Teach Kids at an early age about giving

Having recently read “ College investors manage $250,000 investment fund ” in the  NZHerald , got me to thinking whatelse can we do to get youth to be interested in charities and the work that they do for many in our community.

One of the participants quoted in the article, year 13 trustee Zac Johns says 

“It provides an experience for all us of involved to learn about investing, trusts and markets. But it’s also about benefiting other people.

“Where we give the money and how we use our capital has far-reaching, flow-on effects.”

Sure, the students are learning about investing, but – they’re also learning how their efforts can help others. Imagine if we had a cluster of schools who all did the same as Dilworth, the possibilities for organisations, students and the wider community would be almost endless.

Other schools, students get involved in charitable activities, coin trails, mufti days and the like; but how many of these students carry out their philanthropic activities beyond the immediate cause they’re supporting?

Community organizations should partner with schools to foster students to remain active in the charitable sector.

We all know schools need their own income for activities, but perhaps by partnering with outside organizations schools can gain insights into how they can nurture students to help with funding issues their school may have.

Is your child’s school involved in community causes, how are they being shown what their efforts mean to the community? What more could your child’s school do to maintain, and grow the seed of giving? 

See also

Real people are better than brochures

I was just thinking about blogging about connecting with people through means other than brochures, flyers and the likes; when I came across this great blogThere is No Next Best Thing to Being There” by Michael Rosen which pretty much sums up everything I was going to say.

Michael has said it well when it comes to brochures and the likes – they are time consuming, costly and from personal experience I know they are normally ‘designed’ by a committee; which is taking up time and resources that can be better utilised elsewhere.

Check Michael’s blog Michael Rosen Says … for more on this and other great topics around philanthropy, fundraising and the likes.



Youth Volunteers

With many people already involved in volunteering in New Zealand, an estimated third of the population volunteer each year, are we in the same situation as Britain with a large proportion of the remainder of the population not knowing where, how to start volunteering?

At a guess I’d think we’re in a different situation, we talk about needs in the community often, we see and hear stories about youth doing great things in the community almost everyday which could open the minds of other youth to look at how they might get into some form of volunteer work.

Schools get behind community events and needs, and it’s assumed that this is talked about in the classroom, and is likely to inspire students to look at continuing helping in the community after they leave school, perhaps while still at school if they’re able.

What is your experience, understanding of volunteering and youth involvement, do we need to encourage more youth involvement, do youth know where and how they can volunteer?

If we have a low rate of youth volunteers what can we do to encourage more to give time to organisations in the community?


Do you appreciate your staff?

I’ve often wondered if organizations let staff know when they’ve received positive feedback online.

Recently I tweeted about great phone service, that the person I spoke to was bubbly and her voice was a clear indicator that she thoroughly enjoys what she is doing. In the tweet I mentioned the company, who responded favourably.

But the company didn’t stop there – they sent an email to the person acknowledging the positive feedback – Impressive.

Now I’m wondering how many of you are letting your staff know that the work they are doing is appreciated.

All too often we hear staff saying “I don’t feel appreciated” ” … why do I bother … ” and the likes; why is this, simple – it’s because you’re not showing your appreciation. Is it because you feel your staff are being paid – what more do they want? Hope it’s not, but I do know organizations like this – and these have high staff turnovers, yet don’t look to see why.

If an organization wants to prosper, to have a happy, healthy and stable workforce simple acts of appreciation are a good place to start.

A thank you at the end of the day or week doesn’t cost anything, but can have huge results, the same too with passing on positive feedback when you get it. 

It will go a long way to improving staff morale. 

Are you thanking your staff – if not start now.

We’ll keep the lot – thank you

Some time ago I wrote this post for 101Fundraising, it caused quite a bit of conversation both on and offline – have look yourself and see what you think.

We’ll keep the lot – thank you



There has been recent news stories about charity collectors lately, some of these have reached the global ‘ear’ others have only been covered in the country of origin.


The latest to hit global news has been about ‘chuggers’, a quaint term for ‘charity muggers’. They’re the people out on the streets raising awareness, funds and subscriptions; who bail up people, use all manner of technique to ‘sell’ their story to the public.


This along with stories about contract charity collection companies who don’t pass on the full amount of the money raised. 


The contract companies have been known to retain all of the funds pledged through memberships, subscriptions, in the first year; only paying the charity it’s funds in the second year.


Both of these have the potential to give the sector a bad name.


It’s hard enough for organizations to gain support, to gain a loyal following and be able to deliver the services it’s set up to do. What organizations don’t need, at anytime, is further distraction from their core activities.  


Who’s at fault –  Is it the organizations, is it the external ‘partner’ or is it both?


Something all nonprofits should do is check who they are getting into bed with, who they are building alliances with.


A partnership, no matter the type – sponsor, collection agency, or other significant partner needs to be well thought out, due diligence is needed, and if these checks are not done then some of the blame when things go wrong (and they can go wrong) has to lay at the feet of the organization.


If an organization is unsure about any partnership, if there is any niggling doubt – then it is time to stop, take a breathe and look at the partnership. Revaluation before things get too far down the track is a lot easier, a lot messier and quite possibly a lot cheaper than – after the event.


What should you be looking out for, testimonials and recommendations from others is a good place to start, but you should also be looking a little deeper, have the people behind the organization (agency)  been involved in the field for a while or are they new to it, have they anything in their passed that rings alarms bells.

At the very least organizations should be using Google, their own personal contacts and doing some other more traditional checks to ensure that who they are partnering with has nothing to hide, that they have not been ‘investigated’ for running any scams or duping the giving public.


No organization should ever go into a partnership unless they have done their homework, would you?


Don’t let anyone you’re doing work with to raise funds for your organization keep the lot – no matter whether it’s for a month, a quarter or a year – it’s you’re money they’re raising.


View the original post and comments on 101Fundraising.org.



Make up of New Zealand Families

The Families Commission’s latest publication New Zealand Families Today: A brief demographic profileprovides a broad overview of the make-up of New Zealand families in 2011 which identifies trends over the past few decades.


Compiled by Dr Jeremy Robertson, the Commission’s Chief Research Analyst, it was launched at the Commission’s first lunchtime seminar in early August.


This brief demographic profile presents a broad overview of the make-up of the New Zealand family in 2011 and identifies trends over the past few decades.

The aim is to make available to the general public the latest information on New Zealand families, and in doing so, make them better informed of the diversity of family life. Historical studies of the family show that there has never been a period that might serve as the ‘norm’, as the nature of family relationships has changed throughout history.

To access the full report and more indepth information – click here