Case Study: Creative Partnerships Australia and BREC fundraising work

In 2014/2015 James Boyd, WA Manager for Creative Partnerships Australia, worked with the team at Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre on a fundraising campaign. Over $120,000 was raised in a ‘Name a Seat Campaign’.

James Boyd was very  ‘available’ to the Centre and provided some great advice by both visiting the Centre and also in being a resource via phone and email.

Regarding his experience in working with James Boyd and Creative Partnership Australia Joel McGuinness said that “James has a huge amount of experience in fundraising and philanthropy and was really great at talking with my team and Board Members about the best way to approach this kind of campaign. Following our workshops with James we tailored our whole campaign around the strengths of connection that our patrons have to our Centre and the shared history of BREC. We were incredibly happy with the outcomes.”

Guy Boyce from Mandurah Performing Arts Centre also worked with James and CPA and said “James was pivotal to Mandurah Performing Arts Centre getting our Patron Program underway, which last financial year resulted in over $55,000 in donations to the Centre. He pointed out that we had a very loyal patron base, and that if we set about building the right relationships with them we could develop a strong donor program. Easier said than done, after finding the right team the program really took off. Now, our patron program members are a core part of our innermost circle.”

James Boyd was also very generous with his time and able to answer some questions for this article regarding fundraising:

Q: If you were to give the top five tips for people looking to fund-raise for their arts organisations, what would they be?
A: 1. Remember that it costs money to raise money, so invest in the resources you need to raise money;
2. Ask your board to lead the way. If everyone on your board donates, within each board member’s personal capacity, it’s a great foundation on which to fundraise.
3. Select one or two fundraising strategies specifically suited to your situation. For some, it might be best to seek a few major donations, for others it might be a crowd-funding campaign.
4.Consider pulling together a donor circle that pool their donations to support something specific and terrific that you need, and make it fun!
5. Be determined to exceed the expectations of your donors. If you do, it will not be hard to ask them to make another donation a year later.
Q: There is so much chatter around Crowd Funding Campaigns in the arts at the moment, what are some key considerations for people wanted to start a campaign for their arts project?
A: Only attempt a crowdfunding campaign if you have the social network large enough to make it worthwhile. Nearly all crowdfunding campaigns are hard work, so make sure it is well worth your time. The chances are there are easier ways to raise the money you need.
Q: You talk a lot about Connection and Capacity when raising funding can you tell us a little about why these are important?
A: Capacity, interest and connection: more often than not, all three are present when someone makes a donation. The only one that you can easily influence is connection, so spend your time building a stronger connection with people with the capacity to support you and an interest in what you are doing.
Q: Please can you share with us, some good news stories of fundraising in the arts from your recent experience and maybe tell us a little about what you think it was that set these campaigns apart and what they did right?
A: The Adelaide Fringe recently added the option of making a $1 donation to all online ticket bookings. They raise over $20,000 with very little effort. That’s good fundraising!

If you want further help identifying your best fundraising strategies in the arts, don’t hesitate to contact your local State Manager of Creative Partnerships Australia at