case study

Wesley Mission

About the campaign

Many Sydneysiders will know the work of Wesley Mission. This iconic charity has, for over 200 years, helped some of Sydney’s most disadvantaged. A plan to help hundreds of vulnerable men and women experiencing homelessness by redeveloping Wesley Edward Eagar Lodge in Surry Hills included enlisting campaign counsel to help drive their $12 million capital campaign.

Over the months ahead capital campaign planning gained significant momentum. We secured several campaign patrons, including former Prime Minister The Hon John Howard OM AC. We received a $500,000 gift from one major donor and a commitment by this individual to host a series of boardroom lunches with leading business figures and philanthropists. Everything seemed to be heading in the right direction. Then, we successfully engaged the City of Sydney about the campaign and shortly thereafter they announced a $1 million gift to the project. By this point the $12 million campaign had achieved over 10% of target in just two gifts.

Enter COVID-19.

The results

Despite a global pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, the campaign to redevelop Wesley Edward Eagar Lodge (now renamed Wesley Edward Eagar Centre) has concluded having achieved 75% of the campaign goal. In an extremely challenging campaign environment, this is a remarkable result. Men and women previously experiencing homelessness have now moved in to the refurbished building and are getting the support they need to change their lives for the better. It was an honour to provide campaign counsel to Wesley Mission, particularly during the planning and lead gift phases, as it navigated all the challenges of major gift fundraising during COVID-19. It’s a unique capital campaign case study for sure.