For your business to succeed in the future you will need to develop loyal customers and provide them with an enjoyable shopping experience. Like most businesses, you are regularly approached for sponsorship however there were few ways to tell whether the sponsorship deals you might have agreed to in the past were genuinely fostering loyalty and expanding your customer base.
CommUnity can solve these problems for you!
With CommUnity you’ll not only develop loyalty with your customers but you will be giving back to your community by supporting your customers choice of community groups. You will also take the guesswork out of sponsorship by having access to real time data on how many CommUnity members are supporting you and exactly how much money you’re returning to community groups. Plus, CommUnity requires no administration on your part and has no loyalty cards that need processing at the point of sale. Merchants just can not lose!
CommUnity - It’s just better business!
By being willing to support the community groups and charities that matter to your customers, you give them a powerful reason to do business with you instead of faceless global retailers.
Create bonds of loyalty and respect with your customers and give yourself a competitive advantage that your online competitors simply cannot match.
CommUnity will also give you the tools to better see the positive difference you and your customers are making in your community. No more signing expensive sponsorship deals with only the vague promise of attracting more customers!
The online reporting function of CommUnity will allow you to see exactly how many transactions you’re making with CommUnity Members and how much money you’re returning to the causes that they care about. See the value of your participation in CommUnity in real time!
As a CommUnity Merchant you’ll also have agreed access to our CommUnity membership database, allowing you to communicate information about upcoming events, promotions and discounts directly to your customers.
Actively encourage your customers to join as CommUnity Members and you’ll not only grow your online reach, you’ll also expand the fundraising base for your local community!
With CommUnity there are no hidden costs. When you register with CommUnity you agree to a fixed percentage of each transaction with a CommUnity Member and a small annual outlet fee. You only pay the fixed % when CommUnity Members do business with you.
But CommUnity is not a profit-seeking middleman. CommUnity was founded with the sole purpose of helping secure the future of New Zealand’s community groups and charities across arts/music, culture, sport, health, education, welfare, beliefs, recreation and more. To this end, CommUnity aims to support itself ultimately on just 5% of all income, with the remainder becoming part of the 'CommUnity Fund' to which community groups and charities can apply for up to 100% of the cost of any major program, project or capital expense.
CommUnity - It’s not a business, it’s a revolution!
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!
CommUnity Merchants are free to engage in any additional sponsorship arrangement they please with whomever they please.
You can even open a CommUnity Group account for any community group or charity that you represent, providing that group meets our legal requirements for recognition as a legitimate non-profit group.
The only restriction is that you will require separate CommUnity accounts for each of your roles. You will not be able to link your accounts and there is no overlapping functionality between account types. For example, you will not be able to see your Merchant details from your Member or Community Group account. This enables us to maintain overall financial transparency, eliminate the possibility of fraud and streamline administration of the system as a whole.
CommUnity should not diminish your participation in any regional or national level sponsorship. In fact, by providing a positive answer to every approach from a local community group that scales proportionally with the amount of traffic they can direct to your door, CommUnity will free up your business to focus on regional and national sponsorship opportunities where the traditional model of advertising in exchange for monetary support can potentially allow you to reach many more people.
In addition to encouraging your customers to become CommUnity Members, you can also encourage your suppliers and partners to become CommUnity Merchants. You can also make sure that any community groups you or your staff belong to are registered with CommUnity and their members are encouraged to join as well. Remember, every CommUnity Member is a potential customer with a strong motivation to do business with you whenever and wherever possible!
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.
Any business that uses Paymark to handle their credit and debit card transactions is eligible to become a CommUnity Merchant. We are however working on adding other payment providers in the near future e.g Payment Express, PayPal as some examples.
CommUnity Members win by directly supporting the causes that are important to them while they shop.
CommUnity Groups win by gaining access to a potential revenue stream that, unlike existing fundraising models, does not divert them from their true purpose as an organisation.
And as a CommUnity Merchant you win by giving customers a powerful incentive to do business with you rather than global online retailers. You also win by having CommUnity handle all your customer loyalty administration for you and by no longer having cumbersome loyalty cards for customers to remember to carry and for your staff to process at the checkout. Plus you get to show you support for the community that supports you.
We anticipate strong natural growth for CommUnity via word-of-mouth as CommUnity registered community groups and charities encourage their members to become members and select their own group as one of their three beneficiaries. We also hope that CommUnity merchants will actively encourage their customers to become members in order to retain their future custom and that CommUnity members will encourage their friends and family to join the revolution and help raise money for the causes they care about.
We know CommUnity has a bright future and that we will grow on the strength of our ideas rather than by aggressive marketing. Our sole focus is on delivering funding to Kiwi communities at the grassroots level, and we believe that CommUnity has the potential to become New Zealand’s largest provider of such funding in coming years.
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.
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.
