In Lise Taylor’s monthly charity events rundown, find out what’s been happening in the fundraising sector over the past few months.

In Lise Taylor’s monthly charity events rundown, find out what’s been happening in the fundraising sector over the past few months.


What was the event? CafeSmart.
When and where was it held? On 5 August nationally through 565 cafes.
How much did you raise? Over $160,000, which was up 18%.
What was the net profit? 100% of this will be distributed to smaller grassroots charities. Operational costs were met by sponsors.
How many people participated? 565 cafes, which is up from 480.
Other comments In partnering with over 600 small businesses and their customers to raise a record amount for smaller grassroots homeless services, CafeSmart was a great success. CafeSmart unites the community over our favourite brew to help fund local homeless services with cafe partners donating $1 per coffee sold. Thousands of coffee drinkers visited participating cafes and ‘drank coffee, did good’. The event also effectively used social media to engage with the public with over 1,300 posts on the day.

tour de officeTOUR DE OFFICE

What was the event? Tour de Office.
When and where was it held? It took place across two main events held from August 22 – 26 in Sydney and Melbourne and September 5 – 9 in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to raise funds for worthy charities.
How much did you raise? $199,082 was raised for 15 different Australian charities. This was slightly less than last year but donations are still open and we are expecting another $16,000 from gift-matching donations.
How many people participated? 1,016 riders in 19 participating companies rode 13,358km over two weeks, swapping their office chairs for bike seats during this year’s 6th annual Tour de Office event which wrapped up last Friday.
Other comments The Founder of Tour de Office, Tudor Marsden-Huggins, said he established Tour de Office in 2011 in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of daily physical activity for desk-bound workers, as well as raising money for charity. Employees, clients and friends in participating workplaces were encouraged to take turns to pedal 30-minute legs for eight hours a day during the event. Putting the Brakes on Chronic Disease was the tagline for this year’s Tour de Office event and riders were committed to demonstrating how taking time to partake in a healthy activity can reduce the effects of chronic illness caused by long periods of sitting.

Wishlist spring racing carnivalWISHLIST

What was the event? Wishlist Spring Carnival 2016.
When and where was it held? Friday 16 September at the Caloundra Events Centre.
How much did you raise? We raised $152,200 – just spot-on the amount we needed to make the $1 million milestone for the Spring Carnival series, which started in 2009. About an hour before the event finished we were about $7,000 short, so we had some amazing people in the crowd who donated large sums so we could get there.
How many people participated? 470, which is similar to last year.
Other comments We had a Diamond Bar (we raffled off an $18,000 diamond), a fashion show, theatre production, Sam Kekovich, and the ‘glasshouse’ which featured our major sponsor – a Coastline BMW car.


What was the event? Step Up Sky Tower Stair Challenge.
When and where was it held? Friday 5 August at SkyCity in Auckland.
How much did you raise? The 2016 fundraising total was $416,071, which was a 20% increase on 2015. This event was completed with a 6% cost ratio.
How many people participated? The Step Up Sky Tower Challenge is open to teams from registered New Zealand businesses and organisations along with their suppliers, and clients. Spaces are limited in this event with only 100 teams of 5 people available and the 2016 event was completely full. This was a 14% increase in teams on the 2015 event.
Other comments The Step Up Sky Tower Stair Challenge has been running for five years and in that time has grown in both participant numbers and fundraising totals. The event is sponsored by SKYCITY which very generously open the Sky Tower exclusively for this event and the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge. Farmers, another key partner of LBC, play a huge part in the event entering numerous teams and driving fundraising throughout many of their stores and teams nationwide. A number of businesses come back year after year and we have seen a fantastic variety of fundraising initiatives throughout the country ranging from Trade Me auctions, to parties in wool-sheds, walk-a-thons, quiz nights and many more. We are looking forward to seeing this event grow in the coming years.


What was the event? Starlight Five Chefs Dinner.
When and where was it held? Held on Thursday 11 August at the Pan Pacific in Perth and on Thursday 1 September at the InterContinental in Adelaide.
How much did you raise? Between the two events over $600,000.
What was the net profit? Both events were slightly down on previous years but a great result overall.
How many people participated? Over 400 guests in Perth and 300 guests attended in Adelaide.
Other comments Established in 1993, Starlight Five Chefs Dinners are Starlight’s signature fundraising events and are supported by some of Australia’s best chefs. Incredible degustation menus are created and matched with the finest wines, all peppered with stories of inspiration and hope in a beautifully themed room. These Starlight Five Chefs Dinners are vital to helping so many children like Emma Bright (former Starlight child who shared her Starlight story) find fun and laughter during very difficult times. “My illness saw me drop out of school, lose friends, my part-time job and most importantly, a reason to keep fighting. I was depressed and tired of everything.” And then, she found Starlight, in her words: “The organisation that rescued me.”

oxjam gigs for goodOXFAM AUSTRALIA

What was the event? OXJAM.
When and where was it held? In August nationwide.
How much did you raise? Approximately $100,000 (fundraising from gigs is still coming in).
What was the net profit?  $61,000.
How many people participated? 122 live gigs, a 17% increase in live gigs held nationally compared with its inaugural year (2015), which engaged approximately 30,000 gig-goers.
Other comments OXJAM places Oxfam in the space to effectively engage the youth market in a fun and unique way, while providing the tools needed to motivate young people to fundraise for Oxfam and take action in the fight against poverty. Although Oxfam has had a youth engagement program for many years, and has organised numerous brand awareness campaigns, OXJAM brings a fundraising element into this target market. Reaching out to tens of thousands of young people through hundreds of gigs nationwide, OXJAM has turned young music lovers into change makers – transforming the world we live in by doing something they love. See the video here.


