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Philanthropic funding setting foundations for long-term success

Setting the foundations for funding in perpetuity is the ultimate goal for many philanthropic partnerships.

This has been the outcome of Greater Charitable Foundation’s three-year partnership with Gold Coast University Hospital’s Child Life Therapy program, which has now secured permanent and recurrent funding.

In 2019, the Hunter-based foundation launched its partnership with Children’s Hospital Foundation Qld, in collaboration with Gold Coast Hospital Foundation, providing more than $300,000 to expand the crucial Child Life Therapy Program that was being delivered at Gold Coast University Hospital. 

The Child Life Therapy program helps young children and their families through what can be a scary and often overwhelming experience associated with undertaking medical procedures in a hospital environment.

The partnership allowed the program to be rolled out full time in the hospital and over time achieve remarkable results in counteracting the fears, misconceptions and anxiety that hospital experiences can cause for young patients.

More than 3000 children and families were supported through the course of the partnership through a range of initiatives developed and implemented by the hospital. This included a mock MRI simulator that prepared children and families for the procedure, online orientations to theatres, as well as age-appropriate activities, toys and sensory regulators for use in the waiting room.

The success of the partnership has enabled the hospital to demonstrate the program’s efficacy and long-term value to the community.

Gold Coast Health Allied Health Executive Director Sara Burrett said support from charities had been instrumental in the ‘proof of concept’ phase for the Child Life Therapy Program in the large, tertiary hospital.

“GCHHS has supported more than 3,000 children in their first journeys through hospital theatres through partnerships with foundations,” Sara said.

“Philanthropic funding can really boost our efforts to demonstrate outcomes for patients and their families. As examples of outcomes in this case, children requiring multiple procedures need less intensive support through their theatre induction, and families experience less stress leading up to admission after accessing the online video prior to the procedure.”

Greater Charitable Foundation CEO, Anne Long, said that this has been a perfect demonstration of the wider role philanthropic funding plays.

“There are many instances where partners come to us to fund a program that has been piloted or is in its infancy but has already demonstrated real benefits and quality results,” Anne explained.

“Our support allows these programs to take that next step in their journey, to roll out to a wider group and further demonstrate and address the need they are offering.

“Foundations like ours are not always in a position nor have the capacity to fund programs in perpetuity, but our aim is to play a significant role in allowing them to attract longer term investment through to ensure their ongoing viability.

“Our partnership with Children’s Hospital Foundation Qld has provided a great example of this. Their program was self-funded for the first two years before we jumped on board, allowing it to expand to a full-time service. The team has done a wonderful job over the past three years to now secure funding that will allow them to serve children and families in South-East Queensland region for many years to come.”

In 2021, Greater Charitable Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary as well as reaching the important milestone of $10 million of funding to more than 30 highly deserving charity partners. This has provided a direct benefit to more than 32,000 people across Australia.

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