When it was first suggested I run a campaign to raise money for the Kapiti Performing Arts Centre, a professional fundraising friend gave me a one pager on how I should do it. At the bottom she wrote ‘last piece of advice – don’t accept the challenge.”
That was four years ago – now thousands of brochures, posters, meetings, in-stands, letters, emails and proposals later the building is about to begin.
We’ve held and spoken at events, done interviews, run radio shows, door-knocked, sung at Coastlands, we’ve begged and attempted to charm.
None of this was the plan.
According to my fundraiser friend, you get three large sponsors and then the last quarter comes from the community.
But Kapiti isn’t your average community. It’s made up of a diverse group of people including more than your average people on fixed incomes, commuters, a business community and SMEs. Compared to other regions, there are very few large businesses who have a social investment strategy to give back.
So rather than making up the $10 million fund with several big donors, we’re instead having to focus on – well – everyone.
Kapiti is a glorious place to live because of its nature, but we’re yet to invest in wrapping some good infrastructure around that – things that will be good for the community and could attract visitors too.
Kapiti’s strength is in the arts but we’ve got no venue to showcase that claim. This Centre will be where our locals and visiting artists regularly perform for the rest of us ordinary, less talented folk who enjoy the entertainment.
Just because we’ve started the build doesn’t mean we have given up fundraising. We still have $800,000 to raise. So, if you’re in the mood to help, big or little, take a look at our website: https://kapitiartscentre.nz/
It’s been an eye-opening project – but two things I’ve learnt stand out. The first if you ever doubted this was a community project, think again. I have a huge list, in fact a small book, of the individuals, businesses and families who have collectively dragged this project to where it is today. Thank you so much. There really is a Kapiti community spirit.
Secondly, it turns out, that volunteering or donating to charities has a positive impact on your physical and mental health and can contribute to a longer life. So, if you’re feeling a bit poorly – we can give you our bank account number.
Oh, and a third thing. In future I’ll listen to my friend’s advice.