The Atafu Tokelau Community Group has gone corporate with its fundraising efforts, ensuring members are not having to dig into their own pockets.
Over the years, like many community and church groups, weekly Housie evenings have been a staple fundraising event for the Atafu Tokelau Community Group (ATCG) but now its teamed up with a corporate partner to ensure members aren't regularly having to pay from their own pockets.
“With this type of fundraising, it's money coming in from the outside ... it frees people up from having to dig into their own pockets. ”
ATCG Komiti member Afa Setu approached his contacts in the printing industry about work that could be undertaken by the incorporated society, using volunteers that are available through its 300-plus member families.
The society took on its first contract for Bluestar in June 2022, folding and packaging up printed materials for their clients. Several other contracts have followed.
And the work has also been able to benefit other Tokelauan groups. When the ATCG Matauala Hall recently had unexpected bookings, ATCG were able to call on the Te Umiumiga a Tokelau group in the Hutt Valley to help them meet the deadline. They were more than happy to oblige and now it's going to be an ongoing arrangement between the two Tokelauan organisations.
"I've never been a fan of the Housie type of fundraising because it's money that's circulating internally from within our own people, our own community," says Afa.
He knows members support the Housie because it's a fundraising activity for the group and other members of the wider community also attend.
"But I can't help think that a few dollars on Housie might mean some kids are gonna be missing out on whatever they need for schooling, camps and things like that," says Afa. "With this type of fundraising, it's money coming in from the outside, all we're contributing is our time, it frees people up from having to dig into their own pockets."
Afa says it wasn't difficult to convince the society about the benefit of this style of fundraising activity. And it also fits in with the society's Te Kanava Strategy in terms of entrepreneurial approaches.
In recent times, partly due to Covid, Housie has not been profitable in any case, with overhead costs and prizes being paid out, it's gone backwards. Afa says taking on contracts like these, are a win-win for the ATCG and the corporate business that is helping a community organisation with their social and cultural work.
Afa says the society is looking at other similar fundraising opportunities in the future - fundraising efforts that won't potentially require members or the wider community to take money out of their household budgets to support the group's community work.