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Plus1 is a matched funding program designed to enhance the fundraising efforts of small to medium-sized arts organisations. In 2019/20, Creative Partnerships Australia accepted 40 organisations into the program and contributed $588,000 in matched funding.

Due to COVID-19, the adjustment of our Plus1 program saw only 19 of the 40 participating arts organisations complete their fundraising in 2019/20, raising an average of $58,216 and securing a total of 1,149 donors. Of those supporters, 43% were new donors with each campaign averaging 60 donors. The remaining 21 arts organisations will complete their Plus1 fundraising by the end of January 2021.

Across 2019/20, over $1.1 million was raised by the arts organisations participating in Plus1. In addition to this, Creative Partnerships Australia granted $588,000 to Plus1 participants in this financial year, with an additional $608,500 committed for the 21 campaigns that have extended their fundraising efforts into 2020/21. These extended campaigns will see funds continue to be invested into the arts sector, as a result of this year’s program. The 2019/20 Plus1 program supported fundraising campaigns from artforms including theatre, chamber music, contemporary visual arts and craft.

Matched funding provides a compelling opportunity for supporters to multiply the impact of their gift. With the assistance of Plus1, all participating organisations that completed their campaigns this year met or exceeded their fundraising target by an average of $11,247.

Our leverage impact remained steady, with Plus1 organisations raising $1.88 for every $1 matched by us.

fundraisers (21 arts organisations will complete fundraising by January 2021)


million raised

matched by us (with an additional $608,500 committed to the 2019/20 program to be granted in the next financial year)

More than
$1.69 million
invested by 30 June 2020

Plus1 Case Study: The Blue Room Theatre

The Blue Room Theatre, Awards Night  Rebecca Mansell
Photo: Rebecca Mansell
The Blue Room Theatre is a small, independent venue in Western Australia supporting new theatre makers. To celebrate its 30th birthday in 2019, the theatre launched the Transformation Project – a fundraising campaign to renovate the venue to support Western Australian artists for another 30 years. With a target to raise $50,000, The Blue Room Theatre applied for the Creative Partnerships Australia Plus1 program, securing this fundraising goal in matched funding.

With their annual fundraising campaign typically raising $20,000 a year, The Blue Room Theatre set out to increase donations through their existing supporters and reach new donors. The Blue Room Theatre Board was crucial to the success of the campaign, actively pursuing support through current relationships or introductions and conveying the value of the project. The Executive Director was also key to creating and cementing new and authentic relationships with significant donors, securing a major donation of $20,000.

The theatre had a clear vision for their fundraising campaign and shared the projected impact on the organisation through social media. The campaign video featured well known artists of The Blue Room Theatre and highlighted what the renovation plans would involve.

The campaign exceeded its target, raising $87,472, and with $50,000 of matched funding from Creative Partnerships Australia, a total of $137,472 in funds was raised to renovate the theatre. Kathryn Osbourne, Executive Director of The Blue Room Theatre, stated “the ‘doubling’ incentive of the Plus1 funds, coupled with the exciting vision of transforming our space, lead to the overwhelming campaign success.” After the campaign, The Blue Room Theatre thanked donors and provided regular updates on the renovations, sharing first-hand the enormous impact of their support.

Plus1 Case Study: Play On

Play On is a performing arts company that brings together the creative talents of young classical musicians with electronic artists for a unique, yet natural partnership. Performances are held in unconventional spaces with innovative programming, creating accessible, inclusive and affordable music experiences that attract diverse audiences to both classical and electronic music. Play On participated in the Plus1 program to launch their 2020 fundraising campaign, raising a total of $33,822 that Creative Partnerships Australia supported with $20,000 of matched funding.

Plus1 supported Play On to develop their philanthropy program and deliver a strategic fundraising campaign. The strategy involved accessing networks via the Play On Board and staff to broaden and diversify the supporters in attendance at their annual fundraising event. The intimate nature of the event created a comfortable atmosphere, with attendees having a personal connection with the company, which encouraged people to give. A tiered donation system was included in the event strategy to help guide donors with their giving on the night, which succeeded in securing two significant contributions over $4,000. The added incentive of Creative Partnerships Australia’s matched funding enabled Play On to connect with 31 new donors.

Over time, Play On has used these new connections as an opportunity to strengthen their connection to their community, deepen donor relationships and work towards a sustainable future for the organisation.

Lydia Dobbin, Founder and Director of Play On, acknowledged the impact of Plus1, stating “without Creative Partnerships Australia and the Plus1 program Play On would not have had the confidence or the means to launch a philanthropy program, the results of which have completely transformed the company and the trajectory of the project. The work that Creative Partnerships Australia does supporting small to medium arts companies to build fundraising capacity is invaluable, and we will be forever grateful to have been selected for this program at this point in Play On’s development.”