Funding NZ communities is our top priority

Why does CommUnity exist?

Community groups and charities have traditionally funded their activities through sponsorship applications and direct fundraising drives. But seeking sponsorship is difficult and time-consuming for both the community group and the merchant. Each approach requires a great deal of time and effort to negotiate, meaning that any one community group or merchant can only realistically sustain a few such arrangements. Therefore each agreement must be for a comparatively large sum. For the community group, the hope is that by offering naming rights or advertising space, they can generate community project funding for their activities. But there is only so much advertising space they can offer and only so many things they can name. For the merchant, the hope is that their endorsement of a community group or charity will bring customers to their business. But they have no way to accurately measure whether this is being achieved. Nor can even the most generous of merchants afford to directly sponsor everyone who asks.

Direct fundraising is similarly problematic. Fundraising drives are often time-consuming to the point where they overshadow the primary purpose of the organisation and diminish the satisfaction of participation. Because of this, they cannot be sustained for long periods. Nor can they have a large geographic reach without incurring significant additional expenses that must ultimately be deducted from the total raised. The result? Community groups and charities are either chronically underfunded or must focus relentlessly on money to the detriment of their work.

Until Now:

CommUnity is a new initiative that aims to leverage 21st century tools to provide a better way for community groups, charities and merchants to mutually benefit one another. CommUnity is about raising money on a continuous basis without taking time away from the business of merchants or the work of community groups. Using smartphones and the internet, CommUnity takes on the work of fostering and maintaining the relationships between your community group and its benefactors; between your business and its customers; between you and your community. CommUnity frees you up to focus on what is truly important to you.

CommUnity is free for individual members or community groups to join. Community groups register with CommUnity, CommUnity Members can then select up to three registered community groups to support with their spending at participating merchants. Merchants pay a small annual listing fee to register with CommUnity and will benefit by being added to our list of participating merchants and being actively promoted to CommUnity Members. CommUnity Merchants also benefit by forming stronger bonds with their local communities, differentiating themselves from global brands and retailers who have few incentives to give back at the community level. Add to this the ability to use the CommUnity dashboard to see exactly how much business their participation is generating, freedom from complex card-based loyalty schemes and their related costs, and finally having a positive and constructive answer for all those heartfelt requests for sponsorship and it’s not hard to see that with CommUnity, everyone wins!

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CommUnity celebrates New Zealand’s greatest strength—supporting one another!

CommUnity – It’s just better business!

What do we hope to achieve?

It’s no secret that retail is going global. Overseas manufacturing and the internet have made it possible for a handful of large companies to reach customers anywhere in the world. While this has brought many benefits for consumers, it has also come with a cost. All around New Zealand, local merchants have struggled to retain customers in the face of well-resourced global competitors who benefit from vast economies of scale and fewer business overheads, and who have far fewer incentives to return anything to the communities of the individuals who shop with them. This not only damages local communities by depriving them of necessary businesses and job opportunities, it also damages the entire country by removing potential profits from the economy. And unless consumers are given reasons to support local merchants, this harm will only grow.

Here at CommUnity we believe the best way to remedy this is to forge connections between merchants and their customers that go beyond finding the cheapest price; connections that neither party will want to break. CommUnity will achieve this by bringing everyone together in service of the local community groups and charities that matter to them, CommUnity hopes to enable these connections to grow.

We are just starting out now, and everything takes time to develop and grow, but our aim is to bring CommUnity to as many New Zealand merchants as possible and ask them to generate as much as they can, so that the maximum amount of money is raised and invested back into our communities. Once established, we aim to operate CommUnity on 3-8% of generated revenue, with everything else going back to New Zealand communities and charities via grants from a charitable fund. You will not need to take our word for it, as our accounts will be independently audited regularly to make sure that we are honouring our commitment to New Zealand communities. Because we believe that New Zealand’s future will be determined by the vibrancy of its communities, and that flourishing communities are the bedrock of a stable country.

CommUnity is a company with charitable purposes, has no investors or overseas owners, and all money after operational expenses goes back to the community. This also includes the returns to those who have funded CommUnity’s beginnings. These people have agreed that their returns will also go back to our communities.

Why are we called CommUnity?

We chose this name because it perfectly captures the spirit of what we are trying to do. We provide the means for communities to help each other. And it is our hope that CommUnity will encourage New Zealand communities and societies to become physically, mentally and emotionally healthier.

CommUnity’s structure reaches out into the communities to encourage people to be involved in CommUnity. Our structure encourages people to support participation in New Zealand’s community groups so that New Zealanders will continue to support each other and help keep the population engaged, aware and healthy.

The Future

‘CommUnity Fund’

As CommUnity grows, we will have a fund in place which a CommUnity Group or charity will be able to apply to for funding of projects, one-off projects, and events, or to meet those additional expenditure requirements all such groups encounter from time to time. Who receives grants from this fund and the percentage (up to 100%) funded will be at the discretion of CommUnity. We hope to have this fund ready for applications by the beginning of our third year of operation. Watch our website and the CommUnity app for more!

Members

Join as a
CommUnity Member

Sign up as a CommUnity Member and raise funds for up to THREE CommUnity Groups of your choice. The funding happens every time you shop online or instore at a CommUnity Merchant.

Merchants

Join as a
CommUnity Merchant

Register your business with CommUnity – a loyalty program that builds brand reputation, is socially responsible and supports the community that supports you. It’s just better business.

Groups

Join as a
CommUnity Group

Become a CommUnity Group to have funds generated for you, by your members, fans, friends and their families when they register and become CommUnity Members. Everybody wins!

