Who deserves a special thank you, or treat?


Hey Kiwis – we all come across someone who’s deserving of little special treatment, a special thank you – so here’s your chance to nominate someone for one of the great treats below.

All you have to do is tell me why you would like to nominate someone, it could be that the person just needs a pick me up, or it could be because they have been doing so much for others that it’s time that they received a treat for themselves.

In the comments section below, tell me why, no need to use the person’s name – it’s the reason that matters.

There’s  one voucher for special treatment at:


Beauty Therapy Clinic in Johnsonville, Wellington

And a voucher for a nice relaxing and therapeutic 60 minute massage at:


Iselde de Boam Massage Therapy, Wellington




You have until next Friday (30 September) to nominate that special someone.  What are you waiting for?



When nominating please indicate which voucher you would like the person to receive.  Vouchers will be sent to the person who made the “nomination” to pass on to the lucky person.


© Redbaron | Dreamstime.com


We can make a difference



September 21st is International Day of Peace, a day when individuals can do participate in peace activities. International Day of Peace – or PeaceDay as it’s sometimes referred was first celebrated in 1982.  

It doesn’t matter where we are or what we do – we’re all equipped with ears and eyes to see what’s happening in the world around us, we have a mouth and the power of speech to talk about what we see and hear, but how many do it?

If we were to all take the time to open our eyes and talk about the atrocities taking place around the world, the plight of the displaced, the lives being lost through famine, flood and war – we will be part of the global movement to help make a difference,  and we can make a difference.

Many songs and stories have been written about making a change in the world – my pick would be the John Lennon classic “Give Peace a Chance”

We are guardians of the world we live in and we all have a part to play in making this place we call home a safer, happier and more prosperous place for everyone.

Race, creed and politics are often the cause of conflict, let race, creed, politics and are voices be the change the world needs to heal, to remove the trauma, death and destruction going on around us.

Lift your voice, be heard, share your stories, your vision, let others know that you are one of many that wants to see peace and harmony throughout the world.

Not sure where to start? There are numerous organisations working to make the world a better place – look out for them, offer your support, put pen to paper, write a blog, spread your views and vision through social media, connect with groups and individuals on Facebook, let it be known you’re prepared to help make a difference. You can do it.

“Heal the world – make it a better place” great words from the King of Pop




Fundraising and Social Media


Discussion has been taking place about fundraising through social media and whether it should or shouldn’t be done.

It can be a tough question to answer, given that posting something on your social sites about your event or appeal is seen by some fundraising, whereas others see it merely as promoting the event/appeal.

Are people actively using social sites to ask for donations? Sure they are. What has their success been like? That can be a hard one to answer given the lack of data as to what “caused” the donation or pledge.

It seems that this will be a discussion that will be with us for some time. Things will evolve, people will see social media as more than a way to connect, engage and share information and as a tool for direct sales, fundraising, job search and much more, but for now concern is whether nonprofits should put effort into using social media for fundraising.

Fundraising Online looked at this subject, but with some of the discussions recently it’s worth looking at again. 

In Fundraising Online a link was given to #fundchat which outlined some do’s and don’ts:

1.           Don’t think social media changes the age-old strategy, at least not completely  

2.           Do – use social media to drive web traffic 

3.           Don’t –  think a ‘LIKE’ always means it 

4.           Do – give easy, specific & real ways for people to help

5.           Don’t – just ask for things

6.           Do – ask for intangibles

7.           Don’t – ask too often

8.           Do – follow, monitor and support your closest champions

9.           Don’t – forget you have other work to do

10.       Do – guess and check!


Nonprofits should perhaps be focussing on using social media to connect, engage and share information, and to also communicate with their current supporters – this will help raise the online profile of the nonprofit, which will eventually result in giving. 

Using social media as an appeal tool – a tool to solicit funds could work, but is it the best thing a nonprofit could be doing? It could be seen as spam, it could be seen as being no different to an appeal envelope. 

It’s likely to be better for nonprofits to be using social media to help tell their story. By telling the story, the work of the nonprofit and who/what benefits, nonprofits will have a better reach and more engagement, this will result in online giving (note). 

Passive giving through social media is likely have a bigger return than using social media to drive donations, this may be wrong – it’s still early days of nonprofits and social media. 

Agree, disagree?

Are you using social media to solicit donations?

