How We Raised It episode 2 : Hidden rooms, John Wylie, Jane Hansen and tattooed skateboarders

How We Raised It episode 2 : Hidden rooms, John Wylie, Jane Hansen and tattooed skateboarders

November 2021

Kate Torney OAM, former Director, State Library Victoria

How we raised it

In partnership with

Subscribe now via Apple PodcastSpotify or your preferred podcast channel.

From humble beginnings and hidden rooms, the extraordinary story of the State Library Victoria (SLV) securing two of the largest gifts to libraries in Australia and making it a place of learning and inspiration for everyone.

Episode 2: Hidden rooms, John Wylie, Jane Hansen and tattooed skateboarders: the story of the State Library Victoria’s $28M campaign

Melissa's key learnings from the story:

  1. SLV’s campaign was the most ambitious to date for a public library in Australia. They had the commitment of Victoria government to a public private partnership model, so they did not have the luxury of not being successful. Once they had determined what the vision was, and what they needed to do, they mobilised their assets, put a plan in place and got on with it. And in 5 years from launch campaign to opening the doors, achieved Australia’s largest campaign for a library including 2 largest gifts to.
  2. Securing the mega gifts was essential to the success of the campaign, and these were realised through genuine relationships, with very high levels of engagement and iterative design discussion within the remit of the campaign. It is clear what a joyful, positive experience these relationship and gifts must have been for those involved. The excitement and generosity of realising these gifts is palpable.
  3. An organisation must have clear policies and procedures in place to navigate complex relationships with Boards who are also major donors. Kate identifying this risk, having these very open and transparent conversations, and developed very clear rules of engagement from the outset. This ensured transparency and highly effective engagement ensuring relationships were managed professionally.

Recommendations to apply in your own organisation:

  1. Set a bold vision with a bold target then get on with it. Get it done.
  2. Build genuine, deep relationships with donors in order to collectively realised extraordinary gifts that become transformational – for the organisation, its leaders, and its donors.
  3. Establish clear policies to support leadership in navigating potential complexity and managing effective relationships with Board members and donors.