Building better stakeholder engagement for Australia's leading LGBTIQ+ fundraising charity


Social Change

The problem

LGBTIQ+ non-profits receive only 0.26% of funding, in an already heavily crowded donor market. GiveOUT needed to best identify how to reach audiences and build a following of supportive donors to assist non-profits in need.

The solution

spur: built a comprehensive and nuanced framework of recommendations for increasing donor funding through compelling engagement.

Project updates

spur: was invited to present the findings to the Victorian State Government and join GiveOUT's advisory committee post-project. GiveOUT's funding has since increased by 300%.‍

The Problem

LGBTIQ+ causes are underfunded.

LGBTIQ+ causes are not afforded the same resources or attention as others. Philanthropic donors give just 0.26% of grants to LGBTIQ+ causes. That's not a typo - that's how little funding goes to causes for LGBTIQ+ communities. Our own primary research into the top performing crowdfunding platforms in Australia found just 0.38% of total projects were LGBTIQ+ related - and that doesn't even begin to capture the real-dollar differences in grant amounts given to LGBTIQ+ organisations.

Prevalence of LGBTIQ+ projects on major crowdfunding platforms

GiveOUT is an Australian organisation seeking to change this.

GiveOUT supports the capacity of LGBTIQ+ organisations, projects and initiatives. Its flagship event is GiveOUT Day, a dedicated day to giving to LGBTIQ+ causes in Australia. Since GiveOUT's inception, $150,000 has been distributed across 50 LGBTIQ+ organisations. While these contributions help build capacity and support for the LGBTIQ+ community, GiveOUT aims to assist as many organisations as possible, in the greatest capacity possible.

spur: was engaged to develop a stakeholder strategy to help support and grow GiveOUT’s effectiveness in attracting donors to ultimately better support LGBTIQ+ organisations. The challenge included understanding how to compete in a heavily crowded market, with a subject that doesn't usually gain a lot of support or attention.

The Process

Holistic analysis and recommendations

As always, we wanted to start with some Curious Thinking - and ask a bunch of questions. We set up an initial exploratory workshop with stakeholders from GiveOUT to understand the lay of the land.

Our approach was then informed by:

1 · Research and Analysis

Analysis was conducted of the context that GiveOUT operates in and stakeholders engaged with, including general trends in giving in Australia (Side note: Did you know Australia is #2 in the world for giving?), an understanding of donors most likely to donate to LGBTIQ+ causes (the persona of a typical general donor in Australia overlaps perfectly with the typical 'Yes' voter during SSM) and the causes most likely to be donated to under the LGBTIQ+ umbrella.

LGBTIQ+ causes most likely to be funded

2 · Co-design

Due to massive gaps in available data around LGBTIQ+ giving in Australia, spur: faced a crossroads in the trajectory of the strategy. Therefore, a co-design workshop with GiveOUT explored strategic options of fundraising for LGBTIQ+ causes in the current environment.

Key questions of discussion included:

  • Does GiveOUT "shake the existing giving tree" of donors, or do tap into new donors?
  • Does GiveOUT harness the attention from media-focused events such as SSM?
  • Does GiveOUT focus on broader themes of health, education etc, over the 'LGBTIQ+' narrative?

There were no right answers, though each answer fundamentally shifts GiveOUT's approach moving forward.

3 · Strategy and recommendations

The final strategy and recommendations were heavily based on research insights, gaps and opportunities, and developed personas. The strategy was divided into beliefs and paradigms, logistics and support, and activations—recognising that changes to internal structures can often be more powerful in achieving outcomes as external communications. At spur: we deliver tools, not rules, and so the delivered strategy offers ongoing and holistic strategy to build GiveOUT's capacity longitudinally, rather than an instruction manual for a short-term increase of donors.

The Impact

Greater stakeholder engagement

GiveOUT now has a tangible and actionable strategy to implement a variety of small-scale logistics changes, paradigms shifts and exciting public activations that will improve stakeholder engagement, and ultimately, ensure more money in the hands of LGBTIQ+ organisations.

GiveOUT Day 2020, held on Friday, 16 October 2020 raised $287,000 for LGBTI causes in Australia, including $27,000 of matched corporate funding. This is a 300% increase in donations from the previous year.

project team

Lee Crockford
Lee Crockford
Olivia Roney
Olivia Roney

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