As you probably know I enjoy reading articles, tips and hints from Market Smart, so here’s another one – I’m sure you’ll gain some insights from this.



Every nonprofit organization needs more of two things: time and money. Okay, every organization (nonprofit or for-profit) could use more of those two resources. Hey, now that I think about, I could use more of those two myself…

Time and money are the most valuable resources in the world, and for nonprofits the impact of having more of either can be immeasurable. Of course, time is finite — we all are limited to just 24 hours in a day, but money (funding) is theoretically uncapped, and having more of it generally equates to having a larger impact on the world. That’s not to say that uncovering efficiencies, prioritizing activities, and increasing productivity are all for naught (they aren’t), it simply means that “saving time” plays a direct role in increasing funding. If I’m more efficient, I can raise more money.

Fundraising professionals power the financial engine that sustains millions of nonprofits across the globe, but they all face one common question: how do we raise more money? Of course such a broad question can’t be addressed in a blog post, nor should it be. Increasing the “growth in giving” is an issue worthy of industry boards and committees, not blog posts or ad hoc analysis.

Yet, as with most things, there is one simple answer to this question that can have a resounding impact and actually make a substantial difference on your funds raised. Yes, the answer to the “how do we raise more money?” question is incredibly complex, but no that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do today to affect it.

Let’s start with a universal truth; there are only three ways to raise more money. Now, before you scroll to the comment section of this page and begin typing your, “there are more than three ways to raise money, bozo!” comment, please bear with me.

Any organization, nonprofit or for-profit has only three ways to increase the amount money they receive. They could:

  1. Acquire new donors/customers
  2. Retain existing donors/customers
  3. Monetize their donors/customers

It’s really that simple.

I’ve appended “/customers” to each of the three strategies above for a reason. As you continue reading this blog post we’ll address each strategy with both a nonprofit example and a for-profit example. You’ll quickly realize that for-profit companies are employing each of these three strategies on you every day.


Keep reading here

Philanthropy – Truly Selfless or Not?

Great article in Idealog magazine recently, and had to share it here.

Should philanthropy be truly selfless?
Opinion: At a time when our daily news is full of stories about communities in need, the international impact of the refugee crises, and child poverty closer to home, why are businesses giving less?

Philanthropy New Zealand’s recent report, Giving New Zealand: Philanthropic Funding 2014, shows that corporate philanthropy is down, suggesting kiwi businesses simply aren’t as generous as they were. The Harvard Business Review was saying the same thing about US corporates almost 15 years ago.

At a time when our daily news is full of stories about communities in need, the international impact of the refugee crises, and child poverty closer to home, why are businesses giving less?

In 2002, in the Harvard Business Review, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer put it down to executives finding themselves in “no-win” situations; “caught between critics demanding ever higher levels of corporate social responsibility and investors applying relentless pressure to maximize short-term profits.” They claimed that “justifying charitable expenditure” was becoming near impossible.

Read the full article on Idealog

A: Hell Yes

If that’s the answer, what’s the question – simple “Are Kiwis Givers”.

With over 2.9 billion dollars (2011) given to charities in New Zealand that puts us almost at the top of the global giving index.

This isn’t a small feat for a country the size of New Zealand, the only countries ahead of us in the global giving index are, England, Australia and the USA.

Individual giving is high, but there is also philanthropic trust giving, and anyone who saw Seven Sharp recently would see that Philanthropy New Zealand and trusts like the Todd Foundation are doing extremely well to help causes throughout the country.

Watch the Seven Sharp piece here

But, it’s individual giving that is, and I believe will remain the mainstay of charitable giving in New Zealand.

What are your thoughts?

Don’t ignore the power of women

If you’re looking for support, looking for a group to help you grow, help you raise awareness and funds you can’t ignore the power of women.

This article from Reuters shows the power, the influence that women philanthropists have .. you can’t afford not to grow these connections.

(Reuters) – When feminist writer Courtney Martin wanted to raise money to fund research into the future of online feminism, it made sense to turn to other women for funding.

She called in Jacquelyn Zehner, chief executive of Women Moving Millions, a philanthropic organization made up primarily of women who have donated at least $1 million each to women’s causes. Zehner arranged for a conference call with a small group of wealthy women and Martin this spring.

“They responded immediately and enthusiastically,” said Martin. In a month, this audience raised $24,000 to fund the research. For Martin, it was a satisfying and natural extension of some of her earlier activities. In 2006, she created The Secret Society for Creative Philanthropy, an annual gathering that began with a gift of $100 each to 10 friends, with instructions to give it away and then tell how.

Welcome to the world of female philanthropy – it’s not your father’s United Way. “Women are taking ownership,” said Andrea Pactor, associate director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University, which has found that female-headed households are more likely to give to charity than male-headed households; and that in nearly all income groups women give more than men.

Read the full story here – then think about your organization and how you might be able to connect with women to improve your needs.

Are you taping into the right people, how are you doing it – please share your thoughts/comments.



Make $$$ and embrace philanthropy

Always good to see how business can connect and assist in the community – this article that featured in the February (2012) issue of NZ Management – has some insights that need further exploring by both business and the those working in the non-profit/charity sectors.

