Creative New Zealand

With capability workshops and coaching, Giblin Group builds sponsorship and fundraising skills in smaller organisations. 

In late 2016 Giblin Group began working with Creative New Zealand (CNZ) to help choose five talented organisations to work with to help them improve their financial viability and broaden their revenue streams beyond their core funder; CNZ.

The coaching Giblin Group provided included the development of a bespoke fundraising plan, which includes public sector, corporate partnership, trust funding, private giving and community fundraising revenue streams. The coaching has also included governance coaching sessions with the organisations’ trust boards which covers the board’s role in supporting fundraising initiatives.

Basement Theatre in Auckland was on the first intake of Creative New Zealand investment clients to take part in the fundraising coaching programme. Sam Snedden, Business and Industry Development Manager at Basement says, “The coaching enabled us to develop our existing fundraising activities and look for new opportunities. Giblin Group made sure that the initiatives we developed were ‘on brand’ for Basement; for example, we worked through a ‘Ghost Club concept’ of selling the rights to be our resident theatre ghost. This was a fun way to explore the concept of legacy giving with our predominantly younger audience. We also focussed on our annual Christmas show. Thanks to the coaching we have managed to secure some new sponsors for this year’s show.”

Giblin Group coached each of the organisations to pitch themselves and their mission to different organisations and tailor that pitch to meet the different needs of, say, a trust funder, a corporate partner and a donor. These skills were put to the test when the organisations were put in a Dragon’s Den scenario, based on the TV show.

Giblin Group started the training with pre-assessment, situational analysis and ground truthing of the organisations who had submitted applications to undertake intensive fundraising capability training. This exercise started with Giblin Group conducting workshops across the country with Black Grace Dance company, Red Leap Theatre, Basement Theatre, Enjoy Gallery and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

The workshopping gave an extensive picture, which was a great base so the organisations could move towards the next step, which assesses how ‘funder-ready’ the organisations are. This is where the training really begins. What many organisations commonly believe is funder-ready is realistically and unfortunately only the ten percent of the iceberg that floats above the water. It’s the ninety percent under the surface, or the groundwork that makes such a difference to a fundraising application.

The groundwork, in a nutshell, is the argument for why an organisation should be funded. For example, the organisation is not reliant on one source of income, what they do is innovative in their field, and they have solid financials.

The purpose of the Dragons Den pitch session is not to sell the organisation to the sponsor or funder in real life but rather for the organisation to be tested on their pitch and to receive real-time feedback from those in industry about how they have presented themselves. The tone of the Dragon’s Den feedback was collegial and constructive rather than adversarial.

Between the Dragons Den, and the how-to’s on how to construct their own fundraising strategy, these organisations are now positioned well to help themselves generate new revenue streams that will decrease their reliance on Creative New Zealand funding. This paves the way for 2018 where Giblin Group will work with Creative New Zealand on delivering coaching to five new organisations.

In 2018 Giblin Group is working with Footnote Dance Company, McCahon House, NZ Dance Company, NZ Trio, and the New Zealand Dance Festival. The lessons learned by these arts-based organisations are universal and can be applied to more than the arts sector. They would easily go across sports, education, charitable organisations, health based organisations and churches.

Image credit: Red Leap Theatre Company

“Jenni did a fantastic job in helping us to secure critical partnerships and funding support for our internationally significant Len Lye Centre project – what’s more we really enjoyed working with her.”

Barbara McKerrow - Former CEO New Plymouth District Council Chief Executive

“Giblin Group’s work on the Better Business Case process contributed to the development of a compelling piece of work. This project has created a considerable step change framework for the future of our City.”

Gary Poole - Tauranga City Council Chief Executive

“Giblin Group’s knowledge of government practices and procedures on a national and local level is invaluable, and I often find that they are well connected with staff and officials on all levels of Government. Giblin Group scopes their assignments well, provides accurate cost estimates for their services, delivers within the agreed timeframes and always deliver excellent quality work – no project manager can really ask for more!”

Kritzo Venter, Senior Stormwater Engineer, Wanganui District Council

“The work that the Giblin Group completed, in collaboration with our staff, was instrumental in the success the project has had in securing significant funding to this key City initiative. In particular we have found the experience of the Giblin Group to been invaluable in seeking funding from a variety of sources in an increasingly challenging environment.”

Lance Vervoort, General Manager – Community, Hamilton City Council