What’s working?


Note: Keep an eye out for the Online Giving post to come




Charities and Social Media – Why Social Media


Are you using social media as part of your communication process – what’s working for you, what could work better?


If we were to look at the following, what of this have did you do, or have you done since starting your social media activity?


It doesn’t matter the type of organisation you are, there’s likely to have been discussion about social media and how you might use it.


If you haven’t already had that discussion you’re probably going to have it sometime soon.


Social media can be an organisations dream; it could give wider opportunity to engage with your current and potential supporters.


With millions of people using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and others, it’s easy to see that eyes would widen at the prospect of what this could mean to your organisation. But wait – there’s more – an understanding of what’s best for you is needed before hitting the “start” button.


It’s not about just collecting connections, likes, friends, subscribers and followers. There’s more to it – an understanding of what each platform is and what it could possibly do for you, how you can make use of different platforms for different purposes is also needed.


You shouldn’t use a hammer to put a screw in, you use the right tool for the right job – the same goes for social media.


Chances are your supporters are already using social media – what are they using. Ask them – next time you send an email, post your newsletter, or however else you connect with them, ask them what they’re doing – and if they’re already using Facebook, ask them to “Like” you, to become your friend.

Don’t go boots and all into every possible social media platform, start small – set up Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for your organisation – and perhaps have your key personnel join LinkedIn.


What you will likely find is that you have people within your organisation who are passionate about social media, who have some knowledge of it’s use and potential – nurture these people and invite them to help spearhead your online endeavours.


Different sites will allow you to not only register your organisation but will also allow you to register and promote your events.

Where to from here – look at what you’re doing now, what could you change, what sites are you using – what’s most effective, are there sites you’re not using that you could be?


Next time we’ll look at your strategy – there’s no point diving in unless you know what you want to achieve from being “social”. 


Image: © Robert Gubbins | Dreamstime.com


Protected Tweets


Are you open to your tweets being seen by everyone – if no why not?

It’s interesting to see community groups, charities and others working to help people in the community have protected tweets, why would these organisations want to narrow who sees their messages?

Using social media is a great way to reach the masses, but when you protect tweets you’re limiting yourself, and only allowing what you have to share being seen by your “inner circle”. 

Protecting your tweets means:

(Source: Twitter Help Center) 

  • People will have to request to follow you and each follow request will need approval
  • Your Tweets will only be visible to users you’ve approved, meaning that other users will not be able to retweet your Tweets
  • Protected Tweets will not appear in Twitter search
  • @replies you send to people who aren’t following you will not be seen by those users (because you have not given them permission to see your Tweets)
  • You cannot share permanent links to your Tweets with anyone other than your approved followers 

Open up your communication channel, and save yourself some time too, unprotect your tweets, let your followers share what you have to say, grow your exposure and give yourself a wider audience. 

Nonprofits struggle, as it is – will you keep your tweets protected or will you unprotect?

Unsubscribe Requests

Do you have an opt-in email subscription for your organisation – if so how are you dealing with unsubscirbe requests? 

How you handle these can have an impact on how you’re perceived, here’s something I posted on AdageBusiness a while ago.

How long does it take to get unsubscribed? Come on, if someone wants to be unsubscribed to an e-newsletter or other offering respect their wish. Don’t make it difficult, you didn’t make it difficult for them when they wanted to subscribe, making people login to unsubscribe isn’t doing you any favours.


Not too long ago I went mad and subscribed to a range of what first looked like interesting feeds, e-newsletters and the like; but after seeing the same thing week after week being trotted out I started unsubscribing. But the amount of time it has taken to have my request to be ‘released’ is becoming a real pain. I’ve just received the 7th email from one organisation I requested to be unsubscribed from, surely after the 2nd request you would have thought they’d have gotten the message. 


If someone wants to unsubscribe – respect the request. It isn’t doing anyone any good by continuing to send info they don’t want or aren’t interested in.


Make it easy for your supporters (and yourself), have an easy to follow opt-in and opt-out process.

Are you making it easy for your supporters? Do you have a simple opt-out/unsubscribe method?

What’s working for you?




Blogging to make a difference


September 21st is the International Day of Peace, a day when individuals and organisations can participate in peace activities. 

International Day of Peace – or PeaceDay as it’s sometimes referred was first celebrated in 1982. 

