WILL YOU HELP SAVE FINZ? — A unique fundrais­er-to-fundrais­er (F2F) appeal

This is a dif­fer­ent kind of F2F. Dur­ing the cur­rent pan­dem­ic fundrais­ers around the world have been ral­ly­ing togeth­er to sup­port fel­low fundrais­ers fac­ing dif­fi­cult times — and today the col­lec­tive strength of our fundrais­ing com­mu­ni­ty is need­ed more than ever.

Written by
August 05, 2020

FINZ is embarking on a possibly world-first matched funds direct marketing appeal to save itself. So here in this exceptional exhibit, SOFII will document the launch, development and anticipated runaway success of FINZ’s revolutionary new fundraising campaign.

Below you’ll catch a rare glimpse of the shy and elusive FINZ, hidden in deep foliage, somewhere on New Zealand’s South Island. Can you spot it?

A ha! That stopped you in your tracks didn’t it? You imagined that a FINZ might be some kind of cuddly, furry forest creature, did you not? Perhaps a marsupial, a loveable burrowing quadruped, a denizen of the deep forests of New Zealand’s fabled South Island, maybe characterised by a striking, shocking pink bristly crest and a characteristic soft, gentle, lilting call reminiscent of a Scottish accent?

Not quite. Close, but not quite. But, seriously…

FINZ is indeed a fundraising institute, one of the gems of our profession. They are the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) and they need our help – your help, dear reader – because… well, just have a quick read of the accompanying appeal package and see if it doesn’t inspire you and fire you up too, to save this suddenly, shockingly endangered delight.

Click here for our detailed case study featuring the appeal.

But be prepared to be moved. This is no ordinary case for support. This is an extra-special emergency appeal for one of fundraising’s finest. 

And in true SOFII tradition the campaign will be featured, step by step, as it unfolds, on the pages of your very own showcase of innovation and inspiration.

Because you should be inspired – this is fundraisers, helping fundraisers!

One thing we’ve learned during lockdown is that fundraisers are here for other fundraisers (see the story of Italy’s fundraising task force, here. Or learn about the UK’s fine Furloughed Fundraisers’ Support Network, soon to be unveiled on SOFII in coming days).

And this is yet another fantastic example of what can be achieved when we harness the power of kindness and do what fundraisers do best – help others. 

Please do read the attached special mailing pack produced for FINZ by those lovely people at the incredibly creative Precision Group in Australia – it’s brilliantly written by the very talented Michelle Berriman and jam-packed with ideas worth pinching, so it is, so worth reading for that alone. (Hat tip here to the multi-talented Terri Sheahan, Precision Fundraising’s head of copy  and senior strategist, who pulled the whole thing together).

But also, dig deep please for a great cause – helping to secure the survival and thriving of one of fundraising’s best ever ideas – the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand.

Lots of people now are here for FINZ! Click here to see some of them.

The Precision Group’s Cory Hall provides more detail:

‘Campaign Stage One:  

When Michelle first shared with me how dire the situation was regarding the threat to the future of FINZ, I approached my New Zealand business partner, Fred Soar (Precision@Soar). We are both genuinely passionate about supporting the profession of fundraising throughout Australasia so he and I committed to cover all costs associated with this appeal. This included strategy, design, copywriting, digital (e-DM/web), print & mail processing.   

Early in the conversation, I suggested to Michelle that she should reach out to some friends of FINZ such as sponsors, conference speakers past and 2020, fellows etc. with the view of securing a challenge/matched gift prior to the launch. Michelle was initially hesitant as she felt these people/businesses already did so much for FINZ. She was also sensitive to the timing, given the economic environment due to the COVID lockdown. 

I reassured Michelle that I felt confident that other suppliers would share Precision’s viewpoint re. supporting FINZ, and that Fred and that I would approach fellow suppliers and competitors to start some conversations. 

I made a few calls and emailed some key people I knew who had some connection to FINZ. As I suspected and had hoped, virtually everyone I approached was willing to help on two levels: (1) to pledge a cash gift to the matched gift funding pool, and (2) to share the appeal within their networks. Once I reported this back to Michelle, she felt more comfortable moving forward with approaches to the FINZ network. 

The next step was Michelle reaching out to a couple of close contacts who agreed to join as supporting partners of the FINZ Emergency appeal. In the background, FINZ Fellows Jim Datson and Clive Pedley worked with other Fellows to build support for the Matched Gift pool.   

I then contacted Ken Burnett to seek his advice and support. Ken kindly pledged a personal gift and suggested this campaign would likely be of interest to SOFII as a case study.  His reasoning, and I quote:  “As far as I am aware there has never been an international matched funds appeal for a professional association of fundraisers. This could be a world-first.” 

