Special Olympics New Zealand Corporate Partnership Strategy

Special Olympics New Zealand is a community-based movement that provides essential (and proven) education, recreational and healthcare programmes throughout New Zealand for people with intellectual disabilities. Their work promotes a more inclusive and connected society where people with an intellectual disability are visible and valued.

In 2020, Special Olympics New Zealand engaged Giblin Group to help with identifying and securing potential funding partners.

We worked with the Special Olympics New Zealand team to develop a Corporate Partnership Strategy, with the objective of providing an achievable roadmap to forge mutually beneficial, meaningful and enduring relationships.

The scope of this project included:

  • Developing their compelling case for funding; the ‘why’ funders should support Special Olympics New Zealand
  • Designing a sponsorship programme
  • Identifying potential corporate partners and alignment opportunities
  • Outlining best practice for approaching sponsors, sponsorship activation and partner retention
  • Providing recommendations on next steps to activate implementation of the strategy
  • Developing a brochure to support conversations with potential partners

The strategy was developed via a collaborative process with the Special Olympics New Zealand team to ensure it was fit for purpose strategy, that the team could pick up and implement themselves.

In working with SONZ we found that there was a strong case for funding due to the proven impact SONZ’s programmes and events have on enhancing wellbeing in communities nationwide. Through their work they meet the needs of people with an intellectual disability that have unique challenges which directly impact their quality of life and life expectancy.

Furthermore, the organisation has the ability and genuine desire to partner with other organisations and sectors. Partners have the opportunity to be part of the Special Olympics New Zealand community through contributing to existing programmes, and/or co-designing new programmes.

The strategy was well received by the wider Special Olympics New Zealand team and provided a useful foundation for pursuing the significant potential for meaningful partnerships.

This was complemented by the development of professionally designed partnership collateral, using the compelling case document as a basis. The purpose of the brochure was to inspire and connect people to support Special Olympics New Zealand in any way they can, whether that be through financial support, in-kind, or volunteering. When the Special Olympics New Zealand community saw the brochure, many were inspired to distribute it to their networks and spread the word.

We at Giblin Group greatly admire what Special Olympics New Zealand does. SONZ is a visionary organisation which has major impact on achieving better wellbeing outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. There is significant potential to increase that impact throughout communities in New Zealand with the right partners on board.

It was a privilege to work alongside the team and we look forward to watching their future successes.

“We started working with Jenni, Jess and the team from Giblin Group at the start of our journey in framing up our proposition for funders and partners.  We went on an exploratory journey with the Giblin Group and Jess and the team really took the time to understand who we are (and what we are not).

The time we took at the beginning for Giblin Group to deeply understand who we are and what we were wanting to achieve meant that by the time we reached the pointy end of the project there were no surprises or re-work required because they understood us. 

We brought everything to life with a highly visual brochure that fits who we are, and energy and enthusiasm of our athletes.  I could not recommend the Giblin Group more highly. 

Thank you to Jess and the wider team, you are amazing.”



Since 2011 I have worked with Jenni and Christine on a number of highly successful fundraising initiatives in support of the Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment Project. With their help and expertise, we have raised more than $28.8m from central government and Lottery sources. The Giblin Group are a pleasure to work with and have provided great advice on many occasions concerning communications and public engagement. I can certainly recommend their services.

Greg Anderson, Director, Sarjeant Gallery

Giblin Group supported Blue Oyster with developing a robust Funding Strategy that took into account the specific needs of our organisation and activity. Jenni and Jess offered substantial advice and support in, not only establishing this strategy but giving us helpful tools for implementation and always prioritised sustainability throughout. Their enthusiasm for our space and activity was truly felt and appreciated – our relationship with them will be nourished and valued well into the future.

Grace Ryder, Gallery Director, Blue Oyster Gallery

“As our thinking evolved, Giblin Group showed a steady commitment to deepen their understanding of our needs. We always looked forward to our coaching sessions which were stimulating and inspiring. Jess and Jenni became valued colleagues that supported and provoked thinking with rigour and generosity. They’re now not only valuable advocates for BATS but part of our whānau.”

Jonty Hendry - General Manager, BATS Theatre

“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

“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