This year Save the Children – New Zealand  are encouraging New Zealand bloggers “… to take this day to explore the theme of peace”. 

Your peace blog could be on anything that had the objective of raising the issue of peace, participating in a peace activity, or any number of things –

Save the Children – New Zealand suggest: 

“Peace could mean an end to war, achieving zen, ending an office feud, or secretly burning the neighbour’s drum kit. Or it could mean being the Officer of the Law who goes round to investigate a shameful case of musical arson. Whatever the topic, whatever the tone, it’s over to you.” 

When you’ve done your Blog for Peace let Save the Children – New Zealand know – tweet them (@SaveChildrenNZ) and make sure to use the hashtag #blogforpeace.   

Save the Children – New Zealand also ask that you post a link on their Facebook page and add a Blog for Peace Twibbon to your profile pic. Your name will be added to their blogroll of participants. 

What are you waiting for, it’s not too early to start looking at what you could blog about – remember #blogforpeace 21st September. 


How do you respond to negative comment


There will be a time when you’ll be faced with having to deal with negative comment online, how you deal with it is important, and it’s not a bad idea to have a plan in place so everyone in your organisation knows what to do.

Firstly you need to be monitoring what’s being said about you online – on various the social media platforms, TwitterFacebook, and any other websites. Using tools such as like Google Alerts help make the task easier.

It’s important you know how you will deal with any online comment – the good and the bad.


When using social media you’re likely to face lots of comments, either directly about you or your sector – do you want to only respond to those that directly affect you, or will you also respond to the others?


Blogs are another area you’ll need to consider, if you run a blog do you allow comments, do you allow comments to go live without moderation?  


If you’re able to delete any comment you don’t like – will you? It’s really important to think before deleting, something I learned from personal experience.


Be honest when responding to any comment, and acknowledge the negative comment people leave, apologise if appropriate – and avoid getting into protracted debates.


Some people find it good to ask people who have given positive comment to share it on other sites – Facebook etc.


You’ll likely be like most others and discover that most of the comments that have some reference to you will be of a complimentary nature, that they’ll be positive, so don’t panic.


Remember too there’s no rule (that I’ve seen) that says you can’t share positive comments  – put links to them on your blog, post them on Twitter, Facebook etc.


How are you currently handling negative comment? What would you recommend? 




Social media helps change happen

We’ve all seen evidence of how quickly things can spread through social media – triumphs and successes, pleas for help along with false news items, leaked information.

Social media is helping change the world, the way people communicate, who we’re able to communicate with and what we’re able to share, read and learn.

David Amerland covers the subject  How Social Media Is Changing the World – well, it’s worth a read. 




Every Little ‘Bid’ Counts For The National Children’s Hospital

Starship Foundation has kicked off its Starship Spring Clean campaign, where New Zealanders are asked to clean up, clear out and sell off, all in support of the kids at Starship. 

Throughout September, the public can list items for sale on TradeMe pledging all or part of the sale proceeds to our national children’s hospital. 

Not only can people buy and sell everyday items on Trade Me for Starship, but there are also a number of exclusive items donated by Starship’s celebrity supporters, including Spartacus costumes donated by Lucy Lawless, a bespoke suit donated by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon John Key, signed gear from the All Whites and NZ Breakers and a 2010 racing suit, signed gloves and a signed car part from Scott Dixon. 

Plus there are some exciting items that have been donated by the Starship Foundation’s corporate sponsors, including a ‘Be a Zookeeper for the Day’ experience and an ASB Classic shirt signed by Maria Sharapova donated by ASB; the world’s biggest gas barbecue from Mercury Energy; a Vodafone Warriors signed shirt and ball from Vodafone New Zealand; and coaching sessions with Silver Fern and Barfoot & Thompson Starship Ambassador Anna Scarlett. 

Anyone who sells an item through Starship Spring Clean on Trade Me and donates 10 per cent or more of the proceeds to Starship will be refunded their auction success fee by TradeMe.

With the full support of TradeMe, Starship Spring Clean will help everyday New Zealanders support Starship kids.  It’s a win-win: while cleaning out your cupboards, you’ll also raise money for a great cause – the major rebuild of the Level 6 Neuroservices and Medical Specialty Wards at Starship Children’s Hospital. 

