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Aaron Sansoni Foundation Donates $217,741 to UNICEF

Aaron Sansoni Foundation Donates $217,741 to UNICEF 2048 1365 Aaron Sansoni Foundation

Aaron Sansoni Foundation Donates $217,741 to UNICEF in Record-Breaking Fundraising Event 

The Aaron Sansoni Foundation, a renowned philanthropic organisation founded by Aaron and Elena Sansoni, has made a remarkable contribution to UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. In a record-breaking fundraising event held on Saturday, December 2nd, 2023, at the Wealth Immersion event in Melbourne, Australia, the foundation raised an astounding $217,741 in just two hours.  

The Aaron Sansoni Foundation, committed to creating positive change where needed most, has a rich history of supporting charities within Australia. With a focus on reducing barriers and ensuring maximum impact, the foundation covers all operational costs, guaranteeing that every cent goes directly to those in need.  

The Aaron Sansoni Foundation partners with a different charity every year and raises funds and awareness through their student and stakeholder network. After a very successful extended partnership with the Monash Children’s Hospital in 2022 and most of 2023, the Aaron Sansoni Foundation committed to a short-term partnership with UNICEF, the world’s largest organisation working for children in over 190 countries. UNICEF’s mission is to build a better world for every child, providing vital resources such as clean water, life-saving food, vaccines, education, and protection from violence.  

“We are proud to partner with UNICEF and aim to raise as many funds and awareness as possible, with 100% of every dollar raised going directly to UNICEF,” said Aaron Sansoni, Chairperson of the Aaron Sansoni Foundation. 

“We feel blown away by the generosity of our Empire Circle students and the spirit of what they were able to do in such a short period of time of only 2 hours to help other people in need,” added Aaron Sansoni.  

“And very proud that we’ve been able to build a community of people that were able to connect with their networks and get such massive donations to help a cause that’s needed right away,” he continued.  

“We are also excited to have raised the most amount of money in our charity’s history.”  

This incredible achievement was made possible by the dedication of 224 of Aaron’s students who participated in the fundraising effort, both in person and online.  

In a scheduled visit to Aaron Sansoni’s head office this week, global entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson commended the foundation on their efforts to help UNICEF. Photographs of this heartwarming moment depict Aaron and Richard standing of Empire Studios in South Melbourne. 

UNICEF has a proven track record of saving countless lives and improving the futures of children in need worldwide. With this generous donation from the Aaron Sansoni Foundation, UNICEF will continue to provide emergency and long-term development programs for children, both in Australia and around the globe. 

“Children from around the world, who, at the moment, are in crisis. They’re in need, they’re dying in certain places around the world where they shouldn’t be,” expressed Nicki Barrans, Senior Philanthropy Manager, UNICEF Australia. 

“Our teams here work so hard to get them the humanitarian aid that they need and this gift is going to make such a significant impact for children. You’ve saved lives, and I can’t thank you enough,” she continued. 

“We at the Aaron Sansoni Foundation, like most people, have watched the devastating coverage of war and violent conflict around the world over the last few years, and are acutely aware of the many more war-torn regions that we rarely hear about in the news. We feel shocked and heartbroken to find out that 400 million children around the world are currently living in areas of violent conflict; we felt compelled to help,” concluded Aaron Sansoni.  

For media enquiries and additional information about the Aaron Sansoni Foundation, please contact: media@aaronsansoni.com

250,000 people fed in first year of charity

250,000 people fed in first year of charity 1920 1080 Aaron Sansoni Foundation

250,000 people fed in first year of charity

We donated $125,000 to OzHarvest in 2018, our inaugural year of operation, creating a quarter of a million meals for those in need.

Fundraising efforts included the donation of 100% of ticket sales of several of our Aaron Sansoni Group (ASG) events, generous donations from students, friends and business partners and a major charity ball held in October.

Ronni Khan, OzHarvest CEO & Founder said, “I am deeply grateful to the Aaron Sansoni Foundation for their generous donation of $125,000. This donation will enable us to deliver a further 250,000 nourishing meals to men, women and children in our community who depend on OzHarvest every day.”

