The Telecom Foundation (the telecommunications company's charitable arm) has bought online giving platform Givealittle.co.nz and is making the fundraising service entirely free.
Givealittle's 5 percent administration charge is being permanently removed as part of the deal, and its founder Nathalie Whitaker and her team will continue to work for Givealittle under the new ownership arrangement.
In less than four years, Givealittl has raised more than $2.3 million in donations for a variety of Kiwi causes from the Christchurch earthquake and the tsunami in Samoa to more offbeat challenges such as racing across Mongolia on horseback and living in a snow cave.
The online platform taps into a growing consumer appetite for crowdfunding, where people are directly engaging with causes through peer-to-peer philanthropy and social media.
The Telecom Foundation says it wants Givealittle to become New Zealand’s pre-eminent online fundraising tool and believes it has has the potential to be the TradeMe of online fundraising.
Givealittlewill now be the Telecom Foundation’s primary vehicle to encourage donations in New Zealand.
Whitaker says the support of the Telecom Foundation will enable Givealittle.co.nz to take a "quantum leap" in its market presence and service offerings.
"When we started out four years ago, we were motivated by how technology could transform New Zealand’s philanthropic landscape and harness the generosity that all Kiwis have at heart. Under Telecom Foundation ownership, we move forward strongly towards that vision."