Virtual is the future of fundraising in a post Covid-19 world

Every year Kiwis give $1.5bn to NZ charities – Guillaume Dehan

How are charities suppose to raise funds when businesses are reeling under the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, is a question that not-for-profit organisations have been wrestling with.

With economists predicting that full economic recovery post Covid-19 will take years, local charities and non-profit organisations are deeply concerned about fundraising or tapping into businesses that earlier supported them.

In a recent Zoom webinar hosted by Auckland North Community Development, Therese Lanigan-Behrent   consultant for organisations with a social conscience provided the much-needed relief by offering funding options for managers, trustees and fundraisers who work for not-for-profit organisations and local community groups.

Talking about the current streams of grant funding that have not dried up, she said that Community Trust Foundation North ( is “carrying on as normal”.

Other options worth tapping into include Creative NZ Funding ( that gives resilience and short-term grants; Community Organisation Grants Scheme ( and Trustee companies like Perpetual Guardian (

“Other pro-bon support partners could be Help Tank ( and Lets Collaborate ( as well as free online one-on-one clinics for charities that help draft funding applications like”

Fundraising in the near future will be about online presence with auction fundraisers, virtual quiz fundraisers and crowdfunding campaigns, Lanigan-Behrent said.

The Let’s not Forget virtual campaign by the RSA following the cancellation of Anzac day services is an example of how options for fundraising have changed. Photo supplied

Giving an example of the recent RSA-initiated poppy replacement project with give-a-little page donations, she mentioned that bucket collections may take a while to come back.

A break-up of the philanthropic giving in New Zealand shows that that bequests, crowdfunding, one-off donations and regular giving constitutes 58 per cent of giving.

Funding from grants is a close second at 27 per cent— it includes gaming trusts, trustee companies, family and individual trusts, NZ Lottery grants, community trusts, energy trusts, licensing trusts, community foundations, corporate foundations, government contracts, Local Board and Auckland Council.

Interestingly, business giving comes a third at 15 per cent. It involves sponsorships, cause related marketing and payroll giving.

Other streams of fund raising include special events that vary from street appeals, nominated charity event, virtual events, community events, social enterprise, sales service and merchandise.

Another eye-opening conversation was initiated by Guillaume Dehan of Fund a Future as he revealed that nearly half of all donations made to New Zealand charities are left unclaimed.

“Did you know that donations to ChildFund are eligible for a 33.33 per cent tax rebate from Inland Revenue?

“If you think it’s not worth the effort to claim your donation tax rebate, you’re not alone. Most donors find it a painful process to get a rebate on a $30 donation to submit their charity donation receipts each year. That’s millions of dollars that could be used to make a difference.

“Every year Kiwis give $1.5bn to NZ charities out of which around $257 million is claimed; $216m is unclaimed.”

Speaking of upcycling donations he said that Fund a Future helps individuals to get a tax rebate on donations which are then gifted to charities of their choice.”

Dehan ended saying they optimise the payment of donation rebates –with a charitable edge, thus helping people’s donations to go further.