New Zealand achieved a major milestone last night [Thursday 2 June], when total donations on the crowdfunding site Givealittle ticked over to a massive $50 million.
The $50 million has been raised from more than 30,000 Givealittle pages set up over the past eight years, for causes ranging from individuals in need, to charities, to community projects, to the now world-famous campaign to buy a beach at Awaroa Inlet for all New Zealanders.
Givealittle Chief Giving Officer Tom Beyer says “this proves what we all knew already - New Zealanders are a generous bunch who are always there to back a great idea or to help each other out when the going gets tough.
“Some of the causes on Givealittle will be very familiar to New Zealanders - such as Awaroa Beach, the campaign to help Lucy Knight and her family, or the funds raised for the Himalayan Trust to assist those stricken by the Nepal Earthquake.
“But there are also many, many examples of smaller causes that have gone under the radar but have made a real difference in our communities. Community fruit harvesting shares excess fruit from people’s gardens with those in need who are struggling to purchase their own. Hayley Yu raised more than $5,000 to research how to make healthy fresh food more accessible to all New Zealanders - and on the back of that has launched the award-winning social enterprise Clove. And Timaru’s own superhero, Scooterman, successfully fundraised for a new set of wheels.”
While donations on Givealittle represent only a fraction of total charitable giving in New Zealand - which sits at around $2.788 billion according to the most recent Giving New Zealand report - the volume of giving on the site has grown rapidly, particularly in the past 3 years. In the year to 30 June 2014 donations on the site were $7.4 million. This compares to an expected $21.4 million in the year to the end of June 2016, with more than $10 million being raised in just the past 4 months.
Beyer believes the steep growth shows the crowdfunding model for social giving is becoming more mainstream amongst New Zealanders, who appreciate the transparency it provides as well as the ability for donors to remain anonymous if they choose.
“Digital communication is now ubiquitous and so the ability to donate instantly online is of great appeal to your average Kiwi,” says Beyer.
Beyer also says page owners being able to share stories on Givealittle is a big reason for its success.
“For people who find themselves in extremely difficult circumstances, being able to tell their story and establish a community of support around them can feel very empowering. Fundraisers on Givealittle tell us the messages of love and support that come with the donation mean as much to them as the actual dollars raised.”
Givealittle is owned and funded by the Spark Foundation, which since purchasing Givealittle in late 2012 has covered the platform’s fast-growing operational costs. This has allowed Givealittle to provide customer service, technical support and absorb the payment and processing of transactions fees associated with donations, such as credit card fees. Since late 2012, the Spark Foundation has invested almost $5 million in Givealittle. The Foundation’s investment has increased from around $880,000 in the 2014 financial year to $1.7 million in the 2016 financial year.
GIVEALITTLE: THE NUMBERS
● $50 million donated since Givealittle established in 2008
● 673,223 individual donations and pledges made
● 30,000+ Givealittle pages created
● $5 million invested by the Spark Foundation since late 2012 to cover operational costs
● $2.280 million pledged for Abel Tasman Beach campaign
TOP 10 GIVEALITTLE PAGES
1. Abel Tasman Beach, www.givealittle.co.nz/project/abeltasmanbeach2016 - $2,276,183.09
2. Nepal Earthquake response, www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/nepalearthquake - $367,570.00
3. Help Lucy & Family, www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/helplucy - $269,634.00
4. Brad Smeele's Recovery, www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/bradsmeele - $232,688.22
5. Riding for Hospice, www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/ridingforhospice - $230,028.90
6. Red Cross Samoa Tsunami, www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/pacifictsunami - $202,233.19
7. Help Tobi and Sara get a house, www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/helptobisarah - $201,610.00
8. Bone Marrow For Life, www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/bonemarrowforlife - $184,037.32
9. Paul (PJ) Lupi Needs Your Help, www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/pjlupi - $173,147.21
10. Help Jared Noel meet his baby girl, www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/jarednoel - $170,265.30