The heart of fundraising is relationships

Fundraising in New Zealand - taken from Charity Viewpoint 2016

October 2016

Fundraising is a necessary enterprise in New Zealand delivered by a well-intentioned and generous community. Fundraising isn’t undertaken to simply raise funds, it is undertaken to serve a cause.

Not only is our concern for good causes reflected in the number of charities registered (approx 27,000) but our altruism is reflected by the $1.5billion* raised though individual (voluntary) giving annually. This represents 55% of the $2.8billion of total giving in 2014 (including funds raised from trusts, foundations and business).

There appears to be a good deal of public misconception that charity fundraising should be done on a shoe-string with minimal cost by willing volunteers. Raffles and sausage sizzles with donated goods and prizes were once the only way to go. Unfortunately, these forms of fundraising will never raise the funding necessary for the charitable sector to meet client requirements. Professional techniques are required.

The Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) is the membership body that represents charities and professional fundraisers in New Zealand. FINZ promotes a holistic view to fundraising, with its members and proponents subscribing to a code of ethics, standards and best practices, and fundraising conducted with core values based on integrity, trust and respect for those who are engaged (donors) and supported (beneficiaries).

At the heart of fundraising is relationships. Fundraisers support and promote their organisation’s mission and connect this with their donors’ philanthropic visions. This connection requires planning, practice and passion on the part of the fundraiser to enable philanthropy to flourish.

Fundraising starts at the core

Institutional readiness for fundraising lays the foundation for success. A fundraising culture throughout the organisation, led by the board and CEO is fertile ground as fundraising cannot function apart from the organisation; its mission, goals, objectives and programme. Nor can it exist apart from a willingness of the trustees and senior management to be held accountable for all of the organisation’s actions. The development and articulation of this is the case for support, the general argument for why organisations deserve support.

Lifetime donor development

Causes are best served when donors and supporters are taken on a journey and there is no reason why this can’t be a lifetime of experiences and opportunities. The gift of giving and the pleasure derived from helping others, for both fundraisers and donors, is testament to the strength and devotion of the relationship and the benefit of the good work being performed for the good of others.

Fundraising practices take many forms

Fundraising is not just about raising money. It is a mechanism to establish and continue relationships, tell stories and enjoy experiences. From small beginnings, perhaps a letter in the mail asking for a donation, attending an event or the desire to leave a gift in your will, fundraising is a continuum of activity, planned with precision, and targeted and timed for maximum effect.

Fundraising is a rewarding career

Research and training are key components to a flourishing philanthropic culture. The Fundraising Institute of New Zealand invests heavily in both, working with partners in New Zealand and overseas providing the latest and best practices and understanding to New Zealand fundraisers. Successful fundraising doesn’t happen by chance. Those dedicated to the profession work long hours, continually up skill, seek higher qualifications and answer a calling. A career as a professional fundraiser is honourable and deserving of the recognition and support of FINZ and society. 

Read more about FINZ, membership and professional fundraising at


Fundraising practices include:

One off and regular giving – involving direct marketing (face to face, mail, digital, online, telemarketing and advertising)

Trusts and grants- seeking funds from gaming trusts, independent or family trusts, operating trust, energy trusts, government bodies and community foundations

Events – fundraising from a function designed to attract and involve people in an organisation or cause and includes peer to peer fundraising via online platforms

Capital campaigns / major gifts fundraising – seeking to secure major gifts for a specified project or a capital nature

Endowment fundraising – seeking to secure major gifts for a specified project or an endowment or perpetually-enduring nature

Bequests – seeking to secure pledges from individuals wishing to leave a gift in their will

Deferred giving – fundraising that focuses on securing pledges of gifts to be given at some time in the future

Goods in kind - seeking products or services that may be converted into cash or other productive activity / asset

Corporate support – seeking financial or inkind support including probono

Sponsorship – securing a commercial agreement whereby a company will pay for access to an organisation’s brand or other assets or support

Merchandising – the sale of goods for the purpose of generating net surplus to be applied to the charity’s charitable purpose

Membership – promoting a membership status design to generate revenue in return for defined privileges

Cause-related marketing – or charitable co-venture where defined products or services are branded, with funds being generated as a result of sales from association with the nominated organisation or cause

*Giving New Zealand – Philanthropic Funding 2014


Charity Viewpoint 2016 is a co-authored document between FINZ, Philanthropy NZ and Volunteering NZ.Click here to view the document as a PDF.

Sheridan Bruce was the acting CEO of FINZ between 2 May and 31 October 2016. Prior to that role she was the FINZ Education and Marketing Manager. 

The heart of fundraising is relationships

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