How can you use what this article covers to help you in your work?

NZ Management has great articles on business and other topics that have value for those working in the nonprofit/charity sector; if you haven’t seen a recent copy – check out some of the articles on NZ Management.

Reproduced with permission of NZ Management

Charity Fatigue


Over the last while I’ve talked about help still being needed by the charities people normally support when natural or human disasters occur and our giving is redirected to an urgent appeal.

In the NZHerald today, Diana Clement very much about this same subject in her piece Massive disasters spur Kiwis’ generosity

As a country New Zealand is 1st equal with Australia in the World Giving Index, we are a nation of givers; if there’s a need, we find a way to help.

But, there can be a downside for organisations; their traditional supporters can start to suffer “charity fatigue” – and are torn between who, what and where to give. They feel that they’re being approached on all fronts to give, give and give some more.

Supporters can’t always be expected to give, we need to realise that their attention will likely be drawn to a disaster and they’ll give to that, perhaps forgoing their usual giving to your organisation. As I said in Ongoing Support is Needed, organisations need to let their supporters know they understand.

We all know that Charities are always struggling to raise money, any disaster is an added challenge they face, and any organisation needs to know how they’ll face that challenge, what contingencies they might need to put in place. They can’t exactly rely on Income Protection Insurance – they must rely on the public and business to be generous, to be able to give what and when they can.

To quote the Diana Clement article    

“If history repeats itself, we will return to giving to our usual charities once the urgency of the Christchurch and Japanese earthquakes passes, says Trevor Garrett, chief executive of the Charities Commission. After an emergency such as Christchurch, there is an emotional pull to try to support victims.

“Then over a period of time you perhaps move back to your normal way of doing things,” he says.

What Trevor Garrett says is true, supporters will be drawn to help, and will come back to their usual giving patterns, but organisations should still have plans in place in the eventuality that supporters stay away; a small percentage are likely to.

It’s really a time now to get plan how you’re going to keep your name out there, to ensure you show how your supporters are helping, what other ways people can help – and to look for new avenues of funding.

Get out and about, make yourself seen, talk to business, school and community groups. Engage with your community, it doesn’t matter how you do this, the important thing is that you do it.

When was the last time you approached service organisations to come along and talk to their members about the work you do, the likes of Rotary, Lions, Zonta and many more often welcome guests from local community and charity groups. It’s a great way to meet and talk with people who care about what’s happening, it’s also a great way to potentially tap into another vein of funding.

There’s manner of ways you can look for support to help you through a ‘slow’ period in giving – check Getting your message across and Getting a Younger Generation On-board With Your NPO on SocializeYourCause and 101Fundraising for more ideas.

Don’t forget regular ways people can give, direct debit, loyalty programmes, and of course there’s payroll giving – and I like the way Diana Clement refers to it in her article:

“Even better, say charities, sign up for payroll giving. This way a regular amount is taken from each pay packet. From the charities’ perspective it’s an intravenous line into your wallet. “

Whatever your plans are, make sure you at least have a plan – get your committee, board or trustees together and have a brainstorm about how you’re going to weather any decline in supporter giving.

As an organisation what are you going to do? Many organisations are in the same position, it doesn’t hurt to offer support and advice to others in your sector – share any ideas you have hear; I’m sure other readers would like to know.

© Henrischmit |

There’s more than one option

A while ago I wrote Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but after some discussions over the last few days about charity requests I thought I’d take a look at it from charity perspective.

Charities and others seeking support, putting their hand out for donations could be missing out on opportunities by not offering an alternative way people can help.

Recently I heard of a non-profit group seeking support, they rattled their buckets; and were surprised that very few people dug into their pocket to help. They even said things like “people were ok to continue drinking”, “they were still spending in shops”. Sure this can be frustrating for collectors; and perhaps they’re right in a way to question why people aren’t giving.

There could be all sorts of reasons why people didn’t throw money in the bucket; was it a cause they support? Was the message of why support was needed clear? Perhaps it was even the way the approach was made.

Whatever the reason, some organisations seeking support are cutting off people who might be able to help in other ways.

Perhaps what organisations could do is to have an information card, something simple, it doesn’t need to be a multipage document; a double sided business card would do the trick. These “cards” could be given to people who can’t help on the day.

What would the card say? First off it should restate, and reinforce the message of what the organisation does, the benefits of supporting it. And it should also offer other ways people can help.

What other ways can people help? They could be invited to help spread your message, they could be asked if they have a product that could be donated to an auction, they could be asked if they have a skill that could be offered to the organisation; or they could be asked to volunteer.

Really the ways in which people can be asked to help are only limited by the imagination of the organisation and the willingness of the organisation to offer alternatives.

No organisation can rely solely on people dipping into their pockets, imagination is needed to work out other ways people can help.


Fundraising – Know Your Donor


To quote from “Understanding Fundraising” (Michael Norton, HarperCollins, 2007) …

Fundraising is about selling people the idea that something can be done, and then creating a partnership in which they (the donor) provide the means and you (the activist) do all the work to make things happen.

How many people who seek funding, whether for the organisation they’re employed by, or those who have a cause close to their heart they want to gain further support for go into the task without being prepared?

