HGB takes the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust’s donor activity to greater heights.

The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust community fundraising income stream was underperforming. The new board identified this as a weakness and knew they needed an effective marketing and fundraising strategy to get things off the ground. With expertise in the charity sector, HGB advised the Trust on donor communication and fundraising resulting in great success.

The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust (TRHT) is the charity responsible for providing an emergency helicopter service to the Taranaki province. Relying heavily on community support and volunteers, the team provides a lifesaving air rescue service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to the Taranaki community.

The Challenges

For many charitable organisations, marketing often takes a back foot. Time and resources can inhibit effective promotional activity, yet these are the very organisations which can benefit so greatly from a sound strategy.

The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust was no exception. Marketing, fundraising and sponsorship initiatives had been various and ad hoc, with some material used being sourced from other emergency operators. Local marketing involved the use of the Rescue Helicopter at community events, but this ceased after an assessment of the cost showed it simply wasn’t viable.

“We really didn’t know how or what we were actually marketing for or to whom,” admits Bryce Barnett, Chairperson of the Trust. “We didn’t have a cost/benefit analysis of the marketing we did do and there was a severe lack of dedicated fundraising or budget considerations in relation to our marketing activity.”

  • “HGB contributed to the overall business plan and set targets for community involvement and fundraising. We had regular discussions around achieving these targets and continually updated our marketing plan to utilise HGB’s expertise.”

    Bryce Barnett, Chairperson, Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust

The Solutions

Upon the establishment of a new Trust, marketing and fundraising activity went up the priority list and dedicated expertise was employed. HGB joined the team as part of the Trust’s new business plan and a proper marketing and donor communication strategy were implemented.

“HGB contributed to the overall business plan and set targets for community involvement and fundraising,” Bryce explains. “We had regular discussions around achieving these targets and continually updated our marketing plan to utilise HGB’s expertise. This included training for our internal staff to bring them up to speed with our marketing objectives and provide them with the tools they needed to realise them.”

  • “HGB offer a quality service that gets results and this is vital for a charitable organisation like ourselves where every dollar counts.”

    Bryce Barnett, Chairperson, Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust

The Results

In the first year of HGB’s involvement, the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust saw an increase in their donor numbers to 3,661, a value of $231,260. Staff and volunteers alike have been educated on the importance of effective marketing practices and the Trust’s increased reputation and presence in the community has sky rocketed.

“HGB offer a quality service that gets results and this is vital for a charitable organisation like ourselves where every dollar counts,” says Bryce. “Our fundraising and marketing activity has a direct impact on peoples’ lives and HGB’s input has ensured we can continue to offer this essential rescue service to the people of Taranaki.”

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