Each year, more than 2600 young patients from all around New Zealand are admitted to Level 6 at Starship.  The rebuild will help improve emotional, social and survival outcomes for critically ill and long-term patients on these wards.  Conditions treated include neurological disorders, brain tumours, metabolic and genetic disorders (including Cystic Fibrosis), head trauma and suspected child abuse injuries, respiratory illness and infectious diseases. 

See below for a more extensive list of the great celebrity and corporate items that have been generously donated and visit www.trademe.co.nz/starship to get started!  

Plus, during September Spring Clean, Starship has other ways to donate – via its website, or dial 0800 STARSHIP (0800 7827 7447) to donate any amount, or text STAR to 469 to donate $3 

 Starship Spring Clean Exclusives!

Spartacus Costumes

Starship’s own warrior princess Lucy Lawless organised for STARZ to donate 10 costumes from hit show Spartacus, including dresses worn by Lucy and Viva Bianca, gladiator costumes worn by Manu Bennett and Peter Mensah, and a tunic worn by John Hannah.

Argo the Water Horse

This impressive life-size fibreglass artwork horse was designed, painted and signed by Lucy Lawless. Named after Xena’s horse “Argo”, Lucy’s art was inspired by the ancient Egyptian faience sculptures of the waterhorse or hippo.  Lucy has promised to bring her paintbrush and will personalise the horse for the winning bidder. 

Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key’s Bespoke Suit

It’s pre-loved clothing with a difference, generously donated by the PM himself.  Dress to impress with this bespoke charcoal and white pinstriped suit tailored for the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key.  Sewn into the lining of the size 104R/94 suit is a special inscription for its VIP previous owner.  Plus there are a couple of the PM’s ties being auctioned too for the discerning sartorialist. 

Scott Dixon’s Racing Gear

New Zealand’s own racing great and Indycar champ Scott Dixon has given us his 2010 Target racing suit, a car part which he’s signed, a signed pair of racing gloves and a selection of 2011 Scott Dixon Hero Cards. 

Backstage and One-on-One Training with the NZ Breakers

Australasian basketball champs the New Zealand Breakers have given us an exclusive backstage experience with the team as well as the chance for some one-on-one training from the team’s coaches.  There’s also a selection of merchandise from the team including signed basketballs and shirts, and Barfoot & Thompson has donated Tom Abercrombie’s Number 10 shirt signed by the 2010 championship team. 

2010 Signed US Ryder Cup Team Photo Montage

A 75cm x 50cm canvas photo montage featuring the 2010 United States Ryder Cup team – signed by all the players including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Corey Pavin and more…. 

Tiki Taane’s Guitar

Tiki’s given us a very special guitar – the one on which he wrote and recorded Starship Lullaby.  This acoustic guitar has travelled the world with Tiki on tour so has picked up a few bumps and scratches along the way – all adding to its special character.  

Zoo Experiences at Auckland and Wellington Zoos

Starship Foundation Five Star Sponsor ASB has generously donated an ‘Elephant Experience’ up close and personal with Burma at Auckland Zoo and a chance to be a zookeeper for a day at Wellington Zoo. 

2011 ASB Classic Shirt Signed by Maria Sharapova

Also donated by ASB is one of only five shirts signed by Maria Sharapova during her visit to New Zealand to play in the 2011 ASB Classic.  And if tennis is your thing, then ASB has also generously donated four tickets to the ASB Women’s Classic Final on 7 January 2012. 

And still more stuff from ASB….

ASB has also donated a St John child specific first aid course for a group of 15 people, and two VIP tickets to the ASB Classical Sparks concert in Christchurch in February 2012. 

 Dan Carter’s Autograph on Napkin

Sure – we grabbed a napkin and asked Dan Carter to sign it because there were no rugby balls around at the time – but this little piece of fabric could become a priceless collector’s item in the next few months!  

The World’s Biggest Gas Barbecue

Starship Foundation Five Star Sponsor Mercury Energy has donated the world’s biggest gas barbecue – invite all your mates and your neighbours and cook up a feast this summer.    

Framed Auckland Rugby and Blues Jerseys with Player Autographs

An Auckland Rugby (ITM Cup) jersey and a Blues Super 14 jersey framed with accompanying autographs of the 2010 players and also donated by Mercury Energy. 

Signed Vodafone Warriors Shirt and Ball

Thanks to Starship Foundation’s newest Five Star Sponsor, we have this great signed gear from the Vodafone Warriors. 

