A new initiative is helping people support community groups by shopping at local businesses.
CommUnity founder and former New Zealand cricketer John Parker says the initiative provides a more efficient and sustainable way for people to support local groups including sporting, arts, culture, recreation, and schools.
"In the past community groups have received their funds through gambling trust grants, sausage sizzles, and raffles. It can be quite a difficult process for the groups to get their funds. CommUnity is a more simple way where everyone benefits."
John spoke at the mayoral forum in South Taranaki in March.
"I informed the district mayors about CommUnity and the benefits it has."
Shoppers register with CommUnity and then shop in-store or online at participating stores and merchants. Shoppers can choose up to three community groups they wish to support and a small percentage from their transaction goes towards the community groups.
Groups, clubs, and charities register with CommUnity as a CommUnity group to receive untagged funding from the shoppers. They also have the opportunity to apply to the CommUnity Fund for future projects and programmes.
John says merchants pay a yearly fee to register with CommUnity.
"They can choose what percentage they would like to donate to the community groups. The minimum amount is three per cent. Merchants can log into the site and see the member's shopping habits, how many people are supporting the business and what groups they are supporting. They are also promoted and can put their specials on the app for members to see. There is no membership fee for the shopper or community groups."
He says members are directed via GPS to participating stores on the app.
"No matter where they are in the country they can log on and see where the participating merchants are."
John says CommUnity was launched nationwide via Zoom earlier this month.
"There were 50 community groups from around New Zealand on the call. I wanted to show that the initiative is nationwide and involves everyone. It has been well received."
There are 30 regional managers nationwide, says John.
There are also 130 ambassadors. The ambassadors are looking for local businesses and community groups to join CommUnity."
Taranaki CommUnity ambassador Janet Fleming says her aim is to get community groups involved all over the Taranaki region.
"The first step is engaging with local community groups as they are the shoppers and could also be the merchants. By the community groups getting involved they are generating their own funds and can also recommend CommUnity to family and friends so they get involved as well."
Jane says a number of businesses from New Plymouth and Hāwera have signed up for CommUnity.
"Some of the businesses are The Good Home, Crowded House Bar and Eatery, Footrunner, and Kingsway Teamwear. My focus is getting Stratford businesses and community groups on board."
■ Businesses or community groups wanting to get involved can email Janet at email@example.com. For more information visit www.comm-unity.kiwi