FIA Award Winner – Capital Campaign Under $5 Million & Most Outstanding Fundraising Project

Winner - Capital Campaign Under $5 Million & Most Outstanding Fundraising Project

With government funding drying up and after raising just $360,000 in 2015, the youth mental health research organisation refocused its efforts to smash fundraising targets. Andrew Sadauskas reports.

In 2015, Orygen urgently needed to secure $8 million for a new building, despite having just one fundraiser on staff and virtually no track record of seeking donations.


Orygen traditionally relied on government funding, having secured over $800 million over the past decade. This included funding for the establishment of Headspace centres and early psychosis services.

When the federal government initially ruled out supporting the capital project, Orygen was forced to look elsewhere. This was a major challenge, as its fundraising in 2015 represented less than 1.5% of its total funding.


With just one full-time fundraiser on staff, prioritisation was critical. Orygen put significant effort into finding internal and external sources for assistance, leveraging the extensive networks of the organisation’s executive director, Professor Patrick McGorry.

Orygen began its capital program by informally…

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