Instead of popping your spare change into a Red Cross bucket for their street appeal this year, you could be bidding to buy a year’s supply of chocolate, a bungy jump, or a power tool.
Like many other not for profit organisations, COVID-19 has meant New Zealand Red Cross has had to get creative in the way it raises funds — this year switching their physical street appeal for virtual fundraising activities, including the online auction platform Chooza.
“It’s a bit different to what people are used to, but in these difficult times we’re having to think outside the square,” says New Zealand Red Cross General Manager of Engagement and Enterprise Shane Chisholm. “The humanitarian work we do never stops and we still need to raise funds to do it. It’s a shame we won’t be able to personally connect with the community on the street during our appeal month, but we’re excited about our new, safer, virtual activities that are on offer.”
One of those activities is the new online auction platform Chooza.com, where all proceeds go to the charity of the seller’s or buyer’s choice. It’s a win-win-win for all involved – New Zealand Red Cross gets the sale proceeds, the buyer gets the goods, and the seller gets to claim back a third of the sale price as a taxable donation. And both the seller and the buyer get the good feeling that goes with doing something for others.
“We’re asking people and businesses to get involved on Chooza and ‘List, Sell, Give Hope’,” says Mr Chisholm. “People can either list something for auction or just take a look at the great items and experiences available and make a bid knowing they’ll be supporting a trusted and effective charity at the same time.”
Some of the items listed so far include first aid kits, boutique accommodation, gym memberships, dinner out, ziplining, a year’s supply of loo paper, a flute and a four-leaf clover.
In addition to Chooza, New Zealand Red Cross is also encouraging people and businesses to run their own fundraisers and ask friends, whanau and staff to donate through the donation-gathering website Raisely. And for those that like to give to charity in the new old-fashioned way, people can donate directly to the appeal on the Red Cross website.
The theme of this year’s appeal is to ‘Give hope today’. New Zealand Red Cross works to support and give hope to vulnerable people in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.
Over the last year they have assisted 13 local communities affected by emergencies including the Westport floods and South Auckland tornado. They have delivered over 600,000 Meals on Wheels and provided support for hundreds of former refugees.
New Zealand Red Cross has also run special appeals to support people in need overseas — including raising over $2 million for the Tonga volcano and tsunami relief effort, helping resettle many people from Afghanistan into new lives in New Zealand and assisting people affected by ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Donations to the Annual Appeal enable Red Cross to run these special appeals as well as support our local humanitarian work.
“Whether people want to bid on a Chooza item, run a fundraiser or make an online donation, we’re looking to Kiwis to be generous and to make a donation to our Annual Appeal, they just won’t be asked to put it in a bucket this year,” says Mr Chisholm.