We have used Ken’s support for this appeal, and SOFII’s showcasing of the same, as leverage to encourage other supporters to join us in this world-first campaign. Other fundraising legends, including Adrian Sargeant, are also supporting and sharing this appeal. 

In another show of solidarity within the professional fundraising sector, Katherine Raskob, CEO of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA), committed to endorse and promote the appeal to the FIA membership. 

In recent weeks, I have continued to personally reach out to suppliers in the sector: many of whom I do not know. The response has been overwhelmingly positive! I have had many really uplifting conversations with like-minded suppliers who believe in the profession of fundraising and the vital role organisations such as FINZ play in the professional development of fundraisers. Those who were in a position to do so (some have been particularly hit hard by the pandemic fallout) jumped on board with a pledge.  It fills me with pride to be part of such a great community of people.   

As of week 1 August, the matched giving pool stands at more than NZD $23,000. (This is the value of pledged cash gifts and does not include Precision@Soar’s contribution which has a commercial value of around NZD $15,000). 

Campaign Stage Two:  

In Step two, Precision@Soar reached out via e-DM with a pre-launch request for businesses, agencies and consultants to come on board as a supporting partner. To encourage greater buy-in, we supplied all those we contacted with copy, and email header and footer for them to encourage their business networks to join them in contributing a cash gift to the matched giving pool. This stage has a deadline of 14 August, at which date the matched gift will be announced, before Stage three (public appeal) is launched on 17 August.’ 

Cory has provided a detailed outline of the plan with its different steps. Please see below. Items with a * are completed or in market. Items with a + are next stages and deployment dates.

Step 1 (pre-launch)  * 

Cory and Michelle calling industry contacts to secure support for matched gift funds and re-sharing of the Save FINZ Emergency appeal ask. *

Next step is to send e-DM to supporting partners who have pledged (step 2) +

Step 2  eDM 1 (pre-launch)  

** Step 2 assets FINZ-eDM- 1 partner header 

** Step 2 assets FINZ-eDM-1 partner footer 


e-DM to be sent out in the next couple of days and pledges to be confirmed by deadlines of 14 August. *


e-DM to suppliers, friends of FINZ & FIA invite to matched giving pool with SOFII, trying to secure support for Matched gift funds and resharing of the Save FINZ Emergency appeal (this will also be supplied to supporting partners for them to share to their corporate network group such as agencies, consultants, freelancers etc) *

Those who pledge a gift will deploy step 2 within their own network (up to 14 August which is hard close date for matched pledges). 


We will also ask supporting partners to send a follow up around 10 August reminding their networks that their pledge is required by 14 August. +

Due to deploy on 18 August (once matched gifts are known) 


Step 3 FINZ_DM W1 Appeal 

Step 3 FINZ-eDM W1-FINZ member 

Step 3 FINZ-eDM W1 -FIA member +

Main appeal mailed out to members of FINZ and via digital channels to FIA and Sofii (we can tweak copy as directed by you for the SOFII version) +


People will visit (see all video and content) and donate through the Appeal’s landing page.  They will receive an immediate receipt/thank you via email. +


Step 4 (week beginning 7 September) +

Follow up/reminder e-DM (still being written) I will send a copy once completed +

In development +

Step 5  deploy 1 week prior to appeal closure – will need a date from FINZ +

Last chance e-DM +


Landing page *    

A branded landing page is set up which features partner video and a thank you Video from Michelle. 

See link: www.hereforFINZ.co.nz *

Thank you

Thank you & receipt*

Once they donate they will get an email receipt and a personal thank you from Michelle.*


FINZ report back  

The big issue is….

… the future of FINZ  is under threat.   

As for so many not-for-profits, the coronavirus pandemic has had an extraordinary impact on FINZ and its ability to generate income. FINZ, as you know, relies heavily on face to face events to generate income, and the organisation has been forced to cancel or postpone many planned events and activities.  

Ironically, since switching its F2F learning lunches to online events, FINZ saw a 350 per cent increase in participation from fundraisers – from January to April 2019 FINZ educated 250 fundraisers. In the same period this year, the Institute educated 1,100 fundraisers.

So just when it’s doing more, FINZ faces being obliged to stop. We can’t let that happen. Please help if you can. 

Click here to give now www.hereforFINZ.co.nz. Thank you!

About the author: SOFII

The SOFII collection aims to be the most comprehensive, best organised, and most inspiring collection of fundraising related content from around the world.

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