Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

Networking, learning and celebrating the not-for-profit and philanthropic community

MariaAuck  Author: Maria Hernandez-Curry

May was a dynamic month for the Strategic Grants team, with lots of great events across New Zealand, which brought the fundraising and grant seeking community together to learn, network and celebrate. 

Fundraising Institute of New Zealand 2018 Conference

We kicked the month off presenting, exhibiting and catching up with lots of great NFP partners at the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand 2018 Conference, aptly titled Goodness! The Best in Fundraising, held at Te Papa in Wellington over three days. The conference provided a wide selection of masterclasses, workshops and panel discussions that covered some of the latest innovations as well as best practice refreshers in fundraising. It was great hearing from the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, the Honourable Peeni Henare, who acknowledged the trends and challenges experienced in our sector: the reality of the challenge of short term funding; lack of multi-year funding available; and complex organisational structures. It is encouraging to know that these challenges are being examined with the ultimate goal of working out how government can refine policies and processes to best serve and empower the not-for-profit community.

The workshop which our Director, Jo Garner, facilitated, provided an overview of what we know as best practice, tried and tested processes, tools and skills required to grow and sustain effective grant-seeking.

A highlight of the conference was a Night at the Museum– where awards were presented, an excellent dinner was had, as well as some dancing to the tunes of Barnaby Weir and friends. During the awards ceremony, it was wonderful to see the amazing Kitty Hilton (FFINZ CFRE) acknowledged for her outstanding contribution to the Conference as the Chair of the Conference Committee, and the sector at large through her extensive involvement in FINZ and international peak bodies that work to advance the Profession of Fundraising.

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Both Sides of the Coin

In late May, Strategic Grants partnered with Philanthropy New Zealand to deliver three Both Sides of the Coin events – held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. These very well attended events which brought together the not-for-profit and philanthropic sectors and were developed as a platform for generous and deep conversations between grant-makers and grant-seekers. They focussed on exploring what both sides each need and want from each other and how to make each other’s job easier.  Each event had its own flavour, which very much reflected the local community and highlighted the diversity in New Zealand’s funding landscape.

Both Strategic Grants and Philanthropy New Zealand presented an overview for not-for-profit organisations and the philanthropic sector as well as future trends. We then handed it over to a panel consisting of three funder and not-for-profit partnerships. Each pair shared their approaches, successes and challenges, and how they overcame hurdles to create successful, long-term and impactful funding relationships. We thank our panel members for having very real discussions and frank dialogue up on stage.  

One of the major themes across all conversations was the fundamental importance of open and honest communication, being clear and realistic about each party’s expectations, and a real willingness to see things from a different perspective.

We look forward to planning the next series of events and to see you at one of our upcoming events across New Zealand.

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