Buy One Give One

People do have more “respect” for businesses that give back, for business who support the community; CSR has been talked about for a long time now, and perhaps more so since continued rise of the use of social media.

I literally stumbled across “The rise and rise of corporate social responsibility” by Marnie Fleming of Parachute Digital and just had to share it in the hope it will further increase discussion. Discussion within businesses about how they can be further engaged in the giving process; as well as discussion within charities about how to connect with business.

The rise and rise of corporate social responsibility

There’s been a significant increase in the growth of ‘corporate social responsibility’ over the years. With more consumers than ever saying they would be willing to pay more for a product or be more loyal if they knew the products they purchase or providers they use are acting responsibly, whether it be how the products are sourced, to giving back to communities, they have a deep seated need for accountability and giving back in some way. And rightly so!

This makes us (the consumer) feel good about themselves, because they’re informed choices of ourselves. I get to spend my hard earned dollars, knowing they will be making a difference somewhere somehow. This also makes me want to shop at that company again (now I’m sticky).

Continue reading Marnie’s article here

Is there Competition in Sponsorships, Collaborations?

Something that I’ve been pondering (again) and something that was recently raised with me was the issue of whether you can have more than one sponsor for your organisation from the same “industry”?

I recall a few years ago when an organisation I was doing some work with had an approach from a professional service provider who wanted to get on board and help the organisation, but as there was already a sponsor from the same profession the CEO and Board were hesitant to accept the offer.

The company made several calls, sent numerous emails and eventually they were invited in for a meeting to further discuss what they wanted to offer; when it was suggested to them that their “competitor” was already a sponsor, all eyes lit up. Not the charity’s, but the reps from the business. They could see an opportunity, not selfishly, just an opportunity that could work toward something more favourable for the charity.

Eventually the company’s offer of support was accepted and they produced a great service offering to the charity and those who were benefiting from the work of the services provided by the charity – it was a win win.

A further win was when the two “competing” companies met at a black tie dinner and discussed how they could work together to further enhance the work of the charity.

They started working together to build on the work of the charity, they developed a new funding model and – they laid down a challenge to one another, an annual sports challenge between the two companies. This raised significant funds for the charity, raised morale within the two companies and created other opportunities.

So, to cut a long story short, don’t shut the door on an offer of support until you have sat and carefully looked at the offer from all angles. There’s more than likely positives to come from having “competition” in your sponsorship ranks.

The week in Review (Jan 30)

Have decided that at the end of each week I will do a review of some of the posts I written; just so as those who may have missed something get a chance to read and an opportunity for others to have a second read.

So this week I have touched on:

Are you Prepared to Collaborate?

There’s an abundance of non  profits in New Zealand, something on the lines of 26,000 registered charities, organisations could face support, funding and delivery issues unless there’s more collaboration.

Unless organisations collaborate there is a risk some organisations will cease to exist. There’s only so much people can give, both individuals, business and funding bodies; so just on a funding basis collaboration is needed.

Read more

Are You Singing from the same song sheet

The management, more than anyone in an organisation knows, or should know, what the goals, vision, mission of the organisation are; but is this being shared with all staff, particularly those on the frontline?

It seems that some organisations have a diconnect when it comes to sharing key information with staff, leaving staff to wonder what is happening, where they are in the organisation and how they can confidently do their work.

Read more

Handing over the Reins

It’s interesting to see organisations grow from being something started at a kitchen table, to something substantial.
In growing though there is always a need to bring in others with more expertise, more experience; but in doing so there is fear of the loss of control.

I recall reading about a charity, I think in the States, where the founder who took on a manger; but with the charity operating in an adjacent building to where the founder lived, he would turn up everyday and staff were unsure as to who they should be listening to the new manager or the founder.

Read more

Giving is like Sex

I guess that got your attention.

There’s been numerous studies as to why people give and the effects of giving on those who give.

A recent post I read ”Should you give?” has some great insights into what happens when people give, the effects of giving on the brain, body and soul.

Read more

Charity Events, Plan, Plan and Plan Some More

The pitfalls I hear you say. It’s true not all charity events run smoothly, there can be numerous hiccups on the way to staging an event.

Getting passed these can be a struggle, but you can get passed them.

When it comes to an event, an organisation can spend months planning what they will do, why they will do it and promote, then stage the event. It’s something that can create a lot of stress and frustration.