Every year the Aaron Sansoni Foundation chooses a different not-for-profit to partner with and to raise funds and awareness for. We believe in fewer barriers and more donations getting to where they’re needed, which is why the total operating cost of the Foundation is covered by Aaron Sansoni himself to ensure 100% of all donations goes to where they should.

The board is currently considering applications from not-for-profit organisations for 2019 and 2020, with applications welcome at https://aaronsansonifoundation.org

About the Aaron Sansoni Foundation: The Aaron Sansoni Foundation was established to create real change where it’s needed. We do this by creating global awareness for the charities we partner with, as well as mobilising large volunteer networks to help on our Give Back days both in Australia and around the world.



The Aaron Sansoni Foundation - Elena Sansoni

Elena Sansoni
Vice Chairwoman

Aaron Sansoni Foundation


Email: elena@aaronsansonifoundation.org
Global Head Office: + 61 3 9088 6250 |
Corporate Office: Suite 402, 88 Albert Rd , South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3205

The Aaron Sansoni Foundation - group photo

2018 Partnership with OzHarvest

2018 Partnership with OzHarvest 1920 851 admin

There is enough food produced in the world to feed everyone, and yet, one third of all food produced is lost or wasted –around 1.3 billion tonnes of food –costing the global economy close to $940 billion each year’

Each year, the Aaron Sansoni Foundation collaborates with a charity partner, pledging to fundraise and volunteer for them.

This year, the Aaron Sansoni Foundation is proud to have partnered with OzHarvest, with the ambitious goal of raising $125,000, which will provide quarter of a million meals for Australians in need by the end of 2018.

OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it directly to more than 1000 charities supporting people in need across the country. Founded in 2004 by Ronni Kahn, after noticing the huge volume of good food going to waste from the hospitality industry, she decided there had to be a better way.

OzHarvest now operates nationally, rescuing over 100 tonnes of food each week from over 3,000 food donors including supermarkets, hotels, airports, wholesalers, farmers, corporate events, catering companies, shopping centres, delis, cafes, restaurants, film and TV shoots and boardrooms.

Earlier this year, a team of Aaron Sansoni Foundation supporters took part in OzHarvest’s ‘cooking for a cause’ initiative. OzHarvest chefs got the team busy in the kitchen transforming rescued food into restaurant-quality meals that are then delivered directly to disadvantaged communities. Our supporters were shocked at the amount of rescued food that would otherwise be discarded, and amazed at how creative the OzHarvest chefs were in using all the food – for example, the pumpkins seeds from the pumpkin were kept, roasted, and used in a salad!

We were all stunned to learn the facts about food waste in Australia:


  • Nearly three million people are living in poverty, one quarter are children
  • Over 644,000 people now receive food relief each month, one third are children
  • The Government estimates food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year
  • 4 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill, enough to fill 8,400 Olympic sized swimming pools
  • One in five shopping bags end up in the bin = $3,800 worth of groceries per household each year
  • 35% of the average household bin is food waste


Fighting food waste isn’t hard, it’s about learning new habits when it comes to our relationship with food. OzHarvest suggest we look, buy, store, cook:


  • Look at what food you already have before you go shopping
  • Check use by and best before dates, and know the difference
  • Plan your meals



  • Buy only what you need
  • Shop with a list
  • Avoid the deals like ‘buy one get one free’



  • Store food in airtight containers
  • Keep fruit and veg in the fridge
  • Freeze food near its use-by date



  • Cook with what you have
  • Use ingredients up
  • Love your leftovers
The Aaron Sansoni Foundation - child and father

Give Back Day May 2018

Give Back Day May 2018 1920 851 admin

 ‘You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give’  – Kahlil Gibran


There are many things about the Aaron Sansoni Foundation that make it unique– first, 100% of all funds donated go directly to helping those in need without exception, because Aaron himself covers all the operating costs of the foundation. Second, each year we partner with a reputable charity that is already established and fundraise directly for them (instead of trying to reinvent the wheel!) and last, and by no means least, our supporters get the chance to donate more than just their money – they donate their time through our regular ‘Give Back’ days.

