ACF artists raise $2 million

Our ACF artists have been hard at work raising funds for their projects, and we’re thrilled to say that earlier this month we reached an exciting new milestone: for the first time ever our artists raised more than $2 million in a single year through the ACF. Amazing stuff!

There are so many generous donors who’ve supported the arts in Australia and contributed to this wonderful achievement, and – as always – we’re so thankful for their support. To celebrate this milestone we zoned in on the donation and campaign that tipped it over the mark.

ACF milestone: Patrick Lindsay interviewing Kokoda veteran, Arnold Forrester

Ray Ferguson’s donation to Patrick Lindsay’s Kokoda campaign tipped the ACF over $2 million raised in a single year. Pictured: Patrick Lindsay interviewing Kokoda veteran, Arnold Forrester, in Townsville. Photo Paul Croll.

On Monday, 6 June Ray Ferguson made a donation on behalf of the 2/14th Battalion, in the name of Sgt Lindsay Ferguson and Cpl Bob Ferguson, to support Patrick Lindsay’s new feature length documentary commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign.

Ray’s uncle fought on the Kokoda track and after finding out about Patrick’s crowdfunding campaign for the documentary at a reunion for the 2/14th infantry battalion, he was compelled to donate.

“I wanted to help preserve the memory of the battles that occurred along the track and the men that fought and returned and of those that died”.

“Lin is my father and Bob is my Uncle. I loved both of them. Very brave men. Bob fought all the way through the New Guinea campaign. Lin became ill and was evacuated after being cut off for two weeks. He went on to fight in Borneo and won a military medal.”

One of the great things about the ACF is that most donors are known to our artists, or they have a real connection to the project and a vested interest in seeing the project come to life.

Patrick Lindsay on keeping the Kokoda spirit alive

We spoke with Patrick to find out more about his  fundraising campaign.

Tell us a bit about your connection with Ray and the 2/14th Battalion.

I’ve had a 25-year association with the 2/14th Battalion Association, of which Ray is a member and which today is composed of descendants of the diggers who fought in the Kokoda campaign. Many of the original members of the 2/14th Battalion became dear friends and mentors to me.I see the Kokoda doco as honouring their memories and forming part of their legacy.

Ray is part of what we have come to know as the Kokoda family, people who understand the importance of the Kokoda campaign to Australia’s history and who are motivated to pay their part in keeping the story alive.

Tell us why you chose the ACF and a bit about your fundraising strategy.

I chose the ACF because I love its mission of supporting Australian artists to tell our stories and to create our art. We chose crowdfunding to secure our production budget because we wanted our supporters to have some kind of ownership of the project. We also chose the ACF because we knew it supported our approach and that it could give tax deductibility to our donors. We felt our supporters would be comfortable donating through the ACF because it was transparent and accessible. Our task has been to alert our supporters to the project and to guide them to the ACF platform.

Kokoda vetern, Arnold Forrester, being filmed for Kokoda documentary

Kokoda veteran, Arnold Forrester, being filmed for the Kokoda… the spirit lives. Photo: Patrick Lindsay.

It’s early days in your campaign and you’re off to a really strong start, are there any pieces of wisdom or advice that you’ve picked up from your campaigning?

We’re feeling our way with our campaign, learning as we go. It’s a first for us to seek funding via crowdfunding and we’re learning the vagaries of social media and the best ways to attract coverage and support. I suppose one lesson that’s clear to us is the power of video (editor’s note: read our posts on the importance of videos to campaigning). In the future most of our communications will be via videos on social media.

This is your first campaign with us – do you have any tips for artists looking to use the ACF?

I’ve been delighted with the support from the ACF team and we know that the system works. I think the most important thing is to be authentic in your approach. We know there are many Australians out there who want the story of Kokoda to be remembered. We’re working with the ACF team to figure out the best ways to reach them.

What does it mean to you that people like Ray have donated to this project?

I’m delighted that supporters like Ray have become donors because they’re working to keep the Kokoda story alive, just as we are. Their support validates our aim of ensuring that the remarkable achievements of the diggers of Kokoda will be passed down to future generations.