07/08/2007 - 22:00

Not for profit: Planning for redevelopment

07/08/2007 - 22:00

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The Centre for Cerebral Palsy is planning a $25 million redevelopment of its Sir David Brand centre in Coolbinia, as part of a move by the organisation to modernise its image and upgrade services.

The Centre for Cerebral Palsy is planning a $25 million redevelopment of its Sir David Brand centre in Coolbinia, as part of a move by the organisation to modernise its image and upgrade services.

 

The centre, which will begin a capital raising campaign next year, has already developed a site plan for the project.

 

In developing its master plan for the project, the centre has collaborated with the Association for the Blind, which recently completed a $15.4 million facility in Victoria Park.

 

The Centre for Cerebral Palsy is also using the same architect that the Association for the Blind used in the early stages of its project.

 

The planned redevelopment includes a refurbishment of the Sir David Brand centre, a new village for young people, family and education centres, and a nursing home for the centre’s 40 permanent residents.

 

One of the major facilities proposed is a world-class treatment centre for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

 

Centre for Cerebral Palsy chief executive officer John Knowles said the organisation hoped to establish a centre of excellence, although he said the project was in an early profile-raising stage.

 

“You can’t raise the sort of funds we need without the knowledge that you have wide support. That includes government and big business being involved, and the general community,” he said.

 

The redevelopment will take about six years to complete and will not require any additional staff beyond current projected growth.

 

Like a number of other not-for-profits, the Centre for Cerebral Palsy has recently tried to reposition its image to include a more corporate focus.

 

Advertising agency 303 was contracted on a pro bono basis just more than a year ago to develop a rebranding strategy for the centre.

 

Mr Knowles said the new brand, which was launched in January this year, was part of a strategy to engage with community groups and small businesses, as well as helping to secure support from corporate organisations.

 

Around the time of the brand launch, the centre also decided to focus more resources on encouraging corporate volunteering and fostering corporate support.

 

Mr Knowles said while the financial benefits weren’t immediately apparent, it was important for the organisation’s overall growth.

 

“You don’t necessarily raise a huge amount of money in the first instance, but you develop knowledge and mutual longer-term relationships,” he said.

 

“The reality is, very few organisations give a large amount of money as a one-off.”

 

Mr Knowles said the early signs of the corporate campaign had been good, with donations increasing by about 10 to 15 per cent over the past year.

 

The centre also has a payroll donation scheme with around 50 corporate organisations.

 

But Mr Knowles said it was difficult for charities to maintain a point of difference in the fundraising marketplace, faced with strong competition and rapid uptake of new techniques.

 

“We were the first people to have a free dress day, which we don’t do anymore, because there are so many variants and it’s just not profitable,” he told WA Business News.

 

Mr Knowles said there was pressure on charities to adopt techniques such as telemarketing and mass mail-outs, because they had a high rate of success, although the centre was trying to avoid this.

 

He said the centre had decided to implement a fundraising strategy based on a signature event, which it intends to develop in-house.

 

The organisation will also invest in advertising, although it has elected to avoid using an external fundraising agency, in order to save costs.

 

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