20/11/2007 - 22:00

Not for profit: Health charities target capital

20/11/2007 - 22:00


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Three Western Australian health charities – Alzheimer’s Australia WA Ltd, Diabetes WA, and Ear Science Institute Australia – are undertaking capital campaigns to expand their services.

Three Western Australian health charities – Alzheimer’s Australia WA Ltd, Diabetes WA, and Ear Science Institute Australia – are undertaking capital campaigns to expand their services.


Alzheimer’s Australia WA has recruited former Association for the Blind director of corporate development, Margaret Haydon, to head a two-year, $5 million fundraising campaign.


The organisation is raising money for a centre of excellence in dementia care, to be established in partnership with Curtin University.


The state government has contributed funding of $2.2 million for the centre, which will be located at Curtin’s Bentley campus.


While the total budget for the project has not yet been decided, Alzheimer’s Australia WA is currently undertaking extensive consultation with stakeholders, with a view to releasing a final figure in December. 


Ms Haydon said the stakeholders included Curtin University, aged-care providers, clients and carers.


She said the campaign was likely to be more difficult than the Association for the Blind’s campaign, because of its mission.


“I think that supporting something that is perceived as a disease that happens to older people can be more challenging,” Ms Haydon said.


She said the organisation was hoping to reach its funding target through attracting support from philanthropists and corporate organisations, rather than through public fundraisers.


“It’s more effective for us if we get a couple of big donations, as it’s not as expensive for the organisation,” Ms Haydon said.


Meanwhile, Diabetes WA is aiming to raise $2 million over the next two years to expand its services.


The organisation’s chief executive officer, Liz Kerrigan Benson, said about $500,000 would go towards helping the Diabetes Research Foundation raise money for new equipment.


“They have ongoing costs of about $100,000 per year, just to continue to operate,” she said. 


The remainder of the funds raised by Diabetes WA will go towards acquiring more floor space at the organisation’s headquarters in Subiaco, or securing new premises.


Diabetes WA bought the 650 square metre office in June last year for just less than $1.3 million, through assistance from Lotterywest. 


Ms Kerrigan Benson said that, while the organisation wanted to stay in Subiaco, due to its close proximity to hospitals and other health services, lack of space was an issue.


“We’ve had such a big demand on our services we thought we’d do a large capital appeal,” she said.


The organisation will be targeting the corporate sector for support, as well as holding a general public appeal.


Ear Science Institute Australia, which is also based in Subiaco, has started earthworks for a new building at a site opposite the St John of God Hospital near its current headquarters.


The organisation began its campaign to raise $15 million just over a year ago and is about halfway to its target at present.


The new centre will bring together researchers, clinicians and patients, as well as being the institute’s headquarters.


Ear Science Institute campaign director Mark Terry said the in-house fundraising campaign had been challenging because the same philanthropists were being approached by a number of organisations.


“It’s very competitive. There are a whole lot of very good causes out there and they’re all competing for private and corporate philanthropists,” Mr Terry said.


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