Childhood Cancer Support

Since 1975, Childhood Cancer Support has been supporting families in regional Queensland to take their ailing children to Queensland Children’s Hospital for treatment. During this gruelling time, which can take anywhere from three months to two years, they need accommodation, transportation and mental health support. All three areas required revitalisation. With no government funding and little brand recognition, the small charity with a staff of just five needed to find a way to raise funds fast. 

For the Feels Like Home Grants Campaign, the team worked closely to really understand what their organisation needed and leveraged their individual areas of expertise to pull the campaign together. They put the $2000 towards project research by Strategic Grants and dedicated time to identifying funders and suppliers that aligned with their needs. They magnified their chances by identifying multiple funding opportunities from the one funder and they developed an annual grants calendar. And, of course, they very successfully applied for grants, despite not having a dedicated grants officers — Helen wrote the grants and dedicated 20% of her time to the campaign. 

The impact was profound. Mothers shed tears of gratitude when they open the door to the lovely, refreshed accommodation that will provide a sanctuary from the oncology ward. A refurbished gym is used by families every day to relieve stress. Teenage patients asked for and received new gaming consoles, hair dryers, hair straighteners and special shavers for when it came time to shave their heads. There’s a new transportation vehicle with wheelchair access as well as specialised medical equipment that caters to the needs of young patients. A commercial fridge and freezer stores food and drinks form OzHarvest. Families can access a music therapy program to help children cope with their treatments and attend Camp Crystal (Cancer Related Youth Support Time Allocated to Laughter) for a weekend. Some of the money raised also went to awareness and fundraising campaigns.

That the winners of the Impact on a Shoestring award went on to share the top prize is testament to the power of strong strategy, wise deployment of budget and getting the fundraising basics right.