Auckland Uni named king of the fundraisers at FINZ awards

Raising money for charities and not-for-profits is a much more difficult job than it used to be, given the number of competing organisations and the economic strain of recent years. But there were plenty of impressive efforts showcased at the Fundraising Excellence awards in Wellington earlier this month. 

The awards, which recognise and promote excellence in fundraising and honour practitioners by showcasing best practices and innovation, are presented by the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) and submissions were open to all fundraisers in New Zealand with campaigns that ran during 2012. And the Soar Printing supreme winner was Auckland University's 'Leading the Way' campaign, which raised $203 million. The University also won the Kiwibank Major Gifts and Capital Campaign Award. 

“The winner conducted a truly outstanding campaign of significant proportions, both in the extensive planning and extraordinary financial objective achieved. Seldom do we see a campaign of such magnitude in New Zealand,” said chief executive of FINZ, James Austin.  “Our country will benefit for decades to come from the outcomes of this campaign. Aside from the campaign itself the judges were very impressed with the stated secondary objective, namely ‘to educate our various communities concerning the transformational power of philanthropy’.” 

Led by the director of alumni relations and development, John Taylor, the campaign began in 2006 and culminated with the Chancellor’s Dinner in October 2012. The original target of $100 million was reached in 2010, with the revised goal of $150 million met in April 2011. By August 2012, 3,125 donors had taken the total over the $200 million mark. Of this, approximately $40 million was invested in endowments, while the balance supported specific chairs, fellowships and scholarships. 

“The success of the campaign was a credit to many people at the University – our teaching and research champions, senior management,  the dedicated staff across the centralised Alumni Relations and Development office and in Faculties, our Campaign Leadership Committee and of course the donors themselves," says vice-chancellor, professor Stuart McCutcheon. "It is great to see the efforts of so many recognised nationally."   

On winning the Blackbaud Annual/Regular Giving Programmes Award, St. John chief executive Peter Bradley said it reflects well on its fundraising team but, more importantly, "it reflects the respect held for the quality of our services delivered by all of our staff". 

"And most importantly, it reflects the outstanding support we receive from donors and supporters up and down the country.” 

The winners 

Blackbaud Annual/Regular Giving Programmes Award
St John National
Campaign: St John is a Charity

Kiwibank Major Gifts & Capital Campaigns Award
Winner: The University of Auckland 
Campaign: Leading the Way Campaign

Merit: Dolphin Theatre 
Campaign: 50th Jubilee Theatre Upgrade Project

FRESCO Special Events Award
Cancer Society of New Zealand
Event: Relay For Life

New Zealand Post Supporters Award
Cancer Society of New Zealand
Event: NZ House & Gardens Tour

Flo2Cash Donor Acquisition Award
Stroke Foundation
Campaign: Stroke Foundation of New Zealand Donor Acquisition 2012

Everyday Hero Online Campaigns Award
Campaign: Heart Stopper Challenge

Soar Printing Premier Award
The University of Auckland 
Campaign: Leading the Way

FINZ Fellows
Louise Parkin and Pat Thomas

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