Trust Fundraiser 2021

Getting to know the people we help

An annual problem

The end of the financial year is a stressful time in any organisation. The financial year at Wai-ora is at the busiest time of year for the company. However, for the nursery, it is when where we have dispatched most of our plants so the best time to conduct a stock take. The less stock to count, the simpler the task, right? Yes and no. There is less stock, but it is often the five to fifteen plants left over from every single line we have produced in the last 12 months, or even longer for some species. Add to that the fact that plants die- gasp, horror- and you have bits and pieces throughout the nursery making the plant list for stock take long and complicated. And somehow it ALWAYS rains the week we do a stock take, so it is a dreaded task for everyone.

Creating a solution

The biggest obstacle for stocktake was where to put all that unwanted stock. We needed to get rid of it quickly and without costing us a lot of money. Other places do a stocktake sale, why not us? The nursery isn’t really a retail organisation and to move the most stock we could, we’d have to open on the weekend. This is just adding to the problem, isn’t it? We decided not to let that be the case. Wai-ora Trust has a farm outside Kaikoura that they are looking to revegetate and has a strong connection to the community. Thanks to the strengthening bond between Wai-ora the Social Enterprise and Wai-ora Trust we worked together to make the stocktake sale a fundraiser for the Trust. What an opportunity.

We set a goal of $10,000 for the fundraiser. We ended up raising nearly that amount on the first day! The sale lasted a week and some of the nursery staff worked from the Trust offices for the whole week to manage the sale for the Trust. We exceeded our fundraising goal and moved so much stock out of the nursery and set the stock in such order in preparation for stocktake that the actual counting of stock took two and a half workdays for four people to count.

Shifting Focus

At Wai-ora, our core values connect us to the environment, the larger community and each other individually. The fundraising event pushed the people in the nursery to work directly with the people in the Trust, not just in theory but literally side by side to accomplish the task that benefited both of us. Every person who moved or sold plants, created a new work space, and talked to the public for the fundraiser was working outside their normal job description. Now in the new financial year, we are ready for what comes next.

Making connections

The fundraiser also gave us the opportunity to get to know each other within Wai-ora better. Making connections is something that the people at the Trust do very well; they do it every day with each other and the people they help. The staff connected with the people that work with the Trust while working at the fundraiser. Both weekends there were events on at Te Ahi Kaa which was right next to the sale itself. Waiata and haka could often be heard in the sale paddock and the people attending the events in Te Ahi Kaa were curious about what was happening outside. This gave us so many opportunities to tell people about all we do here at Wai-ora and to meet many interesting people.

This is how we work. We look for opportunities in problems, and we try new methods. This new way of ending our financial year will be an event to look forward to every year. The fundraiser was a success, stocktake was a success and even though it poured the second day, we turned a problem into a solution.

Andrea Dekker (8/1/16). Andrea Dekker. (22/7/21)
What is 5S? (Continuously updated). 5S Today (22/7/21)

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