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The rise of fundraising start-ups

The fundraising environment is an ever-changing one  and to keep up, start-ups are launching to give businesses, consumers, and individuals a more efficient, transparent, and supportive way to donate.

To support Kiwis, two fundraising start-ups have recently launched for the New Zealand public, GoGenerosity and Funding HQ.

Funding HQ

For the first time ever in New Zealand, the arts and culture sector has its own dedicated fundraising platform to support organisations that struggle to access funding called Funding HQ.

Founded by Hawke’s Bay mother of five, Jenni Giblin says Funding HQ was designed to support the arts and culture sector through a sustainable funding model.

“Now more than ever arts organisations across the country are finding it difficult to access funds,” says Giblin.

“There’s no doubt that Covid-19 has impacted fundraising in this country, and with communities impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, and a recession looming, funding from corporates and businesses is expected to reduce.”

Funding HQ is a monthly membership platform giving access to a platform of a database of funds, bespoke coaching.

Giblin has worked in the fundraising sector for 17 years and recognised first-hand the constraints charitable organisations face surrounding resources required around the ever-changing environment.

Read more: Basement Theatre: Auckland’s living icon for arts and culture

She wanted to target the gap in the market and put her experience together to launch Funding HQ.

Jenni Giblin.

“New Zealand’s funding landscape is uneven, with a large proportion of funds distributed to just a small number of charities. This is often because they have the internal resources to identify and then access funds or look after their partners,” she says.

“Unfortunately, it means that a large number of New Zealand charities really struggle to access funds. Many Māori, Pasifika and ethnic minority organisations also struggle year-on-year to access funding, and this needs to change.”

Through Funding HQ and the funded support by the Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage via the Cultural Sector Innovation Fund, Giblin hopes to close that gap through building an infrastructure regardless of the size and where the organisation is location.

Funding HQ offers organisations with two key elements as well such as how to build fundraising capability and how to deliver fundraising efficiencies.

Giblin adds that Funding HQ has an interactive database of funds across New Zealand which members are invited to attend monthly Q&A sessions to connect with to share insights and support one another.


GoGenerosity, namely the world-first ‘pay-it-forward’ Shopify app for fundraising launched four months earlier than planned to provide disaster relief in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Founder and CEO Rohan McCloskey says the decision to release the app ahead of schedule was so that help can be directed to those who need it the most.

The start-up app connects businesses with Shopify sites a button at the online point of purchase where customers can easily and safely make a donation, which following the cyclone, donations can be made to Red Cross, Convoy of Hope and Federated Farmers.

McCloskey created the app at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic where he implemented the pay-it-forward model to support the community while keeping his restaurants afloat.

Through GoGenerosity, McCloskey is addressing the issues surrounding the transparency of fundraising by simplifying the process for businesses who are integrating charities into their operations.

Customers will be able to see where their donations go and the positive impacts it has.

Rohan McCloskey.

As of mid-March, GoGenerosity was able to raise more than $1800 in donations without promotion.

“The GoGenerosity team was heartbroken to see the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle. We knew we had the app in the works and that if we could launch it quickly, we could make a real difference so we made the call to go early,” says McCloskey. 

“Kiwis are renowned for their generosity, with New Zealand ranked as the third most generous country in the world from 2009-2019 according to the CAF World Giving Index, and even with the rising cost of living they want to help others in need.”

McCloskey says that already one in 13 customers are choosing to pay-it-forward through GoGenerosity.

Businesses currently using the disaster relief app include Nothing Naughty, Flight Coffee and the Meat Box.

“In the context of disaster relief, this technology can be deployed anywhere in the world at short notice. We see it as a solution that provides consumers and businesses with a method to provide relief to vulnerable communities impacted by disasters as they arise,” adds McCloskey.

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles. To get in touch with her, email [email protected]

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