Become a CommUnity Group and raise money directly from your local community!

CommUnity makes it easy for your community to show their support for the work you do

What CommUnity can do for you

What CommUnity can do for you

If you are part of a community organisation or charity, whether it’s a sports club or a food bank, an amateur dramatic society or an animal shelter, you know that the never-ending struggle for funding is a constant distraction from the true purpose of your organisation. Wouldn't it be wonderful to not have to worry about funding!

CommUnity can help you solve your funding issues at no cost to you and your organisation.

I know it is hard to believe and it costs your community group nothing!

Register as a CommUnity Group and you’ll be eligible to receive money when CommUnity Members who choose to support you, do business with a CommUnity Merchant. All you need to do is encourage your members and their friends and family to become a CommUnity Member (and CommUnity Merchants) then select your community group and shop at participating retailers (CommUnity Merchants) and you’ll gain a whole new revenue stream.

How does CommUnity work?

How does CommUnity work?

When your members, supporters, family and friends register as CommUnity Members, they’ll be asked to choose up to three CommUnity Groups to receive a small percentage of every in-store or online purchase they make from participating CommUnity Merchants, using their credit or debit cards, . This percentage is agreed upon by the merchant when they first join CommUnity.

All funds raised are paid to CommUnity who then deposit the total amount raised from all of the CommUnity Members who have chosen to support you directly into your bank account every two months.

CommUnity -  It really is that simple!

Turing Commerce into Community

Why are we doing this?

Why are we doing this?

CommUnity was founded with the sole purpose of helping secure the future of New Zealand’s community groups and charities by giving you a new way to raise funds directly from the people you serve. To this end, CommUnity aims to ultimately support itself on just 5% of all income, with the remainder becoming part of the 'CommUnity Fund' to which you will be able to apply for up to 100% of the cost of any major program, project or capital expense.

When you register with CommUnity you will gain access to a regular source of funding that does not divert you from your work in your community. We handle the work of dealing with merchants and tracking which CommUnity Members are supporting you so you can benefit.

CommUnity is about getting the public, the merchants and the community groups together to generate funds for Kiwi groups through merchant contributions every time the community group supporters shop with them.

Everyone wins.  It is just better business!

Community Groups FAQ

Here are some answers to some of the questions we've been asked most often. If you can't find what you're looking for here, please contact us!

Will CommUnity cost my community group or charity anything?

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No.

CommUnity is free for community groups. More importantly, CommUnity requires no time investment from your organisation. We handle all of the administration for you, freeing you to focus on the true purpose of your organisation.

Can any organisation register as a CommUnity Group?

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Any organisation that is legally registered as a community group or charity with the New Zealand Companies Office is eligible to become a CommUnity Group. ChommUnity will verify this status when you first register with us.

Can CommUnity Members change which groups receive their spending allocation?

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Yes.

CommUnity Members can login to their account using the CommUnity website or smartphone app and change which (and how many) Community Groups they choose to support at any time.

Do transactions with CommUnity Merchants outside of my local area still contribute to my group?

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Yes.

It doesn't matter if a CommUnity Member lives in Invercargill and goes on holiday in Kaitaia. Any time he/she shops in person or online with a CommUnity Merchant, no matter where they are in New Zealand, he/she will be raising funds for his/her chosen CommUnity Groups.

How often are CommUnity funds distributed?

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CommUnity keeps track of how much CommUnity Members who have chosen to support your Community Group have spent with CommUnity Merchants, and will deposit the total into your nominated bank account once every two months.

How can we make CommUnity work even better for our community organisation?

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As a registered CommUnity Group, you can increase your potential benefit from CommUnity by encouraging your members, associates, friends and family to become CommUnity Members and to select your group as a recipient of a percentage of their spending with CommUnity Merchants. The more CommUnity Members you can enlist as your supporters and the more business you can direct to CommUnity Merchants, the more revenue you can generate to fund your work!

It appears that everyone wins with CommUnity Is that correct?

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Yes.

CommUnity Members win by directly supporting the causes that are important to them while they shop.