What was the event? Charlies’ Million$Mission.
When and where was it held? 15 to 25 July 2016 at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
How much did you raise? This was its first year and we made $1,356,646.
What was the net profit? $1,173,245.
How many people participated? A total of 10 participants were required but we ended up with 13.
Other comments Each participant was required to raise $100,000 to join the challenge. The media that this event generated across the world was amazing and had a potential reach of 110,000. We also engaged about 5 million people on social media.

Little oak sanctuaryLITTLE OAK SANCTUARY

What was the event? Inaugural Be the Change Charity Gala Evening.
When and where was it held? 20 August at the Hyatt Hotel, Canberra.
How much did you raise? $23,900
What was the net profit? $17,000 (two major donors contributed $15,000 and the silent auction raised $2,000, the rest of the funds covered costs of the event).
How many people participated? 90 guests plus around 10 volunteers, speakers and their partners.
Other comments On 20 August we celebrated our first-ever Charity Gala evening. There are very few, if any, events like this for animals in Canberra, and we were unsure how the event would be supported so we started small, with a two-hour cocktail style event. We were incredibly honoured to have Philip Wollen and Ruby Hamad as our guest speakers. They both presented powerful, thought provoking and moving presentations that inspired and empowered us all. We were incredibly humbled by the support we received, from everyone who came along, to the amazing items contributed to our silent auction, the talented friends who contributed with music, photography, event planning and amazing cake creation! Our minds were blown away by the generous donation of $5,000 by Philip Wollen in support of our work. We were also  notified by the wonderful group, Animal Guardians Foundation, that they are donating $10,000 towards the completion of our visitors’ centre! The visitors’ centre will be a place where the community can come, watch film screenings, see guest speakers and host educational events in an environment where they can then interact with the animals. These donations will ensure that the centre is completed much sooner than we had anticipated, and we can’t wait to share it with our community!


What was the event? RFDS Wings for Life Gala Ball.
When and where was it held? Saturday 27 August at the Royal International Convention Centre, Bowen Hills, Qld.
What was the net profit? $120,000.
How many people participated? Over 650 attended. Last year was our inaugural event with just over 670 in attendance.
Other comments A special thanks to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) supporters and event sponsors for making the 2016 RFDS Wings for Life Gala Ball a huge success. The night was full of colour, music and dance – all to the sounds of Todd McKenney plus our fantastic Brisbane-based cover band Savvy and the Ola Brazil dancers. It is through the generous support of our amazing guests, event sponsors, volunteers and prize donors, that a fantastic profit was generated from the event, which raised over $120,000. A glimpse of the event can be seen here.

united way school ballUNITED WAY AUSTRALIA

What was the event? United Way School Ball 
When and where was it held? Sydney Town Hall on 10 September.
How much did you raise? More than $260,000 (net) with final donations still being processed. We raised $240,000 in 2015’s inaugural event.
How many people participated? 450 (incredibly stylish and generous) supporters.
Other comments We’re thrilled to report that United Way’s second School Ball was a resounding success!
Featuring fabulous entertainment care of MC Russel Howcroft and wonderful performances by Antigone Foster, Reigan Derry and La Fiesta Sound System, it was an evening of elegance, fine food and fun, with the dancing continuing until the school bell struck midnight. United Way Australia’s CEO Kevin Robbie presented highlights from our first ‘School Report’ – including announcing the 100,000th free children’s book milestone and celebrating 25 years of partnership with Fuji Xerox Australia – while stories from parents and children involved in our early childhood initiatives saw the audience fall silent.
Guests walked away with a better understanding of the difference their support makes to the lives of children in communities of disadvantage – children who will now have the opportunity so start school ready to thrive. Some also walked away with incredible auction and raffle prizes – including luxury holidays, dinners, jewellery and even a car! Funds raised will be used to continue United Way Australia’s vital work to improve early childhood outcomes in communities of disadvantage.


What was the event? Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation Zoo Run 2016.
When and where was it held? On 11 September  from 6am to 8am ad the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
How much did you raise? Approximately $4,500.
How many people participated? 200.
Other comments There were two zoo runs: a 5km one through the Sanctuary and a 2km one. Blinky Bill, Sunny Ray from the Suns and the Happy Feet dance troupe all made appearances as well as many animals from the Sanctuary.

guide dogs ntGUIDE DOGS NT

What was the event? Palmerston Regional Business Annual Golf Day.
When and where was it held? At the Palmerston Golf Club on 24 June.
How much did you raise? $4,500 (net).
How many people participated? Over 100.
Other comments Guide Dogs NT sourced the prizes for the raffle, which were all donated. There was also a competition to chip a golf ball into a dinghy placed in a bunker (a unique way of raising money): Guide Dogs NT charged $10 a ball and Southern Cross Television donated $5,000 worth of TV advertising to the winner.

Would you like your fundraising event included in upcoming enewsletters?

Simply email Lise Taylor at with information in this format: the event’s name, the date the event was held and where it was held, the amount raised (and whether this was up or down on last year’s event), the number of attendees (and whether they were up or down on last year’s event), and any other comments about the event you would like to share. Great images or videos are most welcome too – please include as attachments to your email or as a link!