ACCA Backers + Canberra Youth Theatre
We look at two of our fave fundraising campaigns side-by-side and tell you why we love them.
1. ACCA Backers by Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art’s fundraising campaign, ACCA Backers, pushes the idea of matched funding a step further by encouraging new donors to work together to bring even more value to their contribution.
How this works: every $100 received by an entry level donor will be topped up to $1000 by an established philanthropist, then doubled to $2,000 through Plus1 funding. Brilliant, right?
Why we love it
As an established arts organisation with an existing philanthropic program, ACCA’s focus for their Plus1 fundraising campaign took a bit of a different direction. The organisation identified the need to continually build on that existing donor base, and grow a new generation of supporters, and made that a priority in the campaign messaging.
Giving lower-end donors the opportunity to supercharge their contribution by pairing them with established donors helps nurture those new relationships by really emphasising the impact donations can have.
This helps subvert the potential issues that fundraisers are often faced with – lower-end donors feeling their support gets lost in the crowd, higher-end donors are not a bottomless pit of cash! – and communicates the importance of giving at every tier.
The campaign works with the motivations and giving capacities of stakeholders, and encourages them to work together to build a new support community. It’s not just the organisation or the work that’s being invested in, it’s the sustainability of the fundraising model.
We also love that there’s an implicit sense of aspiration involved; maybe one day one of the entry level donors who had their contribution topped up will return that gift, joining the group of established philanthropist to top up an entry level donation made by someone else.
2. The Yellow Chair Goes Travelling by Canberra Youth Theatre
Canberra Youth Theatre’s (CYT) ‘The Yellow Chair Goes Travelling’ campaign raised funds for the restaging of one of the company’s most successful presentation. ‘The Verbatim Project’ – a piece of theatre that shares a slice of 16 people’s experiences of their lives so far, and was devised with a cast of 13-15 year olds and 65-80 year olds – was CYT’s first sell-out work, and the company was offered the opportunity to bring the presentation to the Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney.
Why we love it
The main aim of the campaign was to cultivate new donors and sponsors through both traditional fundraising and crowdfunding efforts. Three quarters of their goal was raised through Pozible using some clever reward options (who could say no to the chance to have the CYT cast acknowledge your generous contribution by enthusiastically chanting your name in the vocal warm-ups!)
CYT also used grassroots tactics, canvassing small businesses in the area for donations and in-kind support to help them with a fundraising event. Although this took a lot of time, it allowed numerous businesses to engage and start building stronger relationships with CYT.
In developing their fundraising campaign, CYT was also able to refine a collective vision for the company and – importantly – learn how to communicate this effectively. This is a key part of their organisational platform and will last long after this particular fundraising effort ends.
Another benefit for this growing company was that the success of the campaign showed staff that there was a strong community of supporters around them who valued the company’s mission and their work. This, combined with having a finite timeline and a clear goal, gave CYT staff more confidence to promote the campaign and approach people for financial support.
Part of why this campaign has been so attractive to donors is that there’s a very clear flow-on effect from their contributions. If the campaign is successful, CYT is able to present a significant work to a much larger audience to appreciate, and showcase to new faces what they are and what they do.
Not only will donors see the benefit of supporting a growing company, but CYT in gaining the opportunity to present with ATYP – is able to effectively ‘unlock’ access to ATYP’s extensive network and marketing platforms and another set of donors and supporters.