Green Party – Child Poverty Fundraising

When I received an email from the Green Party asking for support to help end child poverty I first thought what a great idea that the Party had set up a campaign to help, but looking further into the ‘campaign’, I like others, see it as nothing more than a general campaign to raise funds for the Party.

The email talks about child poverty and the need to reduce this, there’s no arguing here on that score, but the email is really only a way for the Party to raise funds for their campaign – It says “We need your support to run a strong campaign that will radically reduce child poverty in New Zealand.”

What does the email say? – Here’s the full text:


Kia ora Graham

Here is your opportunity to help the Green Party create practical and effective solutions to New Zealand’s Child Poverty crisis.

Child poverty in New Zealand has 270,000 young faces. 

That’s the official figure of those growing up in poverty. It’s a quarter of our nation’s children.

These are the kids with no school lunch, too hungry to learn. The kids struggling with asthma from living in cold, damp homes. The kids turning up at A&E suffering from Rheumatic Fever and other entirely preventable diseases.

It’s a national scandal, and it needn’t be so.

It is estimated that child poverty costs the country between $6-8 billion dollars every year in lost education opportunities, illness and preventable crime. But it costs us much more than that: it is destroying the hopes, dreams and potential of a whole section of our future generations.

Every child deserves a good life and a fair future. That’s why the Green Party has launched the Take the Step Campaign with the aim of radically reducing child poverty in New Zealand, and we need your donation to help make it a success.

Click here to make a donation now.

We know that this is a Campaign where success will take a long period of concerted and committed effort.

It demands that the Government takes action now to effectively tackle child poverty. The first step is to win support for our Member’s Bill to create a child payment for all low income families, whether in work or not. In doing we will have begun the process of ensuring that New Zealand can become a great place to grow up for every child.

This is just the start. We need your support to run a strong campaign that will radically reduce child poverty in New Zealand.

Click here to make a donation now.

Help us get more people advocating for children in poverty among the decision-makers, and to print and post the facts, figures and solutions – so our childrens’ plight is understood more widely than ever before.

I hope I can count on your donation of $25, $50 or whatever you can afford.

We can’t turn away from New Zealand’s children in poverty, and we can’t simply write off those children as somebody else’s problem. And we won’t.

Let’s get stuck in and help them, together.

Please donate now.

Kia kaha

Metiria Turei

Green Party Co-leader


When you click the “Donate” link, it takes you direct to a donation page, with no real specifics about the funds and how they’ll be allocated, other than saying “Every child deserves a good life and a fair future. That’s why the Green Party has launched the Take a Step Campaign with the aim of radically reducing child poverty in New Zealand, and we need your donation to help make it a success.”

Nowhere on the donation page can I see that the funds will be tagged specifically for this, there’s no assurance that the funds will not be used for other purposes.

Anyone doing any form of fundraising needs to ensure that they are clear on what the money raised will be used for, how it will be managed and used.

The Green Party would do better with their campaign if they were more specific and perhaps had a separate donation vehicle other than their ‘general’ donate now option.

People will give to a cause if those raising funds are specific about where and how money raised will be managed, than give money that would appear to go into a ‘general’ account.  

It seems the Green Party may have missed an opportunity here, and it’s possible that this campaign could have a negative effect on other raising awareness and funds to help in the area of child poverty.


Board Meetings – When do You Hold Them?

Having attended many charity board meetings I find myself astounded by what could be a lack of commitment from board members to attend.

Sure, many board members are volunteers and have other commitments, but isn’t their offer to assist a commitment to the cause?

Most board or other charity meetings I attend are either held after normal business hours, nights or weekend, which, yes does cut into people’s personal time, is there a better time for these meetings?

Today I’m off to a board meeting that I’ve suggested be held in the morning rather than the tail-end of the day. There’s a few reasons for this:
  • People attending meetings at the end of the day may not have full focus on the meeting, they could be distracted from what has taken place during their day
  • It’s a kick starter to everyone’s day, people attending will hopefully leave the meeting revved up for a productive day
  • Tiredness, who has their full wits about them at the end of the day – most people want to get home and put their feet up, morning meetings could see a more energised meeting
  • Staff attending the meeting will have the opportunity to (almost immediately) get started on things that may come out of the meeting
All up, I’m hoping that the attendance at the meeting will be higher than normal – I’m aiming for 80% attendance, the last board meeting held at night that I attended had less than 50% attendance. 

When do you hold your board meetings?
What is the attendance like?
Have you ‘canvassed’ board members for a more suitable time?

Public trust and confidence in charities – survey results

The following is from the Charities Commission

Earlier this year, the (former) Charities Commission asked an external research agency, UMR, to measure public trust and confidence in charities.  Similar surveys were run in 2008 and 2010.  You can read the full results (and earlier survey results) on our website, but here is a summary of what UMR found, and how they ran the survey:

·         Online “opt-in” survey

·         2,000 respondents

·         Run late March ̶early April 2012

·         Data weighted by age, gender and region

·         Margin of error 2.2%


Trust and confidence in charities
The survey found that 44% of respondents had a high level of trust and confidence in charities, down by 11% since 2010, and 14% since 2008.

