Port Adelaide Football Club
Project: To provide advanced technological equipment and research combined with training and rehabilitation resources to assist Port Adelaide Football Club coach and players to achieve maximum on-field performance.
The Need: With eight years’ involvement in the AFL and a Premiership in 2004, Port Adelaide Football Club (PAFC) continually seeks to improve opportunities for its elite athletes to perform to the peak of their abilities. With The Premiership Initiative (Part II), the Club plans to provide tested technological resources in player conditioning, coaching methodology and in the medical and physiological areas.
The Goal: To raise $500,000 to provide PAFC players with access to cutting edge specialist technologies in sports development giving them a clear competitive advantage. The PAFC plans to help other sporting programs to benefit from their technological advances. The Australian Cricket Academy, junior football teams and local NBL Basketball teams currently use the PAFC facilities from time to time and will have access to the new technologies on an occasional basis.
The Approach: The Premiership Initiative (Part II) builds on Part I, which raised almost $3 million to build the Allan Scott Power Headquarters and which was financed through donations from supporters. Part I was a project which also met Australian Sports Foundation guidelines, enabling donors to receive tax deductibility for their donations. The Headquarters are now in use and Sean Kirchner, Manager of the PAFC Foundation set up as a separate company from the Club itself, says that it is ‘one of the finest training rehabilitation and administration facilities in the Southern Hemisphere’. In the fundraising campaign for Part I, the PAFC focussed on key donors using, Sean Kirchner said, the ‘80/20 principle, where 80% of the funds are donated by 20% of supporters’. This approach led to a number of innovative strategies including fraternity group dinners where supporters in professions such as law or medicine would invite colleagues to take part in a fundraising dinner where the campaign was explained and attendees asked to contribute. These dinners created friendly rivalry between fraternity groups, with the challenge being just who could raise the most funds. This approach also worked well in regional South Australia where the Club has a strong following.
While raising large amounts obviously helps achieve the Club’s goal, Sean Kirchner said that it was equally satisfying for the Club to have the successful ‘paver’ campaign where supporters donated $100 and were recognised by a paver used in the surrounds of the Allan Scott Power Headquarters, inscribed with their choice of words. This program was also tax deductible and raised significant funds to support the new building. The strategy being used for Part II is to target key donors to donate $5,000 and above. Acknowledging that raising funds for technology advances is not as appealing as raising funds for bricks and mortar, this second campaign is confined to key donors. The Foundation is also using a number of events to assist in this new campaign including a ‘Power Lock-in’ which raised more than $120,000 in 2002.
The Challenge: Because Australian Sports Foundation guidelines ensure the purity of the donation and prohibit direct benefits going to donors, the PAFC Foundation works hard to ensure donors feel appreciated. To be known as ‘Power Innovators’ donors to Part II will receive recognition through unveiling ceremonies, recognition on honour boards, newsletters and public acknowledgment at special Club functions. Sean Kirchner says that with The Premiership Initiative (Part II) the PAFC Foundation gets two questions from prospective donors. These are ‘What’s the campaign for?’ and the next ‘Is it tax deductible?’ ‘We can tell them what the campaign is, its benefits to the Club and also answer yes to the second question because of our association with the ASF. They’re a great body to be involved with.’
The successful strategies
- Focus on excellence and attract donors who appreciate being associated with excellence;
- Target the most passionate supporters of your Club who are the people most likely to pledge financial support;
- Build on previous successes;
- Give opportunities for donations at all levels;
- Find innovative ways to thank donors and make them feel a part of the successes their contributions help create.
Location: Port Adelaide Football Club is based in Adelaide.