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A simple way to put money back into communities

Feb 13, 2021 / Category : Press Releases

A new initiative that generates funding for New Zealand community groups will launch on 17th March. It is called CommUnity and is designed to connect shoppers, merchants and community groups in a way that will put money back into local communities.

CommUnity founder, John Parker, said CommUnity’s purpose is to generate funds for Kiwi community groups and is committed to giving money back to the community easing the constant pressure community groups face having to fundraise.

“With CommUnity, everyone benefits,” said Parker. “Community groups win because they get untagged funds they don’t have to apply or fundraise for, members win because they can feel great knowing they are supporting community groups they care about, and merchants win by having members directed to their shop and access to valuable insights into the members shopping habits.”

The beauty of the program is its simplicity. Shoppers and community groups register with CommUnity as CommUnity Members and/or as a CommUnity Groups. When members shop in-store or online with participating CommUnity Merchants, a small percentage of each transaction goes to the members chosen groups.

Members choose up to three groups to support. The groups can be any registered non-profit or charity including sports, music, arts, health, education, sustainability, cultural or religious groups. A member might nominate a local school, sports team and an animal shelter as their groups to support.

On joining, members nominate a bank account to link to CommUnity through a secure third party. When a purchase is made with a CommUnity Merchant, using the nominated account, the transaction is recognised allowing a small percentage to be donated to the members chosen groups.

Merchants will be recognisable by an A-frame in-store, logo’s on websites or advertising in store windows. Members will also be able to locate merchants through the CommUnity app. Merchants pay a small annual listing fee and, for every purchase made by a member, donates a small percentage of transactions to CommUnity. CommUnity then deposit 60% of the total amount raised into the relevant group accounts. The remaining 40% goes into ‘The CommUnity Fund’ where all money, after operating expenses, goes back to the community through an application process designed to cater for future projects or programs. This way CommUnity is providing untagged funds for annual operations (the 60%) as well as allowing groups to apply for funding for specific projects or costs.

While the initiative allows shoppers to funnel money into their local groups, the aim of CommUnity is to provide a platform that could be used throughout New Zealand. So a purchase made by a member while travelling or on holiday would still reach their chosen community groups. Alternatively, members could choose to support the club or schools of family who live on the other side of the country – simply by purchasing a coffee at their local CommUnity merchant cafe.

“We’re growing our team nationwide and recruiting over 130 ambassadors in New Zealand to sign up merchants through a commission based remuneration approach to ensure we get the reach while keeping operating costs to a minimum. It’s the perfect time for merchants to get on board and benefit from having a presence for when we launch in March,” Parker said.

CommUnity IT and Operations Manager, Simon Wills, said the initiative had been years in planning, but availability of the technology required to make the process easy and secure for all parties had only recently become available.

“It was important for us to have seamless and secure platforms in place before bringing CommUnity into the market. We’ve partnered with Yodlee, who are a global leader in banking technology and who have more than 70 million users worldwide. Yodlee simply provides us with transactional data to invoice merchants and pass on to community groups,” Wills said

Technology isn’t the only reason that Parker believes that now is the right time to introduce CommUnity.

“With everything that is happening globally, there’s a real sense of the need to support and look after each other,” he said. “Kiwis are realising what we have to offer in our own back yard and recognising the value we have in all the organisations that make up our communities. Supporting each other is part of what makes New Zealand such a special place and CommUnity’s purpose is to ensure this continues.”

To find out more information about CommUnity or to register visit


Media Contact:

Marama Mateparae
P: 0800 782 888

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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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