In Lise Taylor’s monthly charity events rundown, find out what’s been happening in the fundraising sector over the past few months.


town and gownWestern Sydney University

What was the event? Town and Gown Dinner 2016.
When and where was it held? Saturday 29 October 2016 at Rosehill Gardens, NSW.
How much did you raise? Donations from table supporters was $374,000, plus an additional $100,000 plus in donations resulting from the event.
How many people participated? Total attendees was 664, comprising external guests, University staff, students and members of the University Board and Foundation Council members.
Other comments This was the first time Western Sydney University has hosted a Town and Gown Dinner. It was the particular vision of the Chancellor, Professor Peter Shergold AC, to create a landmark event that would bring together the academic and business communities; celebrate the talent, diversity and spirit of the Western Sydney region; and raise funds for refugee scholarships.
The event attracted high-profile guests including the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Mrs Lucy Turnbull AO, Federal and State MPs, business, community and University leaders.
The event was completely sold out some six weeks prior and actually ended up over-subscribed. Fortunately, the venue was flexible in accommodating the additional tables. Entertainment included performances by the Australian Girls’ Choir, The X Factor finalists (from Western Sydney) Matt and Jess, Bollywood Dancers and dance band Planet Groove.
Star Western Sydney alumnus and former Sundanese child soldier, Deng Adut, was interviewed about his experience as a refugee in Australia, and the changes to his life following the international success of the University’s ‘Unlimited’ rebranding campaign, which included a TV commercial featuring his story. Also present at the dinner, and shown in a video, were four Western Sydney University scholarship recipients, all of whom are refugees. The video footage also featured Harvey Norman CEO and University Foundation Council member, Katie Page, urging others to follow her lead in donating to scholarships at the University.
Overall feedback from the event was outstandingly positive and exceeded expectations. The event was on-brand, the program ran well with formalities kept to a minimum, and Western Sydney University and the region maintained centre stage throughout.
As a result of funds raised from the dinner,  a minimum of 30 new refugee scholarships will be offered to students in 2017. The dinner also provided numerous opportunities for University staff to network with influential members of the business and western Sydney community, with the aim of developing deeper research, teaching and philanthropic partnerships. More than 20 partnership opportunities have already been identified in the 3 weeks since the dinner, with many more in the pipeline.
The event was organised by the Western Sydney University Office of Advancement and Alumni and Vanilla Bean Events, a boutique event production agency.


peter mac racePeter MacCallum Cancer Centre

What was the event? Tour de Cure Peter Mac ride.
When and where was it held? 13 to 15 November 2016. The Tour started in Geelong, travelling an extraordinary 400km journey along the Great Ocean Road and the Mornington Peninsula before finishing up in Melbourne. This included riding an average five hours per day and climbing around 3,500m. Along the way, the tour visited three primary schools and educated 2,500 children with Tour de Cure’s Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy program to promote cancer awareness and prevention.
How much did you raise? $240,000 for a new Kids’ Immuno-oncology Research Program.
How many people participated? The Tour brought together 60 cyclists from all walks of life.
Other comments The first day was an emotional one. It was dedicated to Tour de Cure member and father of three, Nathan Jones, who recently lost a four-year battle with melanoma. Klaus Bartosch – multiple cancer survivor, passionate cancer prevention ambassador and Managing Director and Co-Founder of MyHealth1st – was part of the ride. It was a personal journey for him as he discovered he had Level 3 melanoma in 2000 and had his sixth melanoma removed only a few months ago. SunDoctors sponsored the Tour and provided free skin cancer checks to the team. 


ronald mcdonald house westmeadRonald McDonald House Westmead

What was the event? Dinner at Dusk.
When and where was it held? 8 December 2016 at Hawker Pacific Hangar, Sydney Airport.
How much did you raise? $178,397, this was an increase of 7% on last year’s event.
How many people participated? 303 people attended the event, this is on par with the previous year’s event.
Other comments Dinner at Dusk was held during Sydney Airport’s Community Christmas Giving Appeal. The funds raised went towards keeping families close at Ronald McDonald House Westmead and Ronald McDonald House Randwick. The highlight of the night was the pledge section where a target of $46,200 was doubled, providing 700 nights accommodation at a Ronald McDonald House.


fire trailCountry Fire Service Foundation

What was the event? Fire Trail.
When and where was it held? October long weekend with vehicles travelling through the South Australian countryside enjoying the wildlife, and being hosted and entertained by the SACFS Volunteers.
How much did you raise? This inaugural event produced income of some $60,000, netting in excess of $35,000.
How many people participated? 24 teams (both corporate and family groups) enjoyed a spectacular weekend away in a casual and relaxing weekend together.
Other comments Fire Trail is an exciting weekend camping adventure that supports the CFS Foundation’s efforts to provide financial assistance to SACFS volunteers, and their families, who have suffered through death, injury, loss or damage of property while in the line of service. It is an opportunity to provide friends and families with the time to make new friends, build team work skills, explore new regions of South Australia and engage with rural communities.
The CFS Foundation’s Fire Trail Taskforce designed an event that enabled groups of staff and/or their families with the opportunity to:

