Officer Sports Club’s New Social Room Fit Out

Officer Sports Club’s New Social Room Fit Out

April 08, 2024


Aiming to modernise and expand its infrastructure to better serve the needs of its members and the wider community, Officer Sports Club launched a fundraising project with the ASF in early 2023, setting a target of $150,000. 

Quick Facts

  • $116,679 raised
  • 60 Donations
  • $1,994 average donation
  • 1000 participants impacted

Officer Sports Club’s Three Key’s To Success

  • Find a way to “give value” to donors
  • Build emotional connections to your cause
  • Don’t be afraid to ask, and go beyond a simple email

Recognising the ambitious nature of this goal, the Club’s secretary and ASF project manager, Gareth Sheean, identified the necessity to engage and acknowledge potential donors. As part of its project, the club introduced a tiered “buy a brick” campaign, offering packages starting at $250. At this tier, donors would have their chosen name engraved on a brick to be placed in a pathway leading to the new facilities, with package benefits increasing at higher donation levels.

"I wanted to give people value for their buck – people like to have something tangible."

The bricks were sourced from the Officer Kiln, constructed in the 1880s, which suffered storm damage in 2018. Leveraging the historical significance of this building within the local community added a sentimental dimension to the project, further motivating donations.

Share this page

Subscribe to hear more from the ASF.

Signature Brick Program

Standard - $250

  • Single Signature Brick with your chosen name (personal, family, business or other) deployed outside the new social rooms.

Premium - $500

  • Single Signature Brick with your chosen name (personal, family, business or other) deployed outside the new social rooms;
  • Signature Brick to be positioned in a premium location;
  • A Kiln brick as a personal memento.

Foundation Members

Standard - $1500

  • The same benefits as the Premium brick donation, as well as
  • A certificate of appreciationInvitation to the Annual Foundation Members Event.

Gold - $2500

  • All the features of the Standard Foundation Membership (as listed above), plus...
  • No booking fee for functions held in the new club rooms
  • Special access to Officer Sports Club functions/events at discounted prices.


  • Officer Sports Club encouraged anyone willing to donate more than $2500 to reach out directly to work out a package with custom benefits.

For donations of $250 or less, the Club agreed to show their gratitude by rotating donor names on the digital screens inside the new rooms. 

Asking for Donations

Asking for donations is the most important part of any fundraiser, but it’s often seen as the most daunting for many clubs and athletes.

For Gareth, he tries not to see it as asking for money, which is why it was important to him to add value through the buy a brick program – so that donors would feel as though they were getting value. Although he’s fortunate to come from a Sales background, he recommends relying on other club members to help make the ask.

“If people are struggling to ask for donations, they need to find someone in their club in a sales or marketing position, or someone that’s happy to go and talk to people, and not have the mindset that they’re on their knees begging for money."

So how did Officer Sports Club identify and communicate with potential donors?

Smaller Donations

Officer Sports Club ran a social media campaign which utilised Facebook and Instagram to communicate the reason for the project, the target and where people can donate. Each post went out to their almost 2000 followers and was shared multiple times to an even wider audience.

They also:

  • Used QR codes on posters at in-person events
  • Engaged with local media and had their story printed twice, directing readers to their project

Middle Tier Donations

Gareth says the best way to reach out to potential donors is to “start with those who have the strongest relationship to the club or cause” and to continue from there.

In the case of the Officer Sports Club, the audience with the strongest cause were the past players. Their history with the club has helped build an emotional tie, with many still involved to this day.

Emails were sent to all past players from over 35 years to outline the project and the importance of the new facilities for future generations. These emails also encouraged the recipients to forward it on to any friends or family that they know may be willing to donate. 

Larger Donors

Gareth worked to identify individuals who were close to the club that he believed had the potential to donate higher amounts and made the “hard but targeted ask”.

“A lot of the big money has come from people that I’ve known for 30 years. After some emails, or catching up with them at the footy, I pick up the phone and make the ask.”

In these cases, Gareth seized the opportunity to build an emotional connection with the club, often reminiscing about good times gone by, and encouraged individuals to donate so that future generations could have the same experience.

This method was by far the most successful. Surprising everyone at Officer Sports Club, the average donation totalled $1994, and the Standard Foundation Member package was their most popular tier.

As the project is nearing completion, donations are slowing. However, costs are still rising due to additional unexpected works, so Gareth’s next step is to reach out to local businesses and ask if they’d be willing to contribute.

Donor Stewardship

Research shows that a simple ‘Thank You’ to a donor means that they are 2x as likely to donate again or to your projects in future.

Beyond the bricks and other benefits donors received, Gareth felt it was vital to say thank you and continue engaging with donors. Through MailChimp, he set up an email list that only contained the donors, and at least once a month sent correspondence that included:

  • ‘Thank you’ to new donors
  • Progress updates
  • Inner-sanctum information and events
  • Opportunities to donate again
  • Encouragement to share the email with other potential donors

For Officer Sports Club, aligning the fundraising project to a cause the community was passionate about was a great way to not only say thank you but show donors exactly what the impact of their donations was.

Club Background

Founded in 1972 in the south-eastern suburbs of Victoria, the Officer Sports Club stands as a testament to community unity and sporting excellence. Responsible for managing the shared facilities of eight diverse clubs encompassing football, netball, cricket, Auskick, basketball, tennis, and scouts, the club boasts nearly 1000 active participants. However, the growth of both the sporting clubs and the community has outpaced the aging facilities, which include buildings dating back to 1972 and 1984, and led to the creation of their fundraising project with the ASF.