Participants in this year's Vinnies CEO Sleepout, including the top fundraiser, Crown Resorts chief executive Barry Felstead, will be hoping for a surge in support to boost their pledges.
Mr Felstead leads the WA participants with pledges totalling $39,357 so far.
Raising funds for the 2016 Sleepout is proving a challenge for many, however, the Crown chief included, with the fall-off in donations compared with previous years a reflection of the current economic climate.
The 2016 Sleepout will be the seventh time WA CEOs have spent a night outdoors to raise money for the St Vincent de Paul Society WA, with 113 executives registered for the June 23 event at the WACA Ground.
Mr Felstead has been involved in the Sleepout from its inception in WA in 2010 and was the lead fundraiser for the first three years, before ABN Group managing director Dale Alcock headed the field two years in a row.
Mr Felstead retook top spot in 2015, in Mr Alcock’s absence, with a record $148,911, and has generated donations totalling $480,000 since the first event.
Another to have been involved in each of the Sleepout’s seven years in WA is Tan and Tan Lawyers director Raymond Tan, who has raised $20,270, the second-highest total so far this year.
BallPoint Construction Group managing director Shane Ball has received commitments of $16,920 from 22 supporters, while Benz Insulation Services WA managing director Bob Bollen is currently fourth with $15,300.
Business News is continuing its practice of having a participant every year with chief executive Charlie Gunningham due to rough it out for this year's event.
The numbers this year are significantly down on previous years, however, with the 2014 Sleepout raising $1.2 million, while the total fell to $880,339 in 2015.
Last year, St Vincent de Paul Society of WA chief executive Mark Fitzpatrick told Business News the tough economic climate was being mirrored in fundraising efforts.
While this made raising funds more difficult, it also meant that the hardship experienced by those in need was even more pronounced.
A similar situation appears to be affecting this year’s initiative.
Mr Felstead’s efforts reflect this general malaise; he needs to more than triple his current contributions within the next fortnight to hit his target goal of $150,000.
Funds raised are directed to supporting initiatives that assist those experiencing homelessness in the community.
Perth currently ranks fifth nationally with a total of $265,753 raised this year.