Raising It episode 1 & 2: The Stella Prize

Raising It episode 1 & 2: The Stella Prize

September 2022


Paula McLean, Stella Patron
Keren Murray, Chair, Stella
Jaclyn Booton, Executive Director, Stella

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How a meaningful but tiny organisation redefined bold ambitions
in literature and female led philanthropy.

Episodes 1 & 2 -Stella Forever Campaign

Our first episode of the Raising It series is a particularly special one for me – having been personally involved in a community of extraordinary women who worked together to endow one of Australia’s greatest literary prizes for women’s writing – the Stella Prize.

As a Board member and Chair of Stella’s fundraising committee, I was able to play a role in Stella’s 10-year anniversary campaign and my colleagues have been generous enough to join me today to relive the exciting and at times, nail-biting, 10 months it took to achieve something few thought possible.

It is my pleasure to welcome onto the podcast, Paula McLean Stella Patron and former Deputy Chair, Keren Murray, Chair of the Stella Board and Jaclyn Booton, Executive Director, Stella.

Melissa's key learnings from the story:

  1. What does it take to embark on a campaign like Stella Forever?. Having a clear and compelling case is fundamental. Be bold and ask for what you need. Ensure you have engagement and commitment from the Board and Executive Team and bring them on the journey with you, creating a collective ambition and achievement.
  2. Advice from the CEO. Ignore any imposter syndrome or fear-based voice going on in the back of your head. When you work in the cultural industries and you are motivated to drive change, you must assume that people want to come the journey with you.Ask a lot of questions. Every opportunity you get to ask a potential donor or an existing donor, what they are interested in and what impact they’d like to see will help you cause.
  3. Advice from the key Donor. Get involved with the organisation you’re supporting. Philanthropy can become a much richer experience when you are involved with the campaign, watching it grow, and having an impact.