Our end of the bargain

We see CommUnity primarily as a tool for enabling and enhancing relationships. And healthy relationships require communication. So, whether you are a community group or charity, a participating business, or simply a shopper looking to do as much good as possible with your money, CommUnity helps put you in touch and keep you in touch with one another.

 

Members

 

  • Use our website or GPS-enabled smartphone app to effortlessly find nearby CommUnity Merchants and get directions right to their door!
  • Easily identify participating merchants by looking for the bright orange CommUnity logo in the shop window or on a counter card by the checkout.
  • Find out about special promotions and offers from CommUnity merchants available only to CommUnity Members.
  • Use your CommUnity account to track how much money you have raised for the CommUnity Groups and charities you support.

 

Community Groups and Charities

 

  • Use your CommUnity account to see how much money has been raised for you by members of your community.
  • Encourage the members and supporters of your group to help expand your fundraising base by also becoming CommUnity Members themselves.

 

Merchants

 

  • Have your business actively promoted to CommUnity members through our website and smartphone app.
  • Have existing and potential new customers directed right to your door via the CommUnity smartphone app.
  • Create loyal customers by showing that you care about the community you serve.
  • Use your CommUnity account to see exactly how many of your customers are using CommUnity and just how much money you are contributing back into your community.

 

In addition to all of this, we update our app and website constantly, making sure that all the details CommUnity holds about participating Merchants and the CommUnity Groups who benefit, is up to date. CommUnity will also actively promote the program using both traditional and online media, and will soon have staff on the ground all over New Zealand, actively presenting the benefits of CommUnity to community groups and merchants and helping expand your reach.

 

From this seed, we hope CommUnity will naturally grow as…

 

  • Registered CommUnity Groups and charities encourage their members to become CommUnity Members and select their own group as one of their three beneficiaries.
  • CommUnity Merchants encourage their customers to become Members in order to retain their future custom and to distinguish themselves as supporters of the community that supports them.
  • CommUnity Members encourage their friends and whānau to join and help to raise money for the causes they care about.
  • Word of mouth spreads on social media.
  • Post-launch coverage in traditional media brings the CommUnity movement to the attention of people all over New Zealand.
  • CommUnity staff spread out all over the country, meeting people, community groups, charities and merchants and work to bring them into the CommUnity ecosystem.
  • Both the CommUnity app and website have an easy to use invitation process that existing CommUnity users can use to invite others to participate in CommUnity.

What people are saying about us

Sunny Nelson Real Fruit Ice Cream Josh

"I can see the vision of what CommUnity could be and I’m excited. A place where Kiwis back their neighbor to nourish their community.” – Josh, Sunny Nelson Real Fruit Ice Cream

The Incubator Creative Hub Simone Andersen and team

"The arts is often seen as a bit of an indulgence which we know is not true. It’s actually a massive necessity for wellness in society and personal wellness so we’re really excited that people get the opportunity to share some of their goodwill and see it distributed amongst the community," Simone Andersen, The Incubator Creative Hub

Hoppers Garden Bar Jessica and Brownyn Payne, Owners

“Living and working in a community, it’s been really important to find new and powerful ways to connect to our customers. Giving back to the community who support us everyday is really important to us and CommUnity allows us to do that in a really seamless way.” - Jessica and Brownyn Payne, Owners

Everlasting Anna Paterson – Founder / CEO

"We are so excited to be part of the CommUnity group. Through coming on board, it is going to allow us to do greater. Whether  this is by assisting women and families, in New Zealand, with finance or clothing - whatever the need, we love to give and the greater we can give the more impact we can have." - Anna Paterson – Founder / CEO, Everlasting

Fourviere New Zealand Michael Loretz, Fourviere NZ

“Together with CommUnity, local businesses and the families in our community, we can all take a confident stride towards heaven - right here, today!” - Michael Loretz, Director, Fourviere NZ

World Wildlife Fund NZ Livia Esterhazy, World Wildlife Fund

"We’re so excited to be on the CommUnity platform because it allows us to get on with our work and be part of communities and help them." - Livia Esterhazy, CEO, World Wildlife Fund

Ocean Beach Kiwi Surf Life Saving Club

As a group that relies on donations, Ocean Beach Kiwi Surf Life Saving Club is thrilled to have another platform to fundraise.

Rowing New Zealand Simon Peterson

"As a national sporting organisation we're constantly looking regionally and locally to support our members. CommUnity is a way of us supporting commercially, at a local level, and our volunteers, at a local level. For a national body to have that umbrella outlook is very exciting" said Rowing New Zealand's Simon Peterson.

Koha Apparel Phil Goff and Chlöe Swarbrick.

Providing clothing for New Zealanders doing it tough. In 2020 alone this not-for-profit kept close to 4,000 clothing items out of landfill by giving them a new life with those in need.

The Nest – Greymouth Tania Gibson - Grey District Mayor

"A way for businesses and community groups to fundraise in the new technology era. It will raise money for causes you care about while you shop. So watch this space, you will be hearing more about it in the coming months!" - Tania Gibson, Greg District Mayor.

Alpha Sports

“When we opened Alpha Sports we knew we wanted to give something back to local charities, community groups & organisations... for Alpha Sports, this was really important. CommUnity gives us the platform to be able to do that, and more. How could you say no to giving back to your local Community... the same people that support us every day? Let’s do this!” - Mike and Dean, Alpha Sports

New Zealand Alopecia

These incredible ladies are here to support people with Alopecia. NZ Alopecia is a place for Alopecia sufferers to learn more about their condition, to view new developments and to reach out and connect with others.

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