Beyond the Sausage Sizzle: Five Fundraising Tips For Kiwi Charities

One of the best things about New Zealand is the generosity and egalitarian spirit of our people. New Zealand is the second most charitable country in the world, according to a recent report by the Charities Aid Foundation. Around 400,000 New Zealanders give in some way every week, with more than a million giving each year.

I believe that New Zealanders have won life’s lottery by living in a great country, but we make sure to help those less fortunate. However, times are changing and charities need to be more innovative in how they attract funding. Here are five fundraising ideas beyond the traditional sausage sizzle:

  1. Time is money

New Zealanders are generous not only in donating their hard-earned pay (0.8 per cent of GDP) but in giving their precious time. New Zealanders do about 270 million hours of volunteer work in the community each year, contributing about 2.3 per cent to New Zealand’s GDP.

As the population ages and a growing number of New Zealanders retire, the number of hours volunteered is likely to increase. With this in mind, charities should always offer the option of donating time instead of money.

  1. Work with business

Money is tight for some businesses, even this long after the Global Financial Crisis. Giving New Zealand: Philanthropic Funding 2014, produced by BERL and sponsored by Perpetual Guardian, found that while overall giving was steady between 2011 and 2014, giving by businesses fell by 22%.

However, businesses are increasingly incorporating CSR (corporate social responsibility) into their strategic framework. CSR measures success not only by profit, but by the good businesses do for the community and the environment. Charities should identify CSR-focused businesses they can work with, because they can give more than just money.

  1. The final gift

The downside of the ageing population is that many retirees are asset-rich but cash and income-poor. In a world of slow economic growth and stagnant incomes, many people will be limited in terms of cash giving. This will make the traditional approach of holding out buckets for donations more difficult.

One alternative way for people to support their favourite charities is to make bequests by including them in their Will. This allows them to make a ‘final gift’ that can leave a lasting legacy long after they are gone from the world.

  1. The Dragon’s Den

Most people associate the so-called ‘Dragon’s Den’ with inventors and entrepreneurs, but this high-stakes pitch for investment is not limited to the business world. Perpetual Guardian is working with the Centre for Social Impact on a unique pilot programme to allow charitable trusts to adopt the concept of ‘high engagement giving’, with potential recipients having to prove themselves through a rigorous process, often in competition with other organisations.

High engagement requires charities to have not only a good cause but sound management and finances, as well as evidence that they are really making a difference in their communities. This trend could lead to a general improvement in the way charities are managed. It is okay at times for grant makers to “take a risk” in supporting an organization where the outcome could have a considerable impact in the community.

  1. Payroll Giving

Most working New Zealanders are enrolled in KiwiSaver, putting money aside each pay day to save for their retirement. Why not do the same for the charities you support? To make this easier, Perpetual Guardian usesPayroll Giving, which gives salaried workers a quick and effective means of donating to charity or cause they want to support.

We match each of our own employees’ donations dollar-for-dollar (as employers do with KiwiSaver) and we encourage other businesses to do the same. Giving money straight out of your pay packet is a much more effective way of supporting causes than digging out coins and dropping them in a bucket, and you get the tax back straight away into your payslip

Sausage sizzles are part of life in New Zealand, but these ideas give charities extra options to get the funding they need to continue their good work. Helping New Zealand charities is a team effort and if we all play our part, our society will remain the envy of the world.


Andrew BarnesOriginal article on M2Now by Andrew Barnes.

Entrepreneur, philanthropist and innovator Andrew Barnes is the owner of Coulthard Barnes, the holding company for his trust companies, digital businesses, winery, property and other ventures. He personally funds many charitable causes and provided seed funding for the Perpetual Guardian Foundation, a vehicle that encourages New Zealanders into long-term charitable giving at a level they can afford. Andrew is the MD of Perpetual Guardian and Chair of Simply Payroll.