SAVE FINZ: Emer­gency direct mail appeal

Exhibited by
Joe Burnett
August 05, 2020
Medium of Communication
Letter, e-mail, website
Target Audience
Donors, fundraisers, partners, suppliers, other fundraising associations.
Type of Charity
Fundraising association
Country of Origin
New Zealand, Australia and International.
Date of first appearance
July 2020

SOFII’s view

This is a superb example of fundraisers coming together to help each other. When the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) found its very existence threatened due to the coronavirus pandemic, they turned to the fundraising community for support. Dozens of friends at agencies, suppliers and charities have rallied round to help save FINZ. Together they’ve raised matched funding to stimulate a sector-wide emergency appeal and created a beautiful campaign which fundraisers everywhere can learn from and copy.

The direct mail pack and e-mail communications are superbly written. They allow donors to advertise their support, spread the word and provide a detailed way of keeping track of the campaign. 

Oh, and it could just be the world’s first-ever international matched funds appeal from a professional fundraising association, making it something pretty special in and of itself. We hope it inspires you.


When Michelle Berriman, the CEO of FINZ, was confronted by the organisation’s dire financial situation, she approached friends of FINZ including Cory Hall of the Precision Group, an agency based in Australia. Together, they came up with a plan to create a matched gift direct mail campaign and bring in the voices and contributions of existing and former sponsors, supporters and other friends of FINZ.

PS - you can read SOFII’s recent fascinating interview with Michelle here.

Summary / objectives

Michelle was keenly aware of the precarious financial situation that many donors and organisations are finding themselves in since the pandemic erupted. But Cory and others felt confident that supporters, fellow organisations, former speakers at FINZ’s annual conference and others would step up to the plate and make the necessary donations to help FINZ survive.

Special characteristics

To the best of our knowledge, this is the very first international matched funds appeal for a professional association of fundraisers. Many fundraising legends, from SOFII’s Ken Burnett to Adrian Sargeant, have got onboard to share their support and make donations. In a further show of solidarity, the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) committed to endorsing the appeal and to promoting it to the FIA membership. Precision@Soar, part of the Precision Group, contributed NZD $15,000.

The direct mail letter, written by Michelle, is a superb piece of writing (click on the image on the left to see it in full) and came with a tent desk card allowing recipients to proudly display their support. E-mail appeals came with headers and footers that supporters can add to their own communications to encourage their business networks to join the cause. And Precision@Soar created a branded landing page for FINZ that features a partner video and a thank you video from Michelle Berriman. All donors will receive a receipt and personal thank you from Michelle.

As this is an ongoing campaign, we will keep you up to speed with all new developments.


Donations to the pledge fund are still coming in, but the total currently stands at NZD $23,000, not including the NZD $15,000 ‘gift in kind’ from Precision@Soar. The proof in the pudding of course will be in the matched donations from, well, fundraisers like you, dear reader. 

If you would like to help save FINZ please donate now via this link, right here! We will continue to update the results from this special  case study as the campaign progresses.

You can read more about this campaign here.


Click on the image below for an update on how the appeal is progressing in the aftermath of FINZ’s excellent Conference 2020.