unaided in some cases.
On top of the severe personal toll is the economic cost to the individual and to the economy. The estimated care cost for spinal cord injury each year in Australia is about $2 billion. Add to his a further $2 billion in economic and productivity costs and you can see that it takes an enormous toll.
As far as lifetime care costs go for each individual, they are looking at about $5 million per case of paraplegia and $9.5 million per case of quadriplegia.
Finally, it’s a fantastic way to engage and reward employees – offering them the chance to win a paid day off work, while raising funds for a good cause. So there’s that too.
Our partners, supporters and ambassadors
We have some amazing partners and supporters behind the Big Day Off this year, so if you’re getting involved, you’re going to be in great company!
The BDO has partnered with the National Rugby League and News Corp Australia, and is being supported by the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
For our ambassadors, there’s former Parramatta Eels captain and international representative Nathan Hindmarsh, former Newcastle Knights player Alex McKinnon, Network Ten Presenter and Senior Producer Sandra Sully, Australian racing legend Damien Oliver, former Wallaby and Super Rugby player Adam Freier, and Greater Wester Sydney Giant’s player Jack Steele. You can read all of the ambassador bios here.
This year, we are aiming to raise over $1,000,000 through the Big Day Off. These much needed funds will go to support the care of all Australians living with spinal cord injury today, while providing hope for the future in the form of a cure.
So far, we’ve had tonnes of great businesses sign-up including the AFL, Slater + Gordon, Johnson and Johnson Medical, Lloyd’s Australia, Dutch Media, Res Publica and many more.
And be sure to follow the conversation on social media:
Hashtags: #bigdayoff + #nominateyourboss