Orygen Youth Mental Health

Orygen Youth Mental Health

Winner of

Major Gifts category – Over $5 million revenue


Substance Use Prevention for Youth Mental Health (VIC)

Orygen, specialists in youth mental health, needed funds to help build its substance use prevention (SUP) program, a world-first clinical research initiative, for young people with mental illness.

The philanthropic team implemented a targeted major gift program for grants, focusing on Gandel Philanthropy, a substantial foundation, to support the SUP program. They undertook the foundation’s challenge to create a genuinely collaborative program proposal.

Orygen organised national/international partners for the program and aligned it with Gandel Philanthropy’s charter, which included finding a partner from Israel to help ‘Australian and Jewish communities.’ When told by the foundation their SUP program seemed too simple, Orygen obtained numerous international letters of support from reputable organisations to demonstrate that no one has yet solved these complex problems and Orygen was best placed to do so.

Gandel Philanthropy expanded on the program’s collaborative theme by inviting the Ian Potter Foundation to consider supporting it too. The Ian Potter Foundation Board challenged Orygen to include additional partners, which Orygen successfully did in a way that suited both parties.

Gandel Philanthropy confirmed a leadership gift of $1.25 million while the decision from the Ian Potter Foundation on a $2.5 million grant application is pending. Happily, the program’s rollout has begun.