Many groups and organisations obtain support in forms other than money. Some large corporations will give support in kind if you are able to comply with certain basic conditions (eg that you are a community group). Local small businesses should not be overlooked - many would like to be able to help you if they know you are there. Some businesses publicly declare their support for community groups and offer it on a general basis (eg NZ Post), whereas others prefer to work with groups individually, and more privately. When starting to use a new supplier, it is worth asking whether they have special rates for your kind of group.
You may be able to share offices at a reduced rent, or find a chartered accountant who will work for you pro bono (that is, without charging a fee). Some groups have obtained free or low cost photocopying at the copy shop in town, or parts-only charges for vehicle maintenance from the local motor mechanic. The list of possibilities is endless!
One large expense when you set up your group, and as your group matures and grows, is the cost of computing equipment. The concept of responsible computer recycling is growing and you may be able to benefit from local projects. The Ark in Auckland, and PC Recycling Channel in Wellington may be able to advise you (the PC Recycling Channel is currently serving the South I sland as well as the lower North Island).
The Ark: PO Box 68-078, Auckland, Phone (09) 378-4980 E-mail: email@example.com Web: http://www.the-ark.co.nz/ PC Recycling Channel: PO Box 7306, Wellington, Phone 04-232 4285, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.pc-recycling.co.nz/
Rent is another significant cost to groups which want offices outside a staff member's house. District or City Councils sometimes have facilities you can use - talk it over with your Community Development Officer.
One activity that community groups sometimes feel they can't afford is staff training. The Ministry of Education makes community education resources available through schools - Community Education Centres make 15% of their hours available direct to community groups for adult learning, covering topics including: literacy/numeracy, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Maori language, training for volunteers and even for personal development. Contact your local school to find out your nearest Community Education Centre.
Some general points to consider:
- Funding in kind does not appear out of nowhere - do not be afraid to ask for it or seek it out.
- You should find out whether any reduced-cost good or service comes with a reduced warranty (this may affect whether you want to accept the offer).
- You may not wish to accept support from organisations that have a different philosophical standpoint from you.
- You may be asked to acknowledge support publicly. In addition, they may want to acknowledge their support of you in their material (which might raise your profile for you).
- You may be asked for something in return - a free copy of your newsletter, access to your services, a place on your board. Again this might affect whether you wish to accept.
- You can decline as well as accept an offer of support.
More fundraising options
As well as seeking grants from government departments and philanthropic or statutory trusts, community groups are increasingly obtaining income from other sources, such as:
- donations, perhaps using a donor database. Several pre-designed databases can be purchased, eg
- Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge Donor Management
- KB Direct
- charging for services. For instance, where you already offer a quality service to a particular section of the community, you may find there is another section that would pay to use the same service, and that you could charge them without running into conflicts with your philosophy and the reason why your group was set up.
- paid membership/subscriptions
- fundraising (street appeals, confectionery etc). Some organisations use professional fundraisers to help with this - talk to the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand or check their website at http://www.fundraising.org.nz/
- government contracts
- local government contracts