As a merchant, one of the biggest issues you regularly face is being approached by a far greater number of community groups seeking sponsorship than you could ever possibly say 'yes' to. This presents an ongoing problem as if you sponsor one community group, then another group you had to refuse may take offence and boycott your business. Not only that but sponsorship deals are difficult and time-consuming to negotiate, and there is often no way for you to know whether the deals you do sign are succeeding in bringing additional customers to your business. The saying "if I sponsor your group I will have to sponsor every other group" is in fact quite right
CommUnity solves this problem in several ways. First of all, the way CommUnity works means that you only pay when you do business with a CommUnity Member. CommUnity generates money. This means that the level of your financial commitment is directly proportional to the number of CommUnity Members who do business with you. No more having to pay large sponsorship bills at times when business is slow! Your CommUnity account also provides powerful reporting tools that will let you see exactly how many CommUnity Members have done business with you recently and track how those numbers are changing over time. You can see the benefits of your participation in CommUnity directly and in real time.
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.
But this goes both ways. When consumers perceive businesses, local or global, as being solely focused on profit above all else, they naturally become cynical. It ceases to matter to them where or from whom they buy the goods and services they need and they begin to shop purely on price. And the price advantage is almost always with the global online retailers whose tax advantages and economies of scale make them almost impossible to compete with.
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. By bringing everyone together in service of the local community groups and charities that matter to them, CommUnity hopes to enable these connections. By showing you are willing to give back to your community in a way that global online retailers have no inclination and no incentive to do, you will command the respect and loyalty of that community. And it's from that community that your customers are drawn.
The benefits are significant.
In the present environment all the Merchants know they need to be involved in a loyalty program as their competitors are and they also know few if any shoppers change merchant due to a loyalty program. Most shoppers are confused due to the purpose of each program and all the cards and understandings required with all the separate schemes. Merchants have loyalty program costs already built into their overheads (advertising, administration, management as well as the cost of the rebate) and so CommUnity will not cost them anymore and CommUnity will simplify this whole area and merchants will end up with happy customers.
If it does the cost will be related to sales. At present each sale you make will have a loyalty cost included, therefore CommUnity won’t cost you anymore than at present. Plus, you only pay when CommUnity members shop with you.
At present people are confused/suspicious of loyalty programs. They don’t understand them. With CommUnity you can get on with trading, get rid of the administration and all your existing costs around your existing loyalty programs and have happy customers. You will be able to form a relationship with community groups where the more members shop with you, the more their community group will benefit as CommUnity generates money. With CommUnity the community groups get the benefit, which will save members/shoppers money at the community groups, so everyone benefits.
There will also be saving to you from the moment you register as a merchant with CommUnity as maximum funds that you will generate will take time and therefore you will be saving the funds of your old loyalty program. During that time you will be saying to your customers they should become CommUnity members and shop with you so together you can generate funds for their selected community groups.
There is no risk for your business as you end up with happy customers who save money at their community group as there is less demands on fees, fundraising issues and time. You get all the benefits listed and everything is much simpler than before. Everyone wins with CommUnity.
Online transactions that involve credit or debit cards it does. We are working on including Bank account to Bank account transactions as well and will keep all up to date with progress.
Much less work than having your own private loyalty program. With CommUnity there will be little administration work , minimal staffing education and promotional cost and we will supply promotional/educational material to help inform your customers of the opportunity presented by CommUnity.
You will have your own private account where you will see all the following information;
In the present environment all the Merchants know they need to be involved in a loyalty program as their competitors are and they also know few if any shoppers change merchant due to a loyalty program. Most shoppers believe they are being ‘played’ by merchants which only adds to the shoppers being confused due to the purpose of each program and all the cards and understandings required with all the separate schemes. Merchants have loyalty program costs already built into their overheads (advertising, administration, management as well as the cost of the rebate) and so CommUnity will not cost them anymore and CommUnity will simplify this whole area and merchants will end up with happy customers.
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.
We will have ‘packs’ that provide you with material initially (then the ability to print your own if you need more) to educate your shoppers about the benefits of CommUnity, identify your business as a CommUnity merchant and more. These will be sent to you at the time you register as a CommUnity merchant or an agreed start time. CommUnity will keep you updated.
We also suggest the following;
Merchants within community group membership, will now be happy they will get support from their fellow community group members, as there will be an atmosphere of helping all within the community group as the community group will benefit and not just an individual merchant, without having to put a spin on things, which makes all uncomfortable.
There is an ability within CommUnity to invite other people to become a member of any kind. Follow the following link;
CommUnity is for both the National Chains and the smaller local merchant. All will agree a % of every purchase to go to the community and the local merchant can support their community proportionately to the big chain. Both will end up needing to be involved as if they don’t the other group will gain an advantage. For example if the nationals chains are slow to get involved then the local merchant gets an advantage and the chains will be forced to be involved and if the national chains are quick to get involved then the local merchants will need to be involved.
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.