·       Explore rural South Australia, camping in a safe environment
·        Have fun and relax for a few days
·        Bond as a group and network with others
·        Raise funds for the CFS Foundation supporting CFS volunteers in their time of need.


prostate cancerProstate Cancer Foundation of Australia

What was the event? Rough Rider Rudling Corporate Golf Day (6th Annual).
When and where was it held? 14 November 2016 at WA Golf Club in Yokine.
How much did you raise? $10,000 per annum.
How many people participated? 15 teams – 60 individuals.  Approximately the same every year.
Other comments Annual event (now in its sixth year) held by Giles Partners Chartered Accountants and originally together with Interwest Financial Services in memory of Peter Rudling who was a valued client but sadly passed away in 2010 shortly after being diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer.


make a wish austMake-a-Wish Australia

What was the event? Wax for a Wish.
When and where was it held? Soft launched in late October and ran throughout November 2016.
How much did you raise? The campaign was open for participation Australia wide. It was promoted on our digital channels and people held their ‘wax off’ activity in various places around Australia.
What was the net profit? In just over one month the campaign raised just over $56,00. This is still growing as we don’t switch off the campaign, so people have the opportunity to keep raising funds after their activity has taken place. 2016 was the pilot year for the campaign so we don’t have figures from a previous year to compare it to.
How many people participated? 70 participants.
Other comments Make-A-Wish Australia is again calling on Aussie men in 2017 to wince through a little pain to help make cherished wishes come true for children and teens battling life-threatening medical conditions. Wax for a Wish in 2017 will run throughout the month of June.


joan cumminsAustralian Community Foundation

What was the event? John Cummins Memorial Dinner 10th Anniversary.
When and where was it held? Saturday 27 August 2016 at Atrium Flemington Event Centre (Flemington Racecourse).
How much did you raise? Over $312,000  (2015 was $261,000).
How many people participated? Over 900 guests attended our 10th anniversary dinner, generally we host over 800, in 2015 we had over 850 attend.
Other comments The theme of the 10th anniversary dinner was From Little things may Big things Grow. To celebrate 10 successful years we provided a musical smorgasbord of entertainment including Ross Wilson, Joe Camilleri, Rebecca Barnard and Shane Howard. Our MC was Lawrence Mooney.
John Cummins Memorial Fund, a sub-fund of Australian Communities Foundation, was established in following John’s death as the result of a brain tumour.  John was a trade union leader and community campaigner committed to social justice. The Cummo Fund has a community focus and makes a positive impact in many ways:
•  Facilitating support at Austin Health for people with a brain tumour diagnosis.
•  Dare to Dream scholarship program for supporting promising students to continue their studies and strive to reach their potential.
•  Supporting kids from disadvantaged communities to participate in team sports.

In 10 years we have granted $824,000 plus:
•  $20,000 community sport
•  $22,500 medical equipment
•  $264,000 plus 310 scholarships
•  $516k Austin Health Brain tumour support service.


teal ribbon lunchOvarian Cancer Australia

What was the event? Teal Ribbon Lunch.
When and where was it held? Wednesday 1 February 2017 at The River Rooms, Crown Towers, Melbourne.
How much did you raise? $23,035. This was the event’s first year. The aim was $20,000.
How many people participated? 134 guests.
Other comments We were delighted to launch this month’s campaign at the inaugural Teal Ribbon Lunch in The River Room, Crown Towers, Melbourne. Ann Peacock, OCA Ambassador hosted the lunch with guest speakers Paula Benson (Ovarian Cancer Australia Chair), Professor David Bowtell (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Melbourne and Garvan Institute Sydney) and Jane Power (ovarian cancer survivor).
This event marks the launch of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month which aims to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and to gain support from the community. This is the first year we have held a lunch to mark the start of the campaign and look forward to the event’s growth next year.


Highballs for EyeballsOptometry Giving Sight (Australia)

What was the event? Highballs for Eyeballs fundraising for the World Sight Day Challenge.
When and where was it held? 13 October on World Sight Day 2016 in Gosford, NSW.
How much did you raise? $13,270 – up more than 100% on the 2015 result of $6,000.
How many people participated? 50.
Other comments Organisers Amanda Rungis (Sure Eye Care) and Gordon Ryan (ReviveR Cocktail Bar) were blown away by the generosity and support shown by the local business and the community. “Our goal this year was to raise $10,000 for the 10th anniversary of World Sight Day Challenge,” said Ms Rungis. “It was a massive goal given that we raised just under $6,000 last year, which was the Australian record. But I am proud to say that we not only met our goal, we smashed it, thanks to the unbelievable generosity of all those who joined us at ReviveR last Thursday evening, the businesses that donated goods and services, and the people who donated online.”

