Case Study

Canterbury Cricket Trust

Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre

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Canterbury Cricket Sir Richard Hadlee Herojpg

From working with The Fundraising Agency (formerly Barrer & Co), I think the positive outcome is that we got there! We couldn’t have dreamed that we were going to raise all this money in that timeframe when we knew we had a commitment at the other end.


A new home for Cricket in Canterbury

The Canterbury Cricket Trust (CCT) is a registered charitable trust formed specifically for the long-term benefit of cricket in Canterbury. Formed in 2007 with a vision to ensure a strong future of cricket in the city, the Trust was committed to creating a cricket precinct to foster growth in the sport, develop young people, create a community focused space, and enable world class match play.

Due to the growth of Rugby at Lancaster Park and earthquake damage to the facilities where Canterbury Cricket shared its grounds, cricket in the city found itself without a home. This meant that without a dedicated indoor cricket facility, players had to travel to access facilities in Rangiora or Lincoln, facilities that were often stretched for bookings meaning many players missed out on training opportunities. After searching for a new location in 2007, Lee Robinson and the rest of the CCT Board settled on Hagley Park. Lee recalls attending Hagley Park at the age of 15 to watch the trial cricket games over show weekend:

“I remember sitting in the old boy’s pavilion which is where the pavilion is now, and I remember sitting there whilst all these cricketers were walking out to bat who played for New Zealand playing in this trial game and I couldn’t believe it! I know a lot of them personally now, but I remember thinking what a magnificent ground, you know. Searching for a new site for Cricket in Canterbury, it all came back to the fact that there is only one facility that should be hosting international cricket, and that’s Hagley. I think that dream started in 1968.”

The CCT was tasked with fundraising for the new facilities. They had three focus points for the campaign. The first major project for the Trust was to raise funds to establish an international-standard quality ground at Hagley Oval and Hadlee Pavilion. Secondly, the Trust required significant funds to buy and install lights at the Oval and Pavilion, and finally, the funds to develop the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre, refurbished into a world class indoor sports and cricket training centre catering to all grades of men’s and women’s cricket and providing vital space for multi-use, multisport undertakings, ensuring the wider community can gain considerable benefit from this central hub.

Stalled fundraising that needed some momentum

Board member Lee Robinson speaks about why the CCT sought external fundraising support.

“We needed help with our fundraising. We’d already raised about $15 million of the $20 million total project costs ourselves for the pavilion and lights, and we thought that the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre would probably be the easiest of the lot, but it proved to be the most difficult.”

To help them achieve their goals of $4.75 million left to raise for the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre, the CCT reached out to Barrer & Co for support.

“We knew about Barrer & Co and had worked with them early on in our campaign journey. At the time, other things fell into place, so we didn’t need the support. I was connected to another group that had used Barrer & Co, so if we were going to go anywhere, it was always going to be Sarah.”

In 2019, following a workshop with the CCT Board, Barrer & Co had developed a capital fundraising strategy to provide a vision for a refreshed fundraising campaign. The strategy included a diverse range of revenue streams and provided direction on the campaign communications, covering key messaging development, collateral development, and online comms recommendations. Furthermore, it delved into the fundraising resources and policies that the CCT would require to see success, and Barrer & Co went above and beyond delivering the strategy by helping to develop some of these resources, including their Case for Support and advertisement content.
It was the direction the CCT needed to re-launch their fundraising campaign.

“There was a bit of reluctance and cost to raise the money but once we got into it with Barrer & Co it was fantastic. Sarah gave us the direction we needed.”

Canterbury Cricket Outside

The fundraising strategy put into action

The CCT could understand the importance of following the fundraising strategy, however in 2021 something was still missing. The campaign lacked momentum, but they still had $2.77 left to raise. They returned to Barrer & Co for support, and we joined them in their endeavours, taking on the role of managing the capital fundraising campaign including the management of a community appeal to engage the wider public with the campaign. This work included:

  • Creating an implementation plan and critical pathway following the 2019 strategy

  • Training and managing a fundraising taskforce to drive the major gifts fundraising stream

  • Developing further new and updated fundraising collateral

  • Managing the campaign prospect list

  • Creating a community campaign strategy and associated plan

  • Completing end-to-end direct marketing implementation including copy development, design, print and marketing management

Deliver the wider appeal outside of the direct marketing approach

“The conceptual difficulty for us was that they weren’t going to raise the money for us, we still had to raise the money, so what’s the value? But it was about direction, focus and momentum and Sarah gave that to us.”

“It was excellent. We met at appropriate times, we were given tasks, and I personally, and some others of us, even though we’d been successful, we hate asking for money. Sarah sat me down in the office one day and said, “right, we’re going to ring these people”. It was good! It gave me confidence, and in the end, I could just get on with it. It gave us confidence, and importantly it gave us belief. It’s a bit like how they talk about Brendan McCullen giving the England cricket team (at our expense) belief!”

From our experience working with 135 not-for-profits, we know that for many people, major gifts fundraising does not come easy. The idea of asking for significant amounts of money is not appealing to most, and for many asking does not initially come easily. That’s usually down to a lack of understanding around the journey it takes to build relationships with donor prospects, and the importance of peer-to-peer fundraising when pursuing major gifts.

Sharing our knowledge and experience of major gifts fundraising helped the CCT taskforce to understand and develop their own skill, and ultimately led to the success of the campaign.

“I think I learnt don’t be scared to talk money, you know. It’s not you, you’ve got to be confident in your backing of a good cause, because it’s not a personal cause, and that I think the fact that we were doing it as well, we were buying into it was important. It’s all very well asking other people for money, but you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is. Even though we had a personal interest, we didn’t have a financial interest. So, it was good.”

To date, a total of $1.62 million has been raised from major gifts (including almost $400,000 of pledges which will be received over the next 10 months), a huge total given the timeline we had.

Additionally, through the community campaign, with a message to “Help grow the next generation of legends”, our in-house expertise in marketing and community giving helped us to develop and manage this successful appeal. Not only did the appeal raise almost $37,000, but also further raised the profile of the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre, along with the Hagley Oval Cricket Precinct, and increased awareness of this new facility in Christchurch and Canterbury.

Reaching aspirational goals

Over 5 short months, Barrer & Co re-ignited the campaign to successfully support the CCT to raise the remaining funds they needed for the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre.

“From working with Barrer & Co, I think the positive outcome is that we got there! We couldn’t have dreamed that we were going to raise all this money in that timeframe when we knew we had a commitment at the other end.”

“We were delighted, we couldn’t have been happier really. We’ve virtually raised the money now and probably only have a couple of hundred thousand dollars to go. But we’ve got some irons in the fire so we’re not worried!”

“The meetings with Sarah were enjoyable, they were a bit of fun, and they were challenging, and Sarah would keep us on track with timelines. I mean I’d certainly recommend her for a project if it came up again. I think you’ve got to go for it!

Thanks to so many generous donors, who through their gifts helped the CCT to build the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre, we feel honoured to have helped to secure the future of cricket for our community. The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre will be more than simply a training facility, it will be a space where our community can utilise facilities that have been absent too long, a space where coaches and players can develop and a space where all players, no matter their ability, can grow their skills and love of cricket and other sports.

Canterbury Cricket Inside

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