Using the donated dollar
In 2017 we continued to grow our revenue enabling Starlight programs to meet the increasing and changing needs of Australia's seriously ill children, teenagers and their families. Starlight always works in partnership with health professionals using existing infrastructure our programs and are considered integral to the total care delivered in Australia's paediatric hospitals every day. We estimate that in the next 3 years Starlight will need to expand our program delivery by around 70% to meet the changing model of health care and children's needs.
In 2017, Starlight created 528,816 positive experiences for children and young people across Australia. Since 2013 our program reach has increased by over 80%. Over the same period, our program expenditure has grown by more than 67%.
Whilst revenues declined 3% in 2017, over the period since 2013 we have achieved an overall increase in revenue of 31% which is due to our continued focus on growing our sustainable revenue streams. These funds enable Starlight's ongoing program delivery as well as providing the capital funding to be set aside (i.e. received and not yet spent) for future capital works of new and refurbished Starlight Express Rooms.
As new children's hospitals are opened, there is a need for Starlight to build new Starlight Express Rooms in each hospital location. Each of these Starlight Express Rooms requires capital funding of around $2.0m, which is incremental to our annual core operational expenditure and is raised through specific capital campaigns.
During 2017 the new Starlight Express Room at Monash Children's Hospital in Melbourne was opened and our very first Starlight Express Room in Darwin. In 2018 Starlight will open new Starlight Express Rooms at Perth Children's Hospital in Perth and the Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick.
To find out more about the impact of Starlight programs in 2017, please see our 2017 Program Review (file size 12MB).
In 2017 Starlight generated a surplus which comprised of tagged capital (funds received for future Starlight Express Room builds) and funds to build our endowment. This endowment is to protect Starlight's future program delivery in the event of economic downturn. This is especially important as Starlight receives no government funding and relies completely on the generosity of individuals, community groups and organisations to fund all programs supporting Australia's seriously ill or hospitalised children.
Amplifying your impact
We continue to be committed to improving the impact and community value of our Starlight programs. We have completed two Social Return on Investment studies (SROI) to quantify. These studies highlighted that for every donated dollar we invest in our Starlight in-hospital programs and our Livewire.org online community we return $5.70 & $5.30 respectively to the community in value.
Growing towards sustainable program delivery
Starlight's programs are delivered Australia-wide 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We require regular and consistent revenue to maintain this exceptional standard of delivery and ensure our programs are sustainable into the future. While traditional types of fundraising are event-based, which means funds are received infrequently, we are investing in developing a core group of individuals committed to regular, monthly giving.
So, while we have reduced our cost of fundraising for traditional revenue streams, our investment in growing sustainable revenue will continue. It is important for Starlight to build this group of valued regular donors and this requires upfront investment. However, our experience shows this investment to be very cost effective in the longer term. This investment is an efficient and sustainable way forward.
For a more detailed commentary please see our audited financial reports. We are committed to ensuring our programs are delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible and that we are a strong guardian of the donated dollar.
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