Recently, 50 of our supporters joined us for our May Give Back Day in Melbourne.  We took to the streets of Melbourne to collect donations and promote conversation around homelessness within Australia. There are over 105K homeless people across the country with 18K of this being children under the age of 10, which is a devasting figure. The Aaron Sansoni Foundation team proudly raised $4287 on the day with 100% of proceeds going to feeding the homeless through our partnership with OzHarvest – that’s over 8500 meals! The Aaron Sansoni Group then matched that amount, taking the figure to just over $8000, and then Aaron himself decided to chip in, matching the amount again, taking the total amount of money raised that day to a brilliant $16,000! That is over 30,000 meals for Australians in need in just one day of work from our phenomenal supporters.

Later in the day, our supporters volunteered at St Mary’s House of Welcome. St Mary’s House of Welcome opens a door to people who are homeless or living in poverty in Melbourne. The Aaron Sansoni Foundation brought down a team to give St Mary’s House a helping hand. Together they helped provide healthy meals and care packs that included essentials for those experiencing hardship.

We also had the opportunity on the day to work with Foodbank, a non-profit organisation which acts as a pantry to the charities and community groups who feed the hungry. The Aaron Sansoni Foundation team was lucky enough to work with Foodbank and help run one of their monthly food markets at Wingate Avenue Community Centre, where team handed out fresh produce to those who struggle to put food on the table.

While collecting donations in the CBD, some of our supporters had conversations with a homeless couple they met, and felt compelled to help them out directly. After having a conversation with them, they did what felt right – they asked them, what is it that you need? And after some encouragement the couple told them a short list of necessities, which the team bought for them. The couple commented how nice it was to not have someone just shove a half-eaten sandwich in your face, or throw some coins at your feet, without even making eye contact. To actually be asked, what is it that you need? How can I help you? was much kinder.

Our Give Back days are an essential part of the Foundation, in many respects, equally as important as the monetary donations we receive. The money is ‘how’ we help, but the time donated during the Give Back days is the ‘why’ we help, it is the chance to connect with others, to hear the stories, to realise we are more the same than we are different.

The Aaron Sansoni Foundation

Origins of The Aaron Sansoni Foundation

Origins of The Aaron Sansoni Foundation 1920 851 admin

‘Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth’ – Muhammad Ali


People often ask us why we started the Aaron Sansoni Foundation. It was something that we thought about, and spoke about for a long time before finally creating it, and even during those many conversations over the years, it was hard to articulate exactly why we felt compelled to set up the foundation; it was more of an emotional urge than an intellectual one for both Aaron and myself.

Like many others, we both grew up with not a lot. Aaron in a single mum family and myself migrating here at a young age with parents who had nothing, not even the English language when the plane landed. We joke now about the difficulties of our childhoods; about Aaron having to wear plastic bags over his socks because he had holes in his school shoes and his mum couldn’t afford new ones; about me having to sleep in a crib until I was 5 because we couldn’t afford a new bed (that’s why I’m so short now haha). It’s easy in retrospect, and with the hindsight of adults who have ‘come good’, to reminisce about the hard times with a sense of humour, but at the time there’s no denying – it was tough. It was tough as a child to feel the burning embarrassment of wearing holey shoes to school, but even more heartbreakingly tough to hear kids call your family poor. I distinctly remember as a child hurting the most when I felt my parents were hurting. Aaron’s mum and my parents did a phenomenal job in such tough circumstances, and we can never really thank them enough (we do try J), but even as children, regardless of how well they tried to hide it, we could tell it was a struggle.

During these times, it was kindness and generosity of other people that made a difference. Neighbours who would look after my sister and I from 6am until school started every single day because both parents worked long hours. Friends of friends who handed down their children’s clothing when we outgrew our own. Relatives who would all chip in what little money they had to help out when times were tough. None of these acts of kindness were owed to us, and were repaid only in our gratitude, and yet all of those people, most of whom themselves experienced disadvantage at some point in their lives, were more than happy to help. They felt a sense of obligation to help because they could. As one of my neighbours said to my mum many years ago, ‘you need help, and I can help, so I should.  When I needed help I was helped, and when you can help, you will’. And so it is with that simple sentiment of obligation that the Aaron Sansoni Foundation was created. It was inspired by our own childhoods, and has grown with the generous contributions of time and money from our amazing supporters.