It could be called a marriage made in heaven. The Good Registry has been created to marry the joy of gift giving with charities.
It takes the traditional wedding gift registry concept a step further to the realm of saving stress, reducing waste and supporting your favourite charity. And, it can be used by children and adults of all ages, for all sorts of events.
Co-founder and chief executive, Christine Langdon, says gift giving is a big part of the New Zealand culture. The challenge for The Good Registry was how to combine gift giving and generosity.
“The Good Registry’s philosophy is that special events should be celebrated. However, choosing good gifts can be difficult and sometimes they are items the recipient doesn’t really love or need. At the same time, there are so many good causes that could be helped and the opportunity for people to experience the joy that giving brings, “Christine says.
If everyone in New Zealand turned one $10 gift into support for their favourite charity, $47 million would be raised every year,” she says.
There are billions of dollars in circulation in ‘the gift economy’ in New Zealand. Just a tiny percentage of these given to good causes can make such a positive difference to them, Christine says.
“And we want to show people can get joy from gift giving and charitable giving.”
Since its launch, The Good Registry has raised about $8000 for its charities.
A great experience for children
Children’s birthday parties have quickly become significant users of the registry, often raising as much as $200 to $300 per party for favourites that include KidsCan and the SPCA.
“It excites me when I see children using it. It shapes how they see themselves and will hopefully inspire them to keep doing good through their lives.”
The birthday girl or boy can nominate the charity they want to receive the money.
“Many children receive gifts they don’t need and parents of the young birthday party guests have the stress of buying those gifts,” Christine says.
Through The Good Registry the child learns how good it feels to raise money for charity rather than receiving gifts they might not like or use and there is less clutter at home and ultimately in the landfill, Christine says.??
Parents of the child could buy him or her one meaningful gift instead.
The process could also be a great role model for young guests.
How it started
Last year Christine left her fulltime community management role with Z Energy, which included leading the popular Good in the Hood programme.
She pledged to spend a year of her time unpaid to create a new project that would have a positive social impact.
“My focus is how to inspire more generosity.”
It was part way through 2017 when Christine spoke about the concept to a couple of friends, Sue McCabe and Tracey Bridges, who then came on board as co-founders.
They concluded Christmas would be the best time to launch, which meant they had to make all the arrangements in a short three months if their site were to go live in November.
The three co-founders were later joined by Tamsin Wilkins who is now chairperson of the trust.
Christine worked 70 to 80 hours a week during those three months.
“When the time is right to do it, it needs to be done.”
Crowdfunding of more than $20,000 helped with the set-up costs.
Much of the professional work needed across the many aspects of the set-up was donated.
The founders established a charitable trust and company and designed the website.
The site was launched in November. Christmas was about learning and experimentation.
“People loved the easy experience of doing good,” Christine says.
About 60 people created registries for Christmas and other events in the first couple of months.
Thosee early months showed the need to create a voucher system, to complement the gift registry model. Customers will be able to buy a voucher that they give as a gift. The recipient will then choose which charitable organisation will get the money. Christine hopes it will also be picked up for corporate gifts and guest speaker’s gifts.
Recipient organisations on the site will be limited to 50 for now. They are divided into animal welfare, children, community support, environmental, health and international categories.
Celebrations The Good Registry can be used for include: Christmas, birthdays, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, farewells and public speaking events, and more.
An administration fee of 10 per cent is deducted to help cover costs, including credit card transaction costs, and the website hosting, marketing and administration.
Christine says that is very competitive compared to many other forms of fundraising.
Since Christmas, people continue to register events, especially birthdays, particularly for children.
“It is giving me a lot of hope seeing so many children using it. Parents are saying both they and their children are enjoying it.”
Christine says that New Zealanders do shy away from asking for a gift via any registry. This prompted the creation of a voucher option givers can initiate.
Christine says The Good Registry is grateful for the support of the BizDojo shared office space in Tory Street, where she is based, and Duncan Cotterill who provide pro bono legal support.
Neonatal Trust NZ
One of the launch charities for The Good Registry is the Neonatal Trust NZ.
Executive director, Neil O’Styke, says, “The Good Registry is an ‘excellent fit’ with its own fundraising strategy of creating a range of options that are low cost, trusted and add to the choice of how people can support the trust.”
“The holy grail of fundraising is a pipeline of regular income that is enabled with minimal risk and effort. The Good Registry absolutely ticks the boxes for us. For a small organisation with limited resources it is difficult — in terms of both direct cost and opportunity cost — to compete with sophisticated programmes out there. Having a professionally managed platform like The Good Registry adds another string to our fundraising bow, with the benefit of not having to develop a tool for ourselves.
“We wish to be able to support more families and do so in a more consistent way. Providing a range of different tools to give through is important for being both relevant, and also easy to deal with. Being able to involve their friends and family through The Good Registry will appeal to many, especially in the modern and connected digital world.”
If you liked this story, join up to our Daily Encourager Media Facebook page by clicking here
More information on The Good Registry
To find out more about The Good Registry click here