Ladies’ Degustation Lunch for Five at The Grove with Paula Ryan

Generously donated by Starship Foundation Five Star Sponsor Barfoot & Thompson, you can enjoy a wonderful lunch with friends and come away with some seriously great style tips too. 

Framed Beehive Doodle by the PM

Donated by Barfoot & Thompson, we have a framed and signed drawing of The Beehive by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key. 

Two Hour Team Coaching Session with Silver Fern Anna Scarlett

Silver Fern Anna Scarlett is also a Barfoot & Thompson Starship Ambassador – she regularly visits Starship to play sport with the young patients, as well as provide them with inspiration and mentorship.  Now Anna’s offering a two-hour coaching session for a team to really hone its netball skills.

Rugby Ball Signed by All Black Keven Mealamu

A rugby ball signed by legendary All Black hooker and Barfoot & Thompson Starship Ambassador, Keven Mealamu. 

Let’s Rock Elmo and Star Wars Collectable Lightsabers

Hasbro has donated some seriously cool toys including two Sesame Street “Let’s Rock Elmos” in advance of the official release date, and three limited edition collectable Star Wars lightsabers. 

Signed Nike New Zealand Football Shirts

The New Zealand All Whites have donated several official Nike New Zealand Football shirts signed by the 2010 FIFA World Cup team.  Ole, ole, ole. 

Art by Hollie Smith

Hollie Smith is not just a talented musician, but an amazing visual artist too.  Hollie has generously donated a 45cm x 42cm monotone watercolour painting on card that she did of a young child.  

Michael Campbell Autographed Golf Cap

A black Callaway golf cap signed by New Zealand international golf champion Michael Campbell. 

Guitar-Shaped CD Holder

Actor and long-time Starship supporter Shane Cortese has donated a guitar-shaped CD holder which he says could double for a toast rack for a large family should you so desire! 

The Wiggles Signed Programmes

Children’s super-group The Wiggles visited Starship earlier this year, and gave us two signed programmes from their tour of New Zealand to auction in Spring Clean.  Wiggle-rific! 

Shortland Street Cast Signed T-Shirts… and more

South Pacific Pictures has generously donated four Shortland Street t-shirts signed by members of the cast, as well as signed posters and DVDs and soundtracks from Outrageous Fortune, Go Girls, The Almighty Johnsons and Maddigan’s Quest. 

One-of-a Kind Merino Kids Go Go Bags

Merino Kids have donated some one-off samples that never made it to market – your baby can really sleep in style. 

Behind-the-Scenes Studio Experience with The Crowd Goes Wild

Ever wondered what it takes to get your sport fix and a side order of mayhem to air every weeknight?  Come behind the scenes with The Crowd Goes Wild and find out!  Meet the team, take a tour of the studio, and then watch the rehearsal and live filming as The Crowd Goes Wild goes to air. Plus, SKY TV has also generously donated MY SKY + (it’s four times as big… but exactly the same size!) and a 12 month SKY subscription to Basic, SKY Sport, and SKY Movies. 

The Warehouse BIG Kiwi Summer Essentials Package

A $5000 package from Starship Foundation Five Star Sponsor The Warehouse, including a tent, family pool, gas barbecue, outdoor furniture set, bar fridge, 2degrees mobile phone, 12ft trampoline and enclosure, swing set, Cozy Coupe and wooden playhouse.                                 

2 x Return Premium Economy Flights to London on Air New Zealand

Thanks to Air New Zealand, we are auctioning two return premium economy flights to London.  And Air New Zealand has also generously donated two Air New Zealand domestic flights.  So take your pick whether you want to go near or far, and bid away.   



The Starship Foundation raises funds so Starship Children’s Health can better care for New Zealand’s children. Donations are an extra to Government funding and provide a variety of initiatives such as new technology, vital research, boosted family support and preventative programmes. As a charitable organisation, Starship Foundation exists through the generosity of the New Zealand public who lovingly donate money and/or time to assist in making Starship a world class medical facility.  Starship Children’s Health cares for more than 120,000 children from around the country each year. New Zealanders can support these children by donating to the Starship Foundation on 09 307 4957 or on-line www.starship.org.nz/foundation.


You can also follow the Starship Spring Clean on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/starshipfoundation