Raising It episode 6: St Vincent’s Curran Foundation

Raising It episode 6: St Vincent’s Curran Foundation

October 2022


Charles Curran AC, Chair, St Vincent’s Curran Foundation Trustees
Shanthini Naidoo, CEO, St Vincent’s Curran Foundation

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How a family foundation transformed into raising tens of millions for St Vincent’s hospitals annually.

Episode 6 – St Vincent’s Curran Foundation

This week’s episode shares the story of the incredible leadership that helped transform a small family foundation into one which raises tens of millions annually for public and private healthcare, and currently has over $100M in funds under management. The St Vincent’s Curran Foundation is the principal fundraising organisation for St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and its facilities throughout NSW and since its inception has supported St Vincent’s by raising vital funds so that the hospitals can foster excellence and innovation in patient care, clinical education, and medical research.

Melissa's key learnings from the story:

  1. Fundraising growth of SVCF reflects a deeply rooted culture of philanthropy within the broader hospital. SVCF’s fundraising is rooted in a deep and historic culture of philanthropy both at a foundation level and within the broader hospital. SVCF has always recognised its history and built a fundraising strategy that pays homage to the original spirit of the Hospital’s founding sisters and the original donors. In so doing SVCF has successfully brought along many stakeholders and has built a strong and loyal donor community.
  2. Critical role of Chair in fundraising. Charles Curran has been part of the SVCF since its inception and has been its chief champion all this time. He continues to be a formidable leader, by personally giving to SVCF which demonstrates a commitment to philanthropy at a leadership level and by advocating for the organisation and stewarding donors in a meaningful and deeply personal way such as walking the halls of the hospital to visit donors and thank hospital staff. His leadership has helped steward the exponential success of the foundation.
  3. Agility of fundraising to ensure the Hospital gets what it needs. The SVCF’s support of the Hospitals during the pandemic reflects an agile fundraising strategy that can respond to the needs of the Hospital. From securing the vaccination van, to working with clinicians that would otherwise have been busy with private hospital surgeries, to supporting staff on the frontline – when philanthropy is deeply embedded in a Foundation, strategy can be agile to adapt to the changing needs of the organisation it supports.