Aussie industry entrepreneurs launch social impact enterprise on local shores

Thankful gains local brand support and builds advisory council including former marketers, Mark Lollback and Mark Buckman

Matt Moran and Kim McDonnell
Matt Moran and Kim McDonnell

Thankful, a social impact organisation devised by Australian marketing and advertising entrepreneurs, Kim McDonnell and Mike Chuter, is making its local debut as it works to encourage brands and organisations to help address the world’s biggest systemic challenges.

Thankful positions itself as a social enterprise helping brands and consumers to engage with UN Sustainable Development Goals. These stretch from zero hunger and poverty to building sustainable cities and communities, tackling climate change and reducing inequality.

In Thankful’s case, current initiatives stretch from work around building safe and inclusive communities to championing human and animal rights, ending hunger, saving the planet, protecting children and promoting better health.

The organisation’s approach is to marry up product licensing with awareness campaigns and a non-profit arm. McDonnell and Chuter founded Thankful in the US and have built up a base of investors including Ford Motor Family Office, Dr John Wilkerson and Adam Growald Rockefeller.

The pair have now returned to Australia and are setting up a Sydney-based office. To help, they’ve recruited several local ambassadors to drive awareness and engagement including Australian chef, Matt Moran, and sustainable agriculture advocate, Charlie Arnott.

In addition, an Australian advisory council has been established featuring former GroupM CEO, Mark Lollback; Emergent CEO, Holly Ransom; marketing and leadership executive, Mark Buckman; and retired major Matina Jewell.

Local companies joining up meanwhile, include APG Workforce, Vittoria Food and Beverage, Signature Wines, Gathered Good Hampers, Outback Lamb, Red Tractor Foods and Chief Nutrition

McDonnell said the launch locally comes in advance of two initiatives rolling out in coming months. One of these is ‘Thankful4farmers’, which sets out to bring together farmers, influencers, brands and consumers to amplify awareness and generate scalable funding to support sustainable agriculture and regional communities. According to the website, Thankful4Farmers has recently provided a grant to Soils for Life to fund development of an educational video showing the importance of soil for agriculture, the environment and the economy.

A second initiative targets reducing household food waste through scalable solutions. In addition, a range of products featuring the Thankful logo are being introduced in supermarkets.

“Australian consumers more than ever before expect brands and businesses to give back to the community and have a clear purpose,” McDonnell said. “We’re proud to have worked with leading organisations across the world to drive positive change, spread thankfulness and deliver a meaningful impact. And we’re beyond excited to be launching in Australia to make a real difference locally.”

McDonnell built her career in the advertising industry, working for agencies such as Leo Burnett and Publicis as well as her own business, Cubed Communications. She’s also consulted to WPP AUNZ on its ‘purpose’ practice. Chuter has also worked in marketing, insights and digital transformation for the likes of PSB, JDFR International, M&C Saatchi and Ogilvy.

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here. 

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page



Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

AI Leasing Assistants have finally arrived for the multifamily industry. With so many to choose from it can be hard to figure out which i...

Alice Labs Pte. Ltd.

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 May 2021

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...


10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Blog Posts

Why if marketing is all you do, you’ll never be very good at it

OK, so you’re probably thinking: “Here comes another article to badger me about living in my bubble.” And also, “I bet this bubble-bashing piece will go on to explain how I can achieve better results through some heady dose of new life experiences, new routines and annoyingly different opinions on social media.”

Dane Smith and Toby Harrison

Ogilvy Australia

A leader’s role in rebuilding a culture of confidence

Every day, there are new predictions and studies on the future of work, the state of the economy and the unfolding global pandemic. All of which creates uncertainty and heightens the imperative of effective leadership.

Michelle Gibbings

Workplace expert, author

Confused About Your Customers?​

​I've worked in brand and marketing for more than 20 years. But there’s one area where I’ve found myself going around in circles and I must admit I'm becoming increasingly confused.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in