fundraisingtext_mediumIn New Zealand to get a second Cochlear Implant for your child, you will need to privately fund this. At either $34,000 if done at the same time as the publicly funded Cochlear Implant or $50,000 if done at a later date, this is a lot of money. Most New Zealand families will struggle to fund this themselves.

Over the years numerous families have been successful at raising these funds through fundraising. This page gives you a few basic steps to getting started. It also gives you a few fundraising ideas. These are by no means exhaustive. If you find something not mentioned here that works for you, please let us know so we can help future fundraising families.

First Steps

There are some basic steps to getting started:

  1. Please confirm with your Cochlear Implant programme that your child is medically able to benefit from a second Cochlear Implant. In a small number of cases, it may not be possible. It would be awful to have got well towards your fundraising goal and then find its not medically possible.
  2. Confirm with the Cochlear Implant programme what your fundraising dollar target is. This may vary a bit depending on the policies of the different programmes and the needs of your child. You also need to get an idea of what some of the ongoing costs will be and may wish to include those in your fundraising.
  3. Assess your own funding option. Many families will have options around accessing their Kiwisaver money, savings, adding to their mortgage, selling some assets, etc. This may be useful to contribute to the funding of the second Cochlear Implant or to cover any shortfall in fundraising.
  4. If you have medical insurance, check how much this will cover. Most medical insurance in New Zealand covers the surgical costs and the hospital costs. However their policies are not clear so you will need to ask formally. This can cover several thousand dollars.
  5. Set up a separate fundraising account. This allows your fundraising activity to be kept clean and transparent. It also allows additional signatories (like members of your fundraising team).
  6. Write your child’s story and why you want your child to have two ears.
  7. Find some of your friends who can help or even better, lead this fundraising activity. As a parent of a child with hearing loss you are going to be super busy working with your child. If the fundraising activity can be taken on by others, that would be a real blessing. It also widens the rang of people you will be able to communicate with. One parent recommends holding monthly meetings with the team to facilitate communication and keep the excitement.
  8. Get a couple of good photos of your child.
  9. Check out whether you want to register as a charity. This allows you to issue donation receipts – which encourages people to give. Information can be found on the Charities Commission website. You may also wish to talk with your Cochlear Implant programme as they are already registered charities.
  10. Set up a http://www.givealittle.co.nz page so people have a place they can donate. Its free so you have nothing to lose.
  11. Let this website know you are fundraising so we can create you a profile page. Go to the “Contact Us” page and send us an email including your story and photos.
  12. Set up a facebook page so people can spread the word through social networks. Its best to set up a ‘page’ so people can easily ‘Like’ it.
  13. Identify your networks of people and those of your friends that could be tapped into. Use them without shame. This is professional, personal, community, social, educational, etc networks – the more the merrier.
  14. Choose 2-4 activities to pile your energies into. Your group’s interests and networks will probably determine what’s the best activities to tackle.
  15. Try to generate some publicity through the media. The media love stories like this. This can be a good way of getting some good photos.
  16. Keep keeping people informed of progress. This can be done on the facebook page and websites. People like to be part of the excitement of progress.

Ideas for Fundraising

Here are a number of ideas for fundraising:

  1. A donation site like http://www.givealittle.co.nz
  2. Try to get items donated to you and then auction them on Trademe or sell them through stalls at local markets
  3. Talk to local supermarkets. They tend to have community grants. Sometimes this works really well when bundled with other activities (ie goody bags for movie nights)
  4. Movie nights
  5. Sausage sizzles
  6. Sponsored runs
  7. Friends making things and selling them (donating a percentage). This is good because people can buy something and feel good that they bought something that will help a worthy cause.
  8. Community dinners
  9. Garden tours
  10. House tours
  11. Raffles – please check the regulations on these
  12. Approach Rotary Clubs
  13. Make applications to charities
  14. School dress up days – if your child is at school
  15. Sell Cadbury chocolate bars
  16. Try to get bigger donors to agree to match other donations – up to some limit. This encourages others to give as they feel they are getting more bang for their buck.

Some Thoughts

There is an old adage – many hands make light work. You will be stunned how many people you actually know and how many people they know. If all these people do a little, $50,000 is an achievable target. More importantly… giving your child proper hearing is achievable.

Make sure you give your wider family an opportunity to be involved. Regardless of how wealthy (or not) your family is, family can be a major help.

Finally… and it sounds obvious… but make sure you thank people. One family had a celebration party when they reached their target. Other families send little thank you cards. There are a multitude of ways to thank people – the important thing is to do it.