CommUnity Merchants win by giving customers a powerful incentive to do business with them rather than global online retailers. They also win by having CommUnity handle all their customer loyalty administration and by no longer having cumbersome loyalty cards for customers to remember to carry

And as a CommUnity Group, you win by gaining access to a potential revenue stream that, unlike existing fundraising models, does not divert you from your true purpose as an organisation.

Will CommUnity Groups be able to see how much money has been raised for them?

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Yes.

Anyone you authorise to login to your CommUnity Group account can see precisely how much money has been raised for your organisation. This information is updated in real time, so you will know ahead of time how much you can expect your next payment to be. You can also track how your CommUnity income has changed over time and project those trends into the future to help you plan ahead.

How often are local businesses approached for sponsorship?

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Businesses, both large and small, are regularly approached for sponsorship by a far greater number of community groups than even the most prosperous and generous merchant could possibly say 'yes' to.

This presents places merchants in a very difficult position. If they sponsor one community group, another group who was unsuccessful may take offence and boycott their business. Not only that but sponsorship deals are difficult and time-consuming to negotiate, and there is often no way for a business owner to tell whether the deals they do sign are succeeding in bringing additional customers to their business.

By placing the decision of who to support into the hands of their customers, CommUnity finally gives merchants a positive way to engage with their communities without having to play favourites and run the risk of upsetting anyone. Not only that, they only pay when they do business with a CommUnity Member, so their level of sponsorship scales directly with their patronage. No more having to pay large sponsorship bills at times when business is slow. For a small business during a lean spell, this could mean the difference between sinking and swimming.

So remember that while CommUnity Merchants are helping you to focus on your important work, you're also helping them to focus on theirs. Everyone wins!

How do community groups and charities raise money now?

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Before CommUnity, community groups and charities raised money by applying for grants and sponsorship deals, or from direct fundraising activities such as sausage sizzles, cake stalls, or by simply requesting donations. But both of these methods have significant drawbacks.

There are always a far greater number of deserving recipients than there is grant money to go around. And seeking private sponsorship is difficult and time-consuming for both the community group and the merchant. Each deal 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 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 that are either chronically underfunded or must focus relentlessly on money to the detriment of their work.

Until now.

How will CommUnity support itself?

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CommUnity was founded with one singular purpose: to deliver as much money to Kiwi communities as possible. A primarily online company with no physical product to manufacture or sell, CommUnity is focused exclusively on creating and maintaining working relationships between New Zealanders and their communities. Because we believe that New Zealand’s future will be determined by the vibrancy of its communities.

To achieve this, CommUnity has been built from the ground up to be lean and agile, operating with the fewest possible overhead expenses. In fact, once we get established, we aim to operate CommUnity on just 5-10% of generated revenue, with everything else going back to New Zealand communities and charities via grants from a charitable fund. Community groups and charities will be able to apply to this fund for lump sum funding of capital 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 our third year in operation.

Is registration complicated?

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We have tried to keep registration as simple as possible, however there is information we need to be able to keep you supporting your chosen organisations, supporting the community if you are a merchant or be able to receive funds if you are a community organisation. There is no way around registration and we hope you can put up with the process as we know the outcomes will be well worth it and you can be assured, we have kept the registration process as simple as possible and very confidential.

Will the purchases I make that do not involve credit/debit cards contribute to my chosen three groups?

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At present they won’t but we are working with Banks to enable direct internet bank account to bank account transactions to be included.  Will keep you updated with progress as this is a big issue for us as we believe there will be significant funds that could be directed to community groups

Do we need to update our card details?

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It would of great help if you kept all your items on your account/registration updated and that will ensure that the funds keep flowing to your chosen organisations.  We will have reminders and will send you reminders relating to cards expiring but it is easily best if you update this information yourself.

Will I have a record of the funds I have generated and to whom?

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Everyone that registers with CommUnity – member, merchant or community group – will have a private account where they have username and passwords protection and you will see a range of very useful information including money generated, totals received by each group you have chosen (historically as well), a Go Shop component directing you to partner merchants, an ability to invite your friends to be part of CommUnity and manage you cards and your personal information. This information is yours that only you can share with people you choose.

Can I change who I support?

