Donor profile | Christine Williams

Christine Williams is a keen supporter of Sydney Chamber Opera and has backed several of its ACF campaigns. What’s doubly awesome is that Christine’s workplace Macquarie has been matching her donations through its employee matched giving program. We spoke with Christine to find out more about her love of opera and how and why she gives.

ACF: Firstly, a bit of fun: name a talent you don’t have but wish you did.

Christine Williams: Opera singing of course – one of the modern, trim, innovative breed who are not only superb opera singers but also strong actors and who span all types of music genre. I am impressed by the versatility of Jessica O’Donoghue who not only has sung and acted in the productions Mayakovsky (2014) and Victory Over the Sun (2016), but has also just had her own pop album debut, Emerge.

Tell us about a recent experience you had with a work of art or performance that truly moved you.

The Sydney Chamber Opera, Sydney Festival offering O Mensch! It was amazing to see what could be achieved on such a small stage with just one singer and one instrument. Much of the emotional power derived from very subtle staging, and in many respects works on this scale are as impactful as the much larger fare on offer.

It feels like a vote of support from the business. When my donation to a charitable cause of my choosing is matched by the business, I feel it is a vote of support for my passions.

Sydney Chamber Opera - Samuel Hodge as Claudio

Photo: Samuel Hodge

What spurred you initially to donate to the Sydney Chamber Opera? Was there a particular event, concert or moment that struck you and made you want to give?

SCO is edgy and innovative and takes risks. It’s a small company that performs chamber operas by interesting 20th century composers and creates new art works. It provides a platform for very talented young Australian composers, librettists, directors, conductors, musicians and singers to showcase their talents and takes on cross collaboration projects such as working with visual artists, for example their work with Justene Williams on Cockatoo Island in the 20th Biennale of Sydney.

What do you like most about donating through the ACF?

It is good to be able to see the donations come in and the goal gradually be reached, and to feel part of a community that is partaking in arts philanthropy.

Macquarie‘s matched funding program  is obviously a great extra incentive to give. Can you tell us about your own experience and feeling on this and whether this has made a difference to your own giving?

It feels like a vote of support from the business. When my donation to a charitable cause of my choosing is matched by the business, I feel it is a vote of support for my passions.

What would you say to businesses who are considering matched funding, but haven’t taken the plunge?

I would encourage other businesses to consider the merits of backing their staff in supporting worthy causes, it is a way of leveraging their personal knowledge (after all they are committing their own money, and therefore believe in the efficacy of the programs they are supporting). Additionally, they will feel good about receiving the backing of the business in pursuit of charitable ends.

Double the impact of your donation

There are a bunch of wonderful businesses that run matched giving programs for their employees. Does your work run a matching gift program? There’s no harm in asking, and if they don’t, suggest it. If you’re an artist seeking donations, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to find out if some of your donors – particularly regular donors – have workplaces that offer a matched giving program.

Check out more profiles with the awesome people who support ACF artists.