10000 mealsThe Salvation Army

What was the event? 10 Thousand Meals.
When was it held? Runs from 1 to 25 December each year Australia-wide.
How much did you raise? We raised $117,087 in 2016 which was an increase of 147% from 2015.
What was the net profit? The net profit for the 2016 campaign was $103,807 which was an increase of 177% from the previous year.
How many people participated? In 2016 there were 1,437 donors which was an increase of 107% from 2015.
Other comments Average donation also increased in 2016 by 137% to $81.48



the funding networkThe Funding Network

What was the event? The Funding Network.
When and where was it held? On 31 January 2017 in Perth.
How much did you raise? Over $39,000 – breakdown below:
Fair Game: $12,000
Teach Learn Grow: $16,000
Classroom of Hope: $11,500.
What was the net profit? All funds raised at our events are profit and the proceeds go directly to the organisations that pitch at the live crowdfunding events. The Funding Network takes 10% of the funds to contribute to our operational costs.
How many people participated? 80 attendees.
Other comments 80 guests braved the Perth rain and gathered to hear the leaders behind Fair Game, Growing Change and Classroom of Hope share their inspiring stories and passion for creating positive change in the Pilbara, Perth and Cambodia.


LifeFlightLifeFlight – Queensland Aeromedical Rescue Service

What was the event? Stanthorpe Charity Cattle Auction.
When and where was it held? Friday 3 February at Stanthorpe Agricultural Show, Stanthorpe Showgrounds.
How much did you raise? First time event raised $46,000 (net profit). 25 cattle and 25 sheep were donated for the auction. There are plans to make this bigger and better next year.
Other comments The event began with a conversation at the cattle yards that developed into something much greater. Stanthorpe Agricultural Society was thrilled with the outcome and plans to make it an annual event raising funds for LifeFlight – Queensland Aeromedical Rescue Service. They already have cattle lined up for next year’s charity auction.

Grant Macnamara was the generous farmer who originally offered six cattle to be auctioned. The Stanthorpe community is so aware of the LifeFlight choppers that frequently fly overhead as they respond to lifesaving missions, which is why other local graziers and farm owners were happy to donate their prize cattle and sheep to the cause. The auction wasn’t just reserved for cattle. Later in the night, sheep, bottles of wine and  various otheritems of interest were auctioned off, adding to LifeFlight’s donations.

The cattle auction has been Grant’s ‘baby’, or in this case, calf, for the past four months as he secured donations from friends, family and many other willing supporters from the wider Stanthorpe community. The rescue helicopter service is an important part of country life. Regional Queensland doesn’t have the facilities they do in the city which means the fast action of services like LifeFlight ensure better health outcomes and essentially saves lives.

When a whole community comes together it’s an amazing thing. Our South West community goes above and beyond and this event is evidence. LifeFlight provided a public show of thanks at Stanthorpe, with the Toowoomba-based rescue chopper landing at the official opening ceremony in the evening, giving the successful day the finale it deserved.


Salvation army 10000The Salvation Army

What was the event? 10 Thousand Meals.
When and where was it held? Runs from December 1 to 25 each year Australia-wide (not a physical event).
How much did you raise? We raised $117,087 in 2016 which was an increase of 147% from 2015.
What was the net profit? The net profit for the 2016 campaign was $103,807 which was an increase of 177% from the previous year.
How many people participated? In 2016 there were 1,437 donors which was an increase of 107% from 2015.
Other comments Average donation also increased in 2016 by 137% to $81.48.



Would you like your fundraising event included in upcoming enewsletters?

Simply email Lise Taylor at with information in this format:

What was the event?
When and where was it held?

How much did you raise (was this up or down on last year’s event)?
What was the net profit (was this up or down on last year’s event)?
How many people participated (were they up or down on last year’s event)?
Other comments (any further information you would like to share with our readers)
Great images or videos are most welcome too !


Already a subscriber? LOGIN HERE

F&P brings you all the latest in fundraising including case studies, best practice, strategy, trends and benchmarks, thought leadership & industry insights.


subscribe now

  • Latest print and digital magazine edition delivered to your door, computer, tablet and mobile
  • Multi-user subscription packages at a nice price so all your staff can enjoy F&P
  • Online access to all our archived magazine articles
  • Fortnightly enewsletter
  • 20% discount off F&P conferences (save hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars a year)