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You can change who you support anytime you like. The program will keep a historical record of everything you have generated in CommUnity no matter how many times you change who you support.

What is a community group?

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A community group is a registered group that is recognised by the Companies Office.  It is possible to have a group that is not recognised by the Companies office but that group or the people running that group would have to convince CommUnity that they were responsible and could and would abide with the requirements of CommUnity. These groups will come under headings such as heath, welfare, sport, arts, music, faith, education, sustainability, recreation and cultural.

Could a Bogus company make money from CommUnity?

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We believe it would be very difficult for a community group that has improper purposes and not appropriately legal or managed, to make much money from CommUnity due to the fact that the people involved would have to convince people to contribute to this improper community group which one would hope would only spread to close networks and therefore amount to very little money.  The bogus groups are unlikely to gain funds from The CommUnity Fund as our people will check out every application separately.  CommUnity will be constantly checking on the authenticity of the member groups

How can I get my friends involved?

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There is a facility in your account (enter through the login section on the top right of the Home Page) where you can send invites to your friends to be a member, merchant member or a recipient community group. Remember the more people involved the more the community groups benefit.

Is there any risk to our community group?

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There is NO risk to you community group.  You will receive funds into your bank account ever three months for nothing and you can spend those funds anyway you want – this money is untagged by us.  The CommUnity Fund funding is tagged and relates to the commitment within the application.  These funds will be audited and may be asked to be paid back if they are not used for the authorized purposes. This application process will not be demanding and successful applications could apply to a number of years depending on the requirements.

Will merchants within our community group benefit from being part of CommUnity?

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Merchants within your community group have up till now, probably felt uncomfortable about promoting their business to fellow group members as most members (rightly or wrongly) feel the merchant is making money at their expense.  Now everyone is comfortable as the merchant is contributing to the community group and will get more support from the members (assuming they are a good trader) as their community group benefits and in turn the member save money and gains more enjoyment from a more activity focused community group.

Can recipient community groups spend the regular funding anyway they wish?

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Yes this is untagged money.  Successful applications to The CommUnity Fund is different as there will be audits on successful applicants but will not be an exhaustive process for honest, well managed community groups.

When applying to The CommUnity Fund for the funding of future projects or facilities, is this process time consuming?

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No, we hope it won’t be however there is information we need to gather and assurances we need, to hand out money responsibly.  There will also be standards that organisations must operate by but again these should not be suffocating for well managed organisations

Do all funds raised by CommUnity go back to the community?

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All funds after operational costs of CommUnity, will go back to the community in one of two ways.  Members can select up to three community groups to support and can change them at any stage. CommUnity directs 60% of the income generated from each transaction made by a CommUnity member at a CommUnity merchant, to those community groups chosen by the CommUnity member equally (if there are more than one selected by each member).  This money is untagged, and the recipient community group(s) can spend it how they wish. The other 40% supports CommUnity to develop as a company (with Charitable purposes) and all funds after operational costs, goes into The CommUnity Fund which will be distributed to the community by way of application, where it is possible (but not guaranteed) a project or facility could be funded up to 100% of the project or facility cost. The application process will be as brief and as straight forward as possible and depending on the needs, may not require significant time and can span over several years potentially.  These grants will be subject to ‘audits’ by CommUnity and may need to be repaid if they are not spent as understood by CommUnity. The CommUnity Fund may take 2 or three years to have funds enough to distribute, but we will keep everyone up to date with progress. Our aim is to at least equal the amount of money going into the community that Gaming Machines provide.

How do we know how many of our members are supporting our organisation?

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Your authorised administrator will have access to up to the minute reports. You will have the ability to ‘log in’ (top right of the home page of CommUnity – link ) and as a community group you will have up to the minute reports, giving you certain information.  For example, you will have information relating to the following; Funds raised for your Community Group, Number of Members supporting your Community Group and Top Merchants supporting your Community Group. This information will tell you the information you need to know whether you are doing a good job communicating the funding opportunity to your members.  If your members have not chosen your community group as one of their three options, then you might ask your management people why?  You will also get an indicator of this from how much is being raised for your community group, however the number of members supporting your community group against the number of members your organisation has, is the best indicator.

