The Chief Executive Officer of MS Research Australia, Dr Matthew Miles, was thrilled to be one of the keynote speakers at the recent NFP Income Generation Forum in Sydney.
The forum was a great opportunity to not only showcase what MS Research Australia has been doing and what has been achieved in the last 12 months but also to hear and learn from leading colleagues from other for-purpose organisations in the sector.
Matthew’s key note presentation revolved around; finding, attracting and developing partnerships in the sector. He talked about the runaway global success of Kiss Goodbye to MS and the International Progressive MS Alliance which has galvanised the world to work together on two areas notoriously difficult to collaborate on – fundraising and research. Closer to home, Matthew shared the learnings achieved with the combined partnership with JDRF and discussed how charities that have shared values, similar working practices, ethical beliefs and true common goals can achieve great things whilst substantively reducing duplication in the sector.
The event started off beautifully with an insightful presentation from the CEO of The Royal Flying Doctor Service, Martin Laverty. One of the most iconic for-purpose organisations in Australia – Martin talked about the financial pressures facing all in the sector and strategies to overcome them. Other organisations represented included, The McGrath Foundation, Movember, National Heart Foundation, Medicins sans Frontieres, Youngcare and WWF Australia.
Matthew also was part of a panel discussion, which talked about strengthening partner relationships, particularly with corporate and business partners. Over 150 were in attendance at the two day event which provided eleven case studies and four streams to choose from.
The purpose of MS Research Australia being involved in the forum was not only to share our own learnings to the attendees, but to hear of ways that others are sourcing and ensuring an appropriate amount of revenue to fund their own mission.
In 2016, MS Research Australia had over $4.1 million in research projects that were deemed fundable by our expert research review panel, the Research Management Council. However these projects went without funding because of a lack of dollars available to MS research.
MS Research Australia has a strong reliance on a diverse range of financial support. Over the last decade, on average 75% of the funding received came from direct fundraising relationships with individuals, trusts and foundations, corporate organisations and some support from government, with 25% from state MS societies.
Being part of events such as this, provides opportunities to talk through these sort of issues with colleagues and receive strong and experienced sector-wide opinions on the issues that we all individually face.