2021 Joint Winner Best Pivot Campaign or Initiative & Winner of Most Outstanding Fundraising Project: Arts Centre Melbourne

What did winning this award mean for you / your organisation?
“For me personally, this was a great opportunity to share our learnings and success with other organizations, and gave me the confidence to shout about our success. It also provided some great networking opportunities.

For the organization, the award really helped to validate the importance of philanthropy within the performing arts, within the broader charity context – particularly as we are still building our philanthropy program. For it to be recognized amongst other charitable causes, carried weight with our leadership team.”

How has it impacted on your work in terms of campaign strategies, staff morale etc?
“The award was a great opportunity for celebrating staff who had been involved with the campaign – and supporting us in building a culture of philanthropy across the organization. Everyone wants to be involved in a success story! And the more people we have supporting philanthropy, the better.”

Briefly tell us about the campaign that won you this award? What made this campaign so successful?
The Arts Wellbeing Collective COVID-19 Crisis Appeal was launched from March 2020 in direct response to the impact of COVID-19 on the arts industry and the mental health of its workers. This campaign was our most successful Tax appeal yet – delivering 276% above target income and driving the acquisition of 1,418 new supporters. 72% of donations were solicited through digital channels which was a significant shift in terms of audience channel response (normally Direct Mail heavy). 

The COVID-19 crisis caused us to rapidly pivot away from our core fundraising proposition to where we could provide support and leadership across the industry during this time. The arts wellbeing collective was set up to support the mental health and wellbeing of arts workers and with additional funding was well placed to support this growing need in the sector.

We also took the courageous stance to take a digital first approach to the campaign, with a focus on providing regular and rhythmic opportunities for storytelling, engagement and fundraising asks throughout the campaign.

Furthermore, we engaged the Arts Centre Foundation in the inception of the campaign, and delivered a matched funding ask for the first time enabling us to boost donations along the fundraising journey. “

What advice or suggestions can you give to other members considering submitting an awards nomination? Why should they enter?
“It is definitely a worthwhile exercise and can provide you and your team recognition and an opportunity to share your learnings with others.