20 March 2024

Live crowdfunding event to deliver pitch-perfect support to Riverina community organisations

| Chris Roe
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Chelsea Stewart (Rural Outreach Counselling), Emma Peacock (Big Brothers Big Sisters Tumut) and Lisa Simpson (Ronald McDonald House Wagga) will all be making their pitch on Thursday. Photo: Supplied.

When you think of crowdfunding, it’s generally done online and involves a group of small investors getting behind a great idea in exchange for a reward or a share of the profits.

In the case of this week’s ‘Pitch Up Wagga Wagga’ the crowdfunding will be in-person and the benefits will flow to local non-profits that support people in need.

The unique format is facilitated across the country by The Funding Network (TFN) and is backed locally by WDF Accounting + Advisory, Hume Bank and Macarthur Real Estate.

“It’s a live crowdfunding event that is basically the same thing that people are familiar with online but it’s just done live in a room with an audience,” explained Annette Davies from WDF Accounting.

“We have three local grassroots organisations that pitch about what they do and then they leave the room and we ask the audience to pledge support for them.

“We then bring them back in and reveal what we’ve raised for them on the night.”

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Last year’s inaugural Pitch Up event raised a remarkable $72,000 and this year an audience of more than 100 will hear representatives from Rural Outreach Counselling, Ronald McDonald House South West NSW and Big Brother Big Sisters Tumut deliver their pitch for support.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Tumut is about supporting the next generation through mentoring and friendship, the Rural Outreach Centre works to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in regional areas, and Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation for families that need to travel for medical care.

This year’s finalists were selected by an independent panel and were connected with professional coaching to help them become ‘pitch-perfect’ for the event.

“All three finalists have put forward very worthwhile and exciting projects,” said Macarthur Real Estate’s Mark Macarthur.

“We hope the community will show its support by purchasing a ticket, to what will be a great night.”

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With the rising cost of living putting pressure on so many families in the Riverina, this year’s event is more important than ever as charities are also feeling the pinch and struggling to keep up with the growing demand for services.

“Each of these finalists have such a positive impact in their own unique way,” said Hume Bank CEO Stephen Capello.

“Hume Bank is thrilled to partner with the other sponsors, to ensure these organisations can continue the work they do.”

Organisers are hoping for another strong show of support from the Wagga Community.

“Basically the event is open to anyone who’s a bit community-minded and is interested in supporting these great local organisations,” said Annette.

“It’s actually a very fun event, it’s really inspiring and last year at the first one, there was such a great vibe in the room with so many people that love their community.”

Pitch Up Wagga Wagga will be held at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club, Wagga Wagga on Thursday (21 March) and you can purchase tickets now.

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