The truth is Australian Sport is currently underfunded and needs more financial support to survive, particularly at grassroots (junior levels) at all local sporting clubs here on the Sunshine Coast.
A case study of how you can make a difference:
THE OLYMPIC CAMPAIGN
One of Australia’s Olympic sports started out with government support to cover their Olympic costs. While funded this way they were constantly on the podium. However, in 2002 when funding ran out the team fell from the podium. In 2006, the organisation partnered with us to rebuild the program and get their teams back on the gold medal podium. Through a meeting with the CEO and Performance Director, and a wealthy supporter, the Patron Project was launched.
The founding Patron created a list of potential members and took to the road to tell the gold medal story and recruit other members. This effort brought on the first eight additional members. The program took off via word of mouth and exposure to the team’s success. Year after year the program has had full commitment levels and brings in an additional $1million in funding.
When the decision was made to create this program, the sport looked at what they needed to do to ensure this program was successful. The Patron Program is currently a private program, in the sense it is not publicly promoted, and the Patrons are asked to make a four-year commitment of $20,000 per year. The Patrons are delighted to support the sport they love and deepen their involvement with the organisation over the four-year campaign, at the same time as receiving a tax deduction for their donation via the Australian Sports Foundation. Despite this project’s low profile, the sport has maintained between 12 and 18 members and has identified the following points of success for the program:
Mapped out their vision Every targeted new member is given a full presentation of the vision and the purpose of the Patron Club. They are given a history of the program, the athletes and what the project has done for the Team’s Olympic run. This deeper understanding and connection has made it easy for the potential members to sign on for multiple Olympic Campaigns and to feel that their contributions are creating a real difference.
Four-year commitment When a member is brought on, they commit to a four-year cycle. This way they are a part of the team’s journey and they can identify with the medals that they are a part of. This approach also decreased the fundraising efforts and churn rate.
Six-month updates. Every six months the Patrons are sent a thank you letter and a booklet updating them of the team and athletes. These updates include race results, travel schedules, and upcoming events. These booklets help the Patrons gain a deep connection with the 20 athletes that are identified as “podium potential” and that are covered under the Patron Project.
Athlete “Thank You” At the end of every year, an athlete will go out and personally thank the Patron and, if requested, may attend a function or event organised by the Patron. While this white glove treatment is not required; it is greatly appreciated by the members.