Hear and Say

Hear and Say has been recognised for Outstanding Achievement in The Australian Charity Awards 2016. The Australian Charity Award for Outstanding Achievement [OAA] recognises charitable organisations that have achieved outstanding results through initiatives that have significantly benefited charitable causes.

Hear and Say is a leader in paediatric implantable technologies and listening/spoken language. Established in 1992 by Dr Dimity Dornan AO initially with six children, today Hear and Say provide services and programs to over 2,000 children, young adults and families across six centres in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville and Cairns.

Hear and Say’s aim is to help all children to hear, listen and speak so they can attend a regular school, have wider career choices and can more fully participate in their community. Its success lies in the vital role that parents/caregivers play in teaching their children to listen and speak.
When it was identified in 2008 that Hear and Say had outgrown its current head office it was clear that significant funding from across government, business, philanthropic and community sectors was required. A larger facility would result in increased capacity to meet the growing demand for its services from children with hearing loss and their families and in particular, to establish Hear and Say in the eventual roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme into Queensland.

Conscious of the need to maintain operational fundraising at the same time as any potential capital fundraising program, Hear and Say made the decision to invest in building internal philanthropy capacity. The strategy was to secure the majority of funds from a small group of lead and major gift prospects, complemented by their efforts in spearheading new audiences through their networks and innovative approaches. This approach – a hybrid major gift/capital campaign – suited Hear and Say’s culture and fundraising capacity.

A donor prospect management system was utilised to compound research and qualify prospective donors. This process screened potential donors, allowing for the development of relationships with them. This predicated an initial quiet phase where corporate donations were sought. During this period there was intensive cultivation of government and top donors who continued to show clear interest in supporting the project, but for various reasons the timing was not suitable.

From there the project moved into a public phase, which saw a number of prominent organisations support the fundraising initiative. This phase focused on leveraging donations with state and federal governments to reach the $4-million-dollar target. It wasn’t long before the project did meet its goal and the one-stage build was approved by the board. Construction commenced soon after, with staff working closely with the design and construction team to bring the vision to life. The construction site and milestones provided many opportunities for donor and stakeholder engagement including the World Audiology Congress, the launch of their Telepractice study, personalised donor site tours and community open days.