March 8, 2010

I want to give you money!

In Wellington there is a fabulous non-profit bird sanctuary in the valley of an old reservoir. If used to be called the Karori Sanctuary, and now to try and attract more visitors (for whom Karori means nothing) it has renamed itself Zealandia. Like a lot of non-profits it subsists on a mix of government grants, operating income, memberships and donations.

I'm a member. For $66 (for a couple) you get unlimited entry for a year. I probably run in there once a month on average, which works out to $5 a run and the good feeling of supporting a good cause. The other day I had to find the email address of the membership admin person. This was hard enough, go to the Zealandia website, and there's only one contact address (info@zealandia). None of the other standard categories of administrative emails you might find in an organization.

What about membership? It's totally not obvious from the website that you can actually join Zealandia and support it that way. If you look under visiting it does say there is a member price, but that's about the only indication of membership. Perhaps membership is a small enough category of Zealandia's income that they don't want to appear to be asking for money on the front page of their website. But that's a bit strange. If you're an independent non-profit you have to get the money in from all sources. You can't be shy. Go to the home page of any United States non-profit and it's pretty obvious how to join up and support the organization. The non-profit sector is not nearly as developed in New Zealand as in the United States, and it shows in the softly-softly approach to fundraising many of them take.

Posted by eroberts at 7:30 PM