Can community groups/charities that receive funds from CommUnity then pass that money on to other groups?

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Yes, if people want to choose a community group that allocates to other community groups that is fine.  There may be umbrella groups that act on behalf of others and they will not be differentiated against.

Can the recipient group of any Community funds be an overseas based group?

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People will decide who gets their chosen allocation and will need to be from the list of community groups provided in the registration process or added to by CommUnity upon prompting. Certainly successful applicants from The CommUnity Fund could be from outside New Zealand.  It is important to point out that CommUnity is focused on helping New Zealand community groups primarily.

Should CommUnity be our major funding focus perhaps?

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Most if not all community groups are in need of funds or could spend more funds if they were available.  CommUnity provides funds on a regular basis and is one of the few sources of untagged money available (you can spend the ‘regular’ money how you want). These funds from CommUnity are generated by your members and cost you nothing and could continue for ever.  Add to this, CommUnity has The CommUnity Fund where you can apply for funds (up to 100% of the cost) for a project or facility, therefore with CommUnity you have untagged day to day funding assistance and the potential for funding of future developments.

The end result might be that if you manage your funds well, you will have more and happier members gaining more benefits from the activities of your community groups rather than forever worrying about money.

Have you heard of ‘mana from heaven’, well this is close!!

How do you suggest we promote CommUnity to our members?

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CommUnity suggests you have people within your organisation, tasked with being CommUnity Project people who might;

  • Ensure all members are signed up to CommUnity. This might be done through social evenings and with group registrations done altogether on their phones.  This has benefits as you can get them to identify your community group as a recipient group on the spot, increasing the regular income to your community group
  • Encourage your members to send an invite to their friends once they have successfully registered by using the Send Invite facility on their personal account – log in top right of Community home page link ….)? Remember, the more you have choosing your community group as one of their three options, the more money you have coming in regularly.
  • Encourage your members to get their networks (family) to register and choose your community group as one of their three recipient groups.
  • Use Send Invite facility on your account to entice past members to also join CommUnity and select your community group as one of their chosen three community groups
  • Use Send Invite to everyone on your database encouraging them all to become CommUnity members.
  • Each week remind all your database about CommUnity and how they should use the CommUnity app to shop at CommUnity merchants as they will be raising funds for your community group
  • Use your social media processes to remind your members to shop at CommUnity merchants as when they do, they will be supporting your community organisation.
  • Use all your communication methods to ensure everyone shops at CommUnity merchants as you will benefit.
  • Display the resources we will send to your community group. Posters etc

What effect has the Corona Virus had on CommUnity?

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We have learnt many things through the Corona Virus process with the main one being that we must work together to help each other.  We must be kind to each other and care for people around us.

With CommUnity the whole focus is on working together so everyone wins. 

For Merchants (retailers) to stay in business they need shoppers they can rely on and for shoppers to maintain their mental and social health, they need to do challenging activities (community groups) outside of work hours. A lot of these activities (community groups) that CommUnity will support, care for each other, or the environment as well as develop skills that will have a positive impact on others, in all sorts of areas such as sport, music, recreation, cultural, art, education and health.  All of these areas plus faith and social welfare involve people interacting with others and virtually all of these people are shoppers.

Merchants working with community groups and shoppers supporting merchants is very promotable as CommUnity will, and this good news can be relayed across the country and will only generate more and more positive interactions.

At present, merchants generally have their own individual loyalty programs that are focused on savings for individuals who then have to choose to be part of community groups where the focus mainly is one of existence rather than the specific activity for which the community groups were  started.  This support to individual New Zealanders is difficult for merchants to turn into positive promotions that might generate more and more positivity due to privacy and such things.

The present loyalty options are both multi-layered and confusing.

CommUnity can operate alongside existing loyalty programs however the Corona Virus has presented an opportunity for merchants to start again and be part of a program that is a level playing field for everyone and where money is generated rather than given.  Mental and social health is catered for and shoppers save money and time as the community groups have untagged money and their shoppers have more time to be involved in the activities of each community group.

Out of this crisis will come a positive, easy to understand opportunity for our communities to work together so that everyone wins.

CommUnity - Turning Commerce into Community.