Health and medical research leaders gathered in Melbourne on August 19 for Research Australia’s fourth annual Conference on Philanthropy for Health and Medical Research.

The only Australian conference exclusively dedicated to philanthropy for health and medical research (HMR) included hot topics of discussion such as the latest trends in fundraising for the sector and a detailed case study of mass-market fundraising for HMR in the UK.

Keynote speaker, Nick Grant, Director of Strategy for Cancer Research UK (pictured left), delivered an in-depth analysis of how Cancer Research UK’s innovative marketing campaigns have captured the imagination of British people to make it a household name in the UK and the world’s largest independent cancer charity.

The changing nature of corporate philanthropy was canvassed by three different speakers, each illustrating how corporate support is evolving from passive branding and sponsorship to embracing active partnerships in social change.

Dee Schouten, Merchandising Manager for The Kids’ Cancer Project, offered advice on how to use merchandise sales as a fundraising tool and described how The Kids’ Cancer Project has increased its income from merchandising more than sevenfold over the past five years to nearly $1.5m a year.

Information sessions relating to developments in online fundraising were of great interest, with presentations on the latest trends in digital marketing and crowdfunding proving extremely popular with conference delegates.

All participants underlined how critical philanthropic funding is, and will continue to be, for health and medical research.

Philanthropic funding has a vital role to play in funding early-stage and basic research that is promising but risky – research that otherwise might not occur if not for the support of ambitious philanthropists. Philanthropy can also encourage and enable young scientists to pursue and maintain a career in research.

Generosity_Research-Australia_Opinion-Poll-20142014 Opinion Poll Results

Research Australia has also revealed the ‘Australia Speaks’ report on its June 2014 public opinion poll. The report provides an overview of 1,000 Australians’ views on health and medical research, science, preventative health initiatives, and philanthropy for such research.

Key findings of the 2014 report include:

– Less than 50% of the Australian population donates regularly to health and medical research.

– 73% of Australians support additional Federal funding being directed to health and medical research.

– 87% believe the Federal Government should fund research that will save money in our healthcare system, with improving hospitals and the health care system being Australian’s top priority for the government.

Read the full report here.

About Research Australia

Research Australia is an alliance of over 160 members and supporters advocating for health and medical research in Australia. Our activities are funded by our partners, donors and supporters from leading research organisations, universities, philanthropy, community special interest groups, peak industry bodies, biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceutical companies, small businesses and corporate Australia.

Free resources for donors

Research Australia recently launched a range of free resources to explain how to donate to health and medical research. They provide information about health and medical research, why it is deserving of support, how to make a donation or bequest, and a guide for foundations and trusts on making grants to health and medical research.

Download the entire range of resources for free here.