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Goal 3: Increase Support

  1. Build and grow partnerships that invest in the quality and reach of the Gallery.
  2. Build strong relationships with a view to increasing philanthropic support.
  3. Diversify and grow the Circle of Friends.
  4. Strengthen international relationships with relevant cultural institutions.
  5. Invest in rigorous data management to improve government, corporate and donor relations.


source: National Portrait Gallery of Australia Corporate Plan 2019-20

Create pathways for Circle of Friends to join the Foundation, and make bequests: target n/a

outcome A tiered membership structure is being developed to encourage ongoing support.

Increase in Circle of Friends and donors: target >5%, outcome Membership has been affected by both the closure due to rectifications and covid-19.

Private giving goals including support for collection development: target >$2,500,000 outcome $637,093

Sponsorship goals: target >$500,000 outcome $507,437

Number of engagements/initiatives with overseas institutions: target 3 outcome 4

Improve data collection so that the audience can be segmented, nurtured appropriately and developed: target n/a, outcome The Gallery has commenced a program of data collection and visitor (both in person and online research).



The purpose of the Foundation is to attract funds to assist in the fulfilment of the Gallery’s aspirations, including, but not limited to, the encouragement of donations, bequests and legacies of property and gifts (works of art).

The Foundation actively seeks and promotes philanthropic support through private and corporate patrons, ensuring that potential donors are aware of the Gallery’s Deductible Gift Recipient status.

The Foundation, established in 2015, is a committee of the Board with the purpose to promote philanthropic support and grow a dynamic culture of giving into the future.

A listing of benefactors, donors and supporters is at Appendix 1 on pages 87 to 89.

Circle of Friends

The Circle of Friends membership program had a solid year in 2019-20 despite the two closure periods.

A reduced events program maintained strong audiences with highlights including the Bill Henson Spring Soiree and Wendy Sharpe artist talk. Innovative new events, such as early morning previews and a Q&A with Gallery exhibition staff, were very well received.

Contributions from the Circle of Friends continue to be robust via their attendance, advocacy and financial support.


The Gallery is fortunate to collaborate with a number of long-term partners whose support helps us create remarkable exhibitions and reach a broad audience. First and foremost, we acknowledge the support of our Principal Partner, EY, which works with us closely throughout the year, hosting events at the Gallery, introducing their staff and clients to the Gallery and, of course, providing a significant cash contribution. Foxtel Arts continued its support of the Gallery, enabling us to reach a far wider audience as a result of significant promotion via their channels.

We are enormously grateful for the support provided by the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation which sponsored the Women in Vogue exhibition. This enlightened foundation continues to demonstrate its leadership in arts philanthropy and we are delighted to welcome it into the Gallery family.

Canon continued its support as the Gallery’s imaging partner and Principal Sponsor of the National Photographic Portrait Prize. Their support of the prize enables the Gallery to offer a significant first prize which in turn helps us attract the very best photographers from around the country. We are also pleased that Eizo, IAS Fine Art Logistics and Sun Studios continued to support the Prize.

In early 2020, we welcomed Midnight Hotel, Autograph Collection as our new Cultural Partner. Not only has Midnight offered the Gallery a significant room allocation but it is assisting us grow our audiences through its own networks.

Stripy Sock continues as the Gallery’s Digital Media partner, assisting us in App developments and all matters digital.

Robert Oatley Vineyard, our Beverage Partner, has been an outstanding supporter of the Gallery over many years and we know that our events would not be as elegant as they are without them.

principal partner: EY

accommodation partner: Crowne Plaza Canberra, Midnight Hotel, Autograph Collection

imaging partner: Canon

media partners: Foxtel Arts Streem

digital media partner: Stripy Sock

audio visual partner: Elite Event Technology

beverage partner: Robert Oatley Vineyard

exhibition partners: Canon Showcast Eizo SunStudios IAS

cultural event partner: Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Commercial relationships: Broadbean provides café services and event catering to the Gallery and its venue hire clientele. The Portrait Store, trading as ‘The Curatoreum’, continued to trade in the reporting period. Whilst it is predominantly a fine art-themed bookshop, it also stocks cutting-edge gifts and jewellery.

Other partnerships

The Gallery has kept in close contact with the National Capital Attractions Association, Visit Canberra and the National Capital Educational Tourism Project, with a view to being appropriately involved in fostering tourism to Canberra.


The Gallery received $113,725 from the Australian Government’s National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach (NCITO) program for support of the 2019-20 travelling program. Through this vital support, the Gallery was able to tour three exhibitions: The Look; Starstruck: On Location; and the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2019.

The covid-19 event truncated the 2020 touring program, however the Gallery is working with its host venues to find alternative exhibition options from 2021 onwards.