New South Wales Ski Association
Project: To extend and upgrade the existing Sverre Kaaten Nordic Shelter in Perisher Valley, NSW.
The Need: The Sverre Kaaten Nordic Shelter was originally designed to be a public day shelter for all cross country skiers. The Shelter gives skiers a base, refuge, contact with other skiers and is the heart of cross country skiing in NSW. Opened for use in 1981, the Shelter began as a cooperative venture between state government, individual members and clubs of the NSW Ski Association, and members of the cross country community. The Shelter is heavily used by all types of skiers, including families with small children who are unable to stay outside for long periods of time. Individual skiers, ski classes, school groups, training squads and clubs use the Shelter as a base to ski from and to come back to for rest, regrouping and shelter in poor weather conditions.
During cross country events, in poor weather and in peak season, the Shelter becomes very crowded. Currently the building is multi level with amenities on upper levels and insufficient space has resulted in a lack of privacy, inability to run events as efficiently as possible and lack of storage. The extension and upgrade of the Shelter will give increased benefits to all those using the Shelter including the improvement and placement of all public amenities on the ground floor, added safety, access for people with disabilities, areas to store and work on equipment and improved overall management of the sport.
While the Shelter itself is managed by the Cross Country Committee a sub committee of the NSW Ski Association, fundraising, design and building is being directed by a management group drawn from the wider cross country community.
The Goal: To raise at least $100,000 in cash (not including ‘in kind’) over ten years through registration with the Australian Sports Foundation as part of a final target figure of $260,000.
The Approach: When the Association looked at gathering funds, they were asked the question: ‘If we give, is it a tax deduction?’ After making enquiries to the Australian Sports Foundation, the Association prepared an application and were granted project status allowing them to offer donors tax deductibility under the ASF guidelines. They conceived a fundraising program called ‘100 People/$100’ where one hundred people commit $100 each year for ten years as an achievable way of gaining long term commitments. They were rewarded by an immediate response from the supporters and users of the Nordic Shelter. In three years of fundraising over $30,000 has been raised. Treasurer of the Cross Country Committee, Leslie Ludwig, says that the banking and receipting systems of the ASF make the gathering of project donations ‘a very well documented and transparent process’.
As well as funds, support for the Shelter has come in other ways: architect Bruce Vote donated $12,000 in fees, structural engineer Ken Murtagh donated $5,000 the same way and National Parks waived permit fees. Peter Ward, Chairman of the Cross Country Committee, says these ‘in kind’ donations are extremely helpful when applying for other grants because they show not only the ability to fundraise, but also the commitment of professional and government bodies to the goal of the Association.
The Challenge: With the ‘100 People/$100’ program in place the challenge is to seek further commitments in the future. A further challenge is that because all those involved are volunteers, future commitments will include donations of time and expertise. Once building begins, this will make the project quite different from ordinary building projects. The challenge will be to manage and use the volunteer resource effectively while ensuring their feeling of ‘ownership’ of the project.
The successful strategies
- Ask the people you know and ensure they understand the way the association with the ASF works;
- ‘In kind’ support is very useful when applying for a grant as it can show wide community commitment;
- Keep donors informed about fundraising and building progress;
- Ensure accurate records are kept, to enable pledges to be invoiced on time and allow public and personal recognition of the contributions.
Location: Perisher Valley is in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, 500 km south of Sydney.