Pitch Night a big success

Our inaugural Pitch Night held in Newcastle on August 3 was a big success. Our Strategic Initiatives and Relationships Manager Kevin Rigby said it was “a great evening of passionate storytelling”.

“We received 48 funding submissions and we were looking for grassroots organisations that were offering projects or improved access to those most marginalised and disadvantaged in the community,” Mr Rigby said.

Mr Rigby said the PHN decided to host the night to distribute its funds that had been allocated for seeding innovative projects.

“It was community giving with grant money that we had available,” he said.

“It was built on the concepts of live crowdfunding [such as by The Funding Network] but with the audience not needing to take money out of their own pocket.”

The people with the ‘money’ were representatives from health, business, council, non-government organisations, Indigenous and education groups in the PHN area.

Mr Rigby said they had been chosen as a cross-section of regions and sectors.

It was hoped that involving these people in deciding what to fund would have a “ripple effect”.

“They will have an emotional connection and really have an input into the programs,” he said.

“I think it builds better community resilience and true community impact.

“The ones that are there in the room are local and ... can see the benefit for their community.

“The spin-off of having those people in the room is it builds capacity for those grassroots organisations to keep looking for funds [through the networks they built on the night].”

Below are some links showing highlights of the evening

The four finalists and their pitch night pledges:

Pius X Aboriginal Corporation – an antenatal initiative for Aboriginal women in disadvantaged communities in north west NSW ($47,500)
Orange Sky Australia – addressing health access for homeless people on the Central Coast and Newcastle ($38,600)
Hunter Rehabilitation and Health – research and accessibility for a new model of treatment for children with cystic fibrosis ($28,200)
Upper Hunter Where There’s a Will – a community-led youth mental health educational model ($48,600)