Read more

What Millennials Want to Know

Gaining support from millennials is important, and yes, they do want to support organisations; it’s just how you go about it that matters.

I’ve recently spent some time with a group of 17 to 26 years olds talking about charities and how people connect with them and how charities work to connect with supporters. Some great insights for me, and I’m glad I had the opportunity.

One thing that came across loud and clear, was the need for great storytelling, not meanigless information, muddled stats, but real stories about the people, the cause that the organisation is working to help.

Read more

They’re peeved off, now what

Why is it that some in the charity sector don’t know how to handle donors who maybe annoyed with you, donors who may feel you’re not deliverying on what you say you will do.

It’s not rocket science, dealing with disgruntled donors is and should be treated in the same was as businesses would deal with disgrutled customers. Simple, customer service skills are needed.

Read more

Something I would be keen to hear is – what would you like to see me blog about; what issues, challenges or general areas of discussion would you like to see me cover on

You can email me with any thoughts, ideas …

Are you Prepared to Collaborate?

There’s an abundance of non  profits in New Zealand, something on the lines of 26,000 registered charities, organisations could face support, funding and delivery issues unless there’s more collaboration.

Unless organisations collaborate there is a risk some organisations will cease to exist. There’s only so much people can give, both individuals, business and funding bodies; so just on a funding basis collaboration is needed.

I recall somewhere seeing a stat that there’s something like 170 or so people for every charity in the country (New Zealand). This would suggest that they way charities operate as standalone entities probably isn’t sustainable indefinitely.

If organisations with similar missions, clients, beneficiaries worked alongside one another, looked at merging or simply worked collaborately there would be shared resources, reduced costs, taking some of the financial risks away.

But, collaboration would also allow for people of like minds to share experiences, offer guidance and perhaps become mentors for others less experienced in the non profit space; all of which would help with the sustainability of non profits.

As anyone in the non profit sector knows funding is one of the biggest challenges beng faced by many organisations and, with collaboration, rationalisation of organisations their is likely to be organisations looking to either downsize or close.

I’ve talked before about the struggle for funding, the Mr and Mrs Public are looking at their giving, grants and other funding is competitive, so organisations are needing to look at other income sources.

If organisations collaborated, shared space it would allow for funds to be directed to the services being provided, instead of being abosorbed in running costs. The more money that can be saved from adminstrative, operational costs means more can be done to help those that organisations are established to help.

Would your organisation benefit from working closer with others doing the same or similar activities as you?

Imagine a win-win, where resources were shared, ideas shared, where you could learn from one another, and at the same time have reduced overheads. Wouldn’t this benefit everyone, you and those you’re established to help?

What would have to happen for your organisation to collaborate and look at merging with another?

We can all help make a difference

On Sunday I spotted a post on Facebook asking people of the could help make Christmas brighter for people in need, by helping the Auckland City Mission.

As we all know not everyine has it easy at this time of year, the rent, phone, power still needs to he paid. Add to this the added needs of having children home from school, an expectation of Christmas presents, and families struggle.

In comes the Mission to offer what they can to help alleviate some of the added burden, but they can’t do it on their own, we need to help them.

And this is where the post I saw was aiming to help make it easier for the Mission and thier clients.

A simple request, essentially asking people to give what they could and a trip would be made to the supermarket to get items the Mission needed for their food parcels.

Well, it was a huge success, a read of how it unfolded, and while reading imagine if we all did something like this to help make the lives of others that little bit easier.

One Facebook Post Helps Over Thirty Families in Need

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m doing what many others are: Making a coffee, and browsing through Facebook.

In sharp contrast to the usual mundane nature of such things, a very special post appeared in my feed… An example of what one person putting the word out can achieve.

Earlier in the week, Reporter Megan Schoultz (NZ Herald) had written about The Auckland City Mission, and it’s challenges in coping with the demand from struggling kiwis, Nathan Elder saw for himself the shocking queues  made by the families in need, as he passed the Hobson St. drop-in centre last Thursday.

Read the full story here

Next time you see people asking if you can help, will you?

To Collaborate or Not

With the abundance of charities in New Zealand, with many working in the same area, providing the same or similar services, should more be collaborating?

Perhaps organisations can work with each other more to not only potentially deliver more services, to more people, but in doing so help reduce each others overheads.

There are situations where organisations will work with each other to avoid a clash of appeal timing and, yes, there are sector bodies who oversee and help co-ordinate certain public appeals; but could more be done?

