Media Release ·

Australia’s largest ever environmental fundraising campaign

Australia’s largest ever environmental fundraising campaign

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation will create the nation’s biggest environmental fundraising campaign to grow a $443 million government contribution to the Reef by an additional $300 million to $400 million over the next six years.

The GBRF today unveiled its Collaborative Investment Strategy – a central pillar of the Reef Trust Partnership (RTP) – that outlines the overarching fundraising plan to be deployed.

Release of the strategy comes as the GBRF shared topline results from a survey that confirmed conservation of the Great Barrier Reef is the number one environmental issue for Australians.

“Australians are rightly proud and passionate about the Great Barrier Reef – and want to see this extraordinary natural wonder saved,” said GBRF Managing Director Anna Marsden.

“The clear urgency of the task reinforces our ambition in launching the nation’s largest ever environmental fundraising campaign.

“The $443 million government investment is the largest ever in the Reef, which we will amplify by an additional $300 million to $400 million through our unique capacity to leverage private funds.

“We are building an enduring platform to connect and grow the public, private, community, scientific and research endeavours focused on the singular goal of saving the Great Barrier Reef.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reinforced there is a closing window of opportunity for the world to act on climate change and the sharp threat facing coral reefs.

“This underscores the urgent need to fund the next generation of ideas that give our coral reefs a fighting chance in the face of a rapidly changing climate.” 

Key elements of the Collaborative Investment Strategy, which features median working targets within the overall range of $300 million to $400 million, include:

  • A capital campaign with a working target of $100 million – to match the $100 million public investment in the Reef restoration and adaptation science under the RTP. The capital campaign will target global and domestic philanthropic sources.
  • A corporate giving campaign with a working target of $50 million – which will build on the Foundation’s proven track record that has seen it raise $52.8 million from corporate sources since its formation.
  • A community giving campaign with a working target of $7 million – which will tap into the high level of interest of Australians to support endeavours that will protect and restore the Reef and to learn what they can do to help the Reef.
  • Contributed funds from research and delivery partners with a working target of $200 million – that pools the efforts of science, research, institutional and other delivery partners. The contributions will consist of $100 million towards Reef restoration and adaptation, and $100 million across other RTP elements including improving water quality and tackling crown-of-thorns starfish.

“We are aiming high because the Reef is worth saving and business-as-usual won’t cut it,” Ms Marsden said.

“Our fundraising objectives have already been peer reviewed and will be subject to further feasibility studies but we are confident in them – and confident they are precisely what the Reef needs.”

The document released today also outlines next steps in implementing the Collaborative Investment Strategy – including feasibility studies, governance and resourcing.

The strategy has been endorsed by John Gunn, who is Co-Chair of the Partnership Management Committee – the panel of 10 experts charged with overseeing delivery of the RTP.

“The methods and metrics that inform the strategy harness well-established best-practice across the charity sector and science and research sectors,” Mr Gunn said.

“Matching public and private capital with contributed funds from delivery partners is now commonplace and the best way to maximise the value of investments to benefit the Reef.”

GBRF Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Mumby, welcomed the scale of the investment flagged through the Collaborative Investment Strategy.

“The Foundation fills a critical gap in funding researchers who are working at the interface of science, climate change and reef management,” Prof. Mumby said.

“Science lies at the heart of the Foundation’s decisions over how to allocate funds and prioritise research – and we can now do it on a scale never before imagined.”

The Foundation also released new survey results that reveal conservation of the Great Barrier Reef was the lead environmental issue of interest to Australians.

The survey – covering both Australian and international respondents – showed:

  • Six in ten Australians are extremely or very interested in conservation of the Reef.
  • A strong willingness of Australians to invest time and money in saving the Reef – with 38 percent willing to donate to charities focused on the Reef, and 37 percent willing to donate to scientific initiatives focused on the Reef.
  • 78 percent of respondents in each of the US, UK and Germany would like to visit the Reef.
  • 81 percent of Australians agree they are proud of the Reef.

“The survey results confirm that Australians understand we are guardians of one of the world’s natural wonders and want to support efforts dedicated to giving the Reef the healthy future it deserves,” Ms Marsden said.

The Collaborative Investment Strategy is available here.


Media contact: Glenn Byres  0419 695 435 |