Publicity about charities’ fundraising and easier access to information about charities is likely to have influenced public perceptions about charities.  Views may also have been influenced by the economic climate, and a shift in support to organisations working to assist recovery in Christchurch. 

Personal experiences with charities a key driver of trust
Respondent’s personal experiences of charities were overwhelmingly positive. 

Ninety-two per cent of respondents who had received services from a charity in the previous twelve months said they would trust the charity again in the future, 90% said they had been treated fairly by the charity, and 88% said they would support it in the future.

Donation levels
The number of people reporting they donated more than $250 in the 12 months leading up to the survey increased to 34%, up from 32% in 2010, and 26% in 2008.

Respondents said that what most influenced them to donate to a charity was that:  “They work towards an end cause that is important to me.”

NOTE: Data from the Charities Register shows that over the past three calendar years, donations and koha given to the 25,500 registered charities have risen and fallen again, from $868m in 2009, to $1.03b in 2010, then to $885m in 2011.

Involvement with charities
Respondents said they were most commonly involved with “culture and recreation organisations such as arts, culture and sports clubs”, with 40% of saying they were involved with this type of organisation, up from 32% in 2010, and 35% in 2008.

The general type of organisation to which respondents were most likely to donate has shifted during the last 12 months to those providing services and support to Christchurch (47%).  Support for every other type of organisation has declined in favour of these charities. 

Street collections most favoured way of donating
The most common way of donating is still through street collections (51%), although this method also showed a decrease of 6% since the previous survey.

Awareness of the Charities Register as a source of info about charities
The survey showed a significant increase in public awareness of the former Charities Commission (up from 57% in 2008, to 80% in 2012), and that awareness of the Charities Registration Number had increased from 28% in 2008 to 41% in 2012.



Businesses want to connect with and support causes in the community, how they go about it and how organizations can help are many and varied, so before adopting a cause businesses should communicate with their staff and get thier input and buy-in.

There’s more to be gained from involving staff in the decision making process than there is to lose. Staff should be asked what causes they’re interested in, what is close to their heart. And organizations can help here by telling their supporters that they’re available to come to their workplace to talk about the work of the organization. 

Talk to staff about causes they’re interested in or support already

When talking with staff about charity support, take the opportunity to talk about payroll giving

You don’t only have to give financially, you can give time, service, product

Invite organizations to talk to your staff, let them tell their story

Support organisations for the ‘right’ reasons – don’t do it to look good

How will you show your support for an organisation?

Remember it is for the good of the organization  you choose to support, so talk about them, they work they do –  it’s not about you, supporting community causes doesn’t give you bragging rights. Kaore te kumara e whaakii ana tana reki (the kumara (sweet potato) never talks about how sweet it is.)

Charity Alignment – Avoid The Tyson Effect

Controversy abounds over Mike Tyson and his on/off visit as a motivational speaker, should or shouldn’t he be allowed into the country is a decision only Immigration can really make – sure their decision could be overruled by the Minister of Immigration, as has happened already. I’m not going to get into the legal issues, or his right or otherwise to come here. 

Instead lets look at how charities need to be mindful of how they connect with others, what background checks they do, and what checks and balances they have in place for others working with or for an organisation who might put the welcome mat out to support an event.

Tyson’s visit to speak is being organized by a promoter and it would seem that a well meaning volunteer for an organization offered the welcome mat and further offered support by way of a letter supporter his application for a visitors visa; whether they had the right to send the letter is an internal matter, and one would hope rules and systems are being looked at to prevent anything like this happening again.

Sure, some would say his (Tyson’s) visit would benefit a charity, but what needs to be looked at is ‘alignment’ – does the person have the good character, morals to be associated? Forget about whether someone has served time or been punished in some way for what they have done in the past, what needs considering is whether supporters (present and future) will continue their support long after the event has been held and the money been banked.

It would seem in this case that the letter went out by an over zealous supporter, a volunteer Trustee, it would seem that the message from the governing board that they weren’t in support of the association didn’t get passed down the chain so that all who may have responsibilities for fundraising knew where the Trust stood.

If you’re a small, or a single location organization it’s a lot easier to manage things, but when you have branches, affiliate offices elsewhere that  have their own fundraising responsibilities it’s important that a clear fundraising guideline be in place.

Without a guideline people involved in promotion and fundraising can run amok – do you want your organization to be the next to hit the headlines over an over zealous supporter agreeing to something that your organization should perhaps steer clear of? If not, then dust off your internal procedures manual, flick to your communication and fundraising section and update it. If you don’t have a guideline now is the time to be thinking of putting on together – hop to it.