Funding options

Created: August 26, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Updated: April 20, 2021 | By Community Resource Kit

Funding can come and go, so it's important not to rely on a limited number of sources. Aim to draw your funding from as many sources as possible. 

Local fundraising activities

  • Food and entertainment e.g. balls, socials or shows, wine and cheese parties, fancy dress or hat parties, picnics.
  • Sales e.g. t-shirts, bumper stickers, fridge-magnets, ballpoints, tea towels (these can also promote your organisation), puppets, art works, auctions, garage sales, cake stalls, sausage sizzles (many supermarkets encourage them and even provide a barbecue), market days, calendars, cookbooks, published histories of the organisation.
  • Money for labour e.g. working bees, gardening, painting, labouring, section clearing, home delivery.
  • Sponsored activities e.g. swims, walks, triathlons, games.
  • Exhibitions or demonstrations e.g. a celebrity match, pottery demonstration and have a go.
  • Community services e.g. rubbish collections, bottle drives (where there isn't a regular recycling service), information pamphlets, community directories.
  • Competitions e.g. sports days, top town team events, quizzes, beach games, treasure hunts. 

Raising money through membership

  • Membership fees can be set across a range that varies for members who are unemployed through to a corporate organisations.
  • Patrons can be selected for the status they bring to the organisation or in acknowledgement of their financial support.
  • Friends of the Organisation: membership friends are usually people interested in the organisation but not directly involved with it. In return for a Friend's subscription or donation, you might offer newsletters, cheaper entrance fees, preferential bookings etc.
  • Business membership is similar to Friends but is directed at commercial organisations.
  • Major sponsors are similar to business sponsors but with a greater contribution. (Refer to the Business Sponsorships section.)
  • Local authority or government agency membership. Where this is appropriate you could charge a higher membership fee.


Donations are made by individuals, private trusts and foundations, and sometimes by corporations. They might be in the form of cash, income (e.g. from interest or rent) and in kind (e.g. free services or donated goods). Donations do not attract GST.

Payroll giving enables donations to go directly from a person's pay to a community organisation they want to support. The advantage for donors is that they receive an immediate tax credit on their donation, so it makes it more affordable to give and donors don't have to save donation receipts to the end of the year.

Seek out donations and make it easy for people to donate to your organisation. It's not just the large charities that people want to donate to. You might consider:

  • adding a Donate button to the homepage of your website so individuals can make a one-off donation or sign up for regular donations
  • having donation boxes around your local area
  • organising a street appeal or setting up a collection at a local event
  • applying for Inland Revenue approval as a donee organisation in order to participate in payroll giving (for more information on payroll giving refer to Financial Management or visit: 

Donor-donee relationship

Your organisation chooses how to use donated money, though donors can be involved to varying degrees. If a donor wants to be involved in the management of their donation, make sure the expectations of both parties are very clear from the start. Keep an open relationship so that any concerns can be raised by either party.

Make sure you thank your donors and give them feedback on how the donation has helped your group. A happy donor is much more likely to donate again!

Business sponsorships

Sponsorship is a two-way agreement in which a company offers cash, product or service for an association with your organisation. You may seek sponsorship for help with your group's overall mission or for a single project, event or activity. While money is the most obvious benefit of sponsorship, voluntary groups can also gain a lot from gifts in kind such as printing, transport and equipment, space for offices, payment for publicity, payroll giving, and volunteer work by companies that have employee volunteering programmes.

Clearly state the potential benefits from an association with your group, such as company or brand exposure, the potential for increased sales and/or logo placement. Research has shown that New Zealanders think more highly of companies that support charities and are more likely to buy their products. Highlight this as an opportunity for the potential sponsor. Once a sponsor is on board, it's essential that you follow through and deliver what you promise.

Sponsorship strategy

A sponsorship strategy involves:

  • identifying activities suitable for sponsorship
  • writing a clear summary of, and budget for, the proposed activity
  • identifying potential benefits for the sponsors
  • establishing the value to the sponsor
  • identifying potential sponsors and selecting who you will approach
  • writing the sponsorship proposal
  • approaching the sponsor, and
  • follow-up with the sponsor.

Ways of recognising sponsors

You could put the sponsors name on:

  • clothing
  • stationery
  • your website and/or social media pages
  • promotional material such as entry or registration forms, posters, tickets
  • notice boards at clubrooms
  • cups, medals and ribbons
  • a display by the sponsor in the clubrooms, and
  • the club banner.

You could also:

  • advertise the sponsor's wares or activity in programmes and newsletters
  • promote and foster the sponsor's name and products at, or during, an event, in your annual report, or at the AGM
  • have the organisation or its members become involved in promotional activities for the sponsor
  • have the sponsors employees volunteer for your organisation
  • give the sponsor the opportunity to market products at the event venue or to the participants
  • distribute the sponsor's advertising material at your office, clubrooms, or to participants
  • have the sponsor's advertising on your website or at an event venue, and
  • allow the sponsor to use photos of events for their own promotions.

Professional fundraising consultants

Consultants advise, plan and organise events and activities with the support of, and from, the organisation. It pays to ask around other similar organisations that have used them and get a referral. The Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) can help with advice on consultants specialising in particular areas. Visit: for details and check out the other listings they have here.


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