What you’re aiming to do (please don’t use “trying” – it’s too loose) is to gain support for your organisation, so know what your needs are, know what your potential supporter needs to know to make an informed decision, and you simply must know who benefits and how they benefit.

All too often I’ve heard fundraiser talk about what the organisation needs in the way of money, but they’re not up to the play when it comes to know who will benefit, nor do they know anything about who their potential donor is.

Do you know who really benefits from the work of your organisation? their family, other students at their school, work colleagues; the list of wider benefit goes on. Somewhere among your list of people who benefit, from the immediate, to those that are 6 degrees separated.

Your donor base needs sorting, you need to know things about them; such as:

Where do they live?

Where do they work?

What are their interests?

What age are they?

Every bit of information you have about your current donor, supporter, will help you tap into your potential donor easier. Your current donors will know people that mirror themselves, use (but don’t abuse) your current donor to ‘introduce’ you to new donors.

Sure you can cast the net wide, make more telephone calls, send out more envelopes/letters/emails or knock on more doors; but wouldn’t it be more effective to know who and where your donors are?

Every extra cent you spend contacting your donor, the less you have to spend on the core activity of your organisation.

Take some time out to research your donor, even hold some informal get togethers of donors to get more information from them; perhaps even asking them to help you connect with their friends, family and colleagues that have a similar ‘make-up’.

Whatever, remember:

Fundraising is about selling people the idea that something can be done, and then creating a partnership in which they (the donor) provide the means and you (the activist) do all the work to make things happen.

So, know and your target donor, to enable partnerships to be created, allowing you to get on with the work to make things happen.



© Melissa Schalke |

A Coffee a week for Charity (incl. Update)


After seeing and hearing about people slowing down their giving when times get tough, I wondered what would be the outcome if we were to give up one coffee a week for charity – just how much would be able to be given at the end of a year.


Why did I think of coffee? Easy really, some people think about purchases by how many coffees or beers it is ‘worth’, how many they’d have to forgo to make the purchase. Think of it this was, if something costs $100.00, it’s about 27 coffees, or 12.5 Heinekens. So why not look at charity giving in the same way.


So, after polling 80 people and receiving responses from 62 of these, which showed they consumed on average 6 coffees a week at cafes, restaurants or other establishments. A spend of about $1,372, I thought lets see what could be done if we gave a coffee a week to charity.


Based on NZ coffee prices; where a flat white sells for about $3.50; the average coffee consumed was worked out at being $3.70. Given this, if we gave up one coffee, or donated the equivalent to one coffee a week we each would be able to donate $185 each year to charity.


Weekly contributions to charity could look something like this:




Coffee Price



















Annual contributions to charity could look something like this:




Coffee Price

Charity Contribution


















Imagine if this was matched dollar for dollar by a coffee house!!!


Perhaps we could organise a coffee-a-thon, with all funds going to one cause; this could be managed through an organisation such as FundraiseOnline, who would ensure funds went direct to the selected charity.


Choosing the charity could be a task in itself, but worth the effort.


Food for thought, well in this case Coffee for thought, or a thoughtful coffee; take your pick.


If you’re keen to get involved in something like this let me know, leave a comment below or email me





Since posting this several cafes, coffee merchants from New Zealand, Australia, UK and the USA have made contact to discuss how they may be able to initiate something like this in their area.


This matches what the intention of the post was, to open minds to other ways of assisting people in the community and to also inspire companies to implement it where possible.


Fingers crossed we will see some progress on this in the coming year.


Originally posted on AdageBusiness blog 


Why Charity Matters?

People who know me will know how passionate I am about charities and groups working in the community, the help they need and we can give.

So I thought it time to have a dedicated blog to share tips, stories and more about what we can do to help charities and others in the non-profit sector, and how those working in these sectors could help themselves.

I’ll be posting from personal experience, tips and tricks from others; as well as stories about specific charities.

If you work with a charity or non-profit and have something you’d like to share, let me know and if it fits this blog I’ll include something about it in a future post. Likewise, if you support a charity or non-profit and want to share a story about why you help, I’ll look at including it in a post too.

I should start out too by saying there are a number groups and others working within the sector I support, these include the likes of

Koru Care NZ

Southern Stars Charitable Trust

Oxfam NZ

World Vision

Radio Lollipop

Ronald McDonald House – Auckland

Mercy Hospice Auckland

Burn Support Group Charitable Trust


Others working in the community to help the sector that I support or have/do work with include:



Photographers for Charity

Socialize Your Cause

Fundraising Institute of New Zealand

I’ve  started putting together a  list of topics I’ll post on, including:

  • Payroll Giving in New Zealand
  • Coffee for charity – interest in this has grown substantially since I originally posted this on my AdageBusiness blog
  • Gift Giving – giving a gift of time, money or product to help a group in the community
  • Bequests
  • Gaining and Retaining Supporters
  • Tapping into the youth sector for support


Hope you’ll keep an eye on this blog, and I look forward to hearing your comment on posts.


p.s do check out The Charity and Philanthropy Daily and if you’re not already follow me on Twitter