Force Majeure on engaging their board in fundraising
Force Majeure was one of our 2017/18 Plus1 funding recipients who took their relationship with their board to the next level and involved them in a whole-of-organisation fundraising approach.
We chat to Colm O’Callaghan, Force Majeure’s Executive Director about board involvement and how they ran a successful event during their Plus1 campaign.
Why did you choose to apply for Plus1 and what did it allow Force Majeure to do that it couldn’t have otherwise?
We chose to apply for Plus1 as we had been tracking the benefits the program, and indeed other Creative Partnerships Australia programs, have brought to organisations like ours in recent years – it felt achievable.
We had been building our base of private donations and supporters and it felt like the next natural step.
We wouldn’t have been able to reach the financial target we set ourselves for this fundraiser without the impetus and benefits from the Plus1 program.
Why did you choose to run your event during your fundraising campaign?
It coincided with world premiere of our Sydney Festival commission, You Animal, You.
Holding the fundraiser at this time gave us the chance to offer people a night at a performance followed by a drinks and food reception with our performers, staff and artists.
We felt hosting this kind of an event would help with reaching the financial target, and it did.
It also gave us the chance to get the company, our Board members, donors, government and all our stakeholders in one room to celebrate our work together during the Sydney Festival.
You engaged your entire board in your Plus1 fundraising campaign. How important was this and what effect did it have on your fundraising experience?
This involvement from Board members was vital. They drove the application process and the planning as well.
Our Board is essential to our advocacy and they pushed ticket sales for our fundraiser directly with their contacts which helped make the event and the campaign a success.
How have the board continued to show support for fundraising and events activities?
Seeing our donor base grow, and indeed our donations income grow, has reassured and encouraged the Board that our efforts have been paying off and that we are slowly but surely building blocks of private support, and that our fundraising ideas work.
Your best piece of advice for first-time fundraising events is?
Make sure you have the support of your Board and staff to deliver the event, especially if you are a very small outfit like ours.
It takes more work than you might think to keep expenses down to make sure you bring home a good financial result for a fundraising event.
What’s in the pipeline for 2019?
We offered complimentary tickets to a performance of Masters of Modern Sound, our partnership with Art Gallery of NSW as part of Sydney Festival 2019, to everyone who came to our Plus1 fundraiser, and we had a drinks function at AGNSW to thank them for their support and to keep in contact with them.
We will have a targeted EOFY campaign this year, and we are planning on a fundraiser event connecting to our new work, Four Seasons, later this year.