If more organisations worked closer together the sector itself perhaps might be in a better shape, supporters may feel their support, their funds are being used in a better way.

I’ve spoken with some in the sector who think they would be in better position if they collaborated more but, they’re reluctant to pursue it as they fear losing control of their organisation, that they may lose public appeal for what they are doing. This can likely be easily allayed by having at the outset of any collaborative endeavour organisations simply have to have ground rules to which they agree and will stick to.

Often organisations struggle to source information, gain participation and shift public perception of an issue; often expending vast sums of money, on things other organisations are also trying to do; through collaboration this can be avoided, and focus can go back to the core activities of organisations.

One area where organization can be better of through collaboration is the sharing of skills, experience and administrative tasks; imagine if you had a few organisation working together in a single space; they could not only share skills but the expense of the admin and related overheads, leaving more funds available to carry-out the work they are there to do.

Look at how places have been established for business to share space, equipment at overhead costs, this has enabled them to grow and share knowledge. If commercial entities can do it, why can’t organisations in the charitable sector?

I’ve often quoted something a manager of mine told me years ago “competition without out opposition” – and that’s what collaboration can be.

Would, or does your organisation collaborate with others in the sector, if so how has this enabled you to better carry out the work you do, have you seen any improvements in the quality of your service offering?

If you support charities, would you like to see more collaboration between organisations, particularly those working in the same space?

Business Partnerships

When looking at business support, sponsorship or any other form of “partnership” – remember it’s that, a partnership.

This article from Rob Wu on the The CauseVox Blog makes for interesting reading, and has some great pointers.
Working with Partners & Brands

There’s power in partnerships.

When you work together, you can create something bigger and more successful than if you just worked alone.

Let’s find out the two major types of partnerships that you should be leveraging.

Two types of partners

Resource partners

Resource partners are those who can provide the resources necessary for your fundraising campaign. Typically resource partners are companies, foundations, and major donors.

Common examples of resource partners can include…

Promotion partners

Promotion partners are those who can help you raise awareness. This helps you reach new networks of potential supporters and donors.  Typically promotion partners are companies and brands.

Common examples of promotion partners can include…

  • Point of sale donation
  • Website advertising
  • Google Adwords for nonprofits

Read full post here

Executive Success: Company oils wheels of charity

When the charity her business was supporting kept emailing to ask who she was, Sarah Townsend knew it was time to make some changes.

Townsend loved the ethos behind the environmental charity 1% for the Planet, which seemed to be a natural fit for The Aromatherapy Company, the home fragrance brand she co-founded 25 years ago.

But to the well-resourced New York organisation, The Aromatherapy Company was just a very small dot in a very big world, says Townsend.

“I think they do a fantastic job but they didn’t even know who we were or what we were doing so I just sort of felt that really we could manage the 1 per cent better within our own community.” She looked around for a local equivalent, but struggled to find a strong organisation with good infrastructure that wasn’t already well supported.

Read full article on NZHerald

Collaboration is Needed

It’ s often been said that charities, those in the not for profit sector need to work together, that there should be more collaboration between organisations.

Some figures suggest that there is about 170-odd people for every charity in New Zealand; that’s a staggering ration.

Who would, could collaborate; the simple way of looking at this would be those organisations that are like minded, those who share a common visions, geographical location could also be taken into account. Don’t forget that those organisation sharing a common beneficiary could perhaps work better if they worked together.

With a number of organisations working in similar areas, with similar needs unless there is some form of collaboration the potential is there for some of organisations to cease to exist. The charity “market” is no different to any other market – it’s supply and demand; in the charity sector the “supply” could relate to funding.

Annual street appeals, envelope collections, tele-fundraising campaigns and the like are only some of the ways organisations gain the funds they need to do their work. Most organisations would also be applying for grants, and many “like” organisations would be competing for the same dollar.

This competition for funding is making it harder for organisations to gain the funding required to do the work they’re committed to do; and this has the potential to only get worse.

Already organisations are having to look for other income avenues in order to survive.

But funding is only one area that could benefit organisations who collaborate.

Organisations who collaborate will have opportunities to share stories, ideas, this would help each other gain further insights into the work they do, the “market” and much more … a win all round.

Do you have stories of organisations who are collaborating, how did they start their collaboration – what do the collaborate on, please share your insights.