Social enterprises rejuvenating Christchurch Sunrise

The Rotary Club of Christchurch Sunrise, NZ, has created a unique package of fundraising opportunities for the benefit of both other Rotary clubs and worthy community causes.

Around mid-2021, the Rotary Club of Christchurch Sunrise (RCCS) made a conscious decision to focus on social enterprise projects and, as a result, has come up with three winning packages – the overarching principle of which is to ‘share’ the proceeds with those the club partners or engages with.

In December 2021, RCCS purchased an established mini hot donut trailer to raise funds via its identity Sunrise Donuts Ltd. Members utilised the existing events that had been handled by the previous operators plus researched other regional events in and around Christchurch to build up an extended calendar of functions. These include being sole operator at every Christchurch Speedway event, both Canterbury and Lincoln Universities’ open days, the Christchurch A&P Show, and the Hororata Highland Games, among many others.

To prove the viability of this project, club members ran all functions of the trailer – mixing, cooking, EFTPOS/cash and bagging, which required five members. Today, the members’ involvement is down to two members – two to mix and cook the donuts, with two to three helpers coming in from applying community groups to bag the donuts and handle the transactions.

This support is rewarded with a share in the nett profits on the day. For example, the Darfield High School team worked all day at the Hororata Highland Games in November 2022, packing and selling, earning $2,100 from the nett profit for their efforts.

The trailer also attends smaller community events run by other clubs, servicing a solid and growing list of events. Most events offer reduced or no site cost as they understand the club’s social enterprise, not-for-profit focus. Income for the first year of operations was $58,000.

The second project in the social enterprise sphere, run in conjunction with the donut trailer, was the decision to produce a corporate Christmas foodstuffs pack to take advantage of traditional seasonal gift giving. With strong support from the Rotary Club of Oamaru, RCCS members marketed a good value gift pack to give as an appreciation of good service to clients’ businesses. The club chose an established supplier and an attractive gift box, which included a bottle of award-winning Pinot Noir from one member’s own vineyard.

The packs were promoted through two Rotary clubs, which earned each a commission for their share of the nett profit, along with established contacts RCCS had in the Christchurch and Oamaru business communities. The Rotary Club of Oamaru was delighted to receive a cheque for $6,750 as its share of the proceeds. Other speciality gifting packs are planned. For more information contact info@sunrisemarket.co.nz

The third project involves e-commerce and a new website (www.sunrisemarket.co.nz) set up with suppliers’ products, offered for direct purchase by other clubs. This will eventually be extended to all of New Zealand.

Initial products include Manuka Honey along with a wide range of speciality wholesome New Zealand food, wine and other appropriate goods and services.

RCCS hopes to engage all New Zealand Rotary clubs in the project, not only through accessing the wide range of products, but also to receive a share of the nett proceeds.

When a Rotary club introduces a local manufacturer as a registered supplier to the site, that club will receive the total nett surplus from those manufacturers’ products sales, less a small operating margin for Sunrise Market Ltd. Development of the website has been driven by RCCS’s own IT-aware professionals, working with a local web designer.

The project has now received charitable status and includes the appropriate liquor licence, which adds considerable opportunity to the range of goods and types of products that can be marketed.

For further information on the project, visit info@sunrisemarket.co.nz or call RCCS member Robin Schulz on 027 432 1844.

This social enterprise experiment has exceeded the club’s goals to:
1. Involve other Rotary clubs,

2. Encourage fundraising groups and individuals to get involved, some not traditionally covered under current fundraising activities and who could become long-term recipients of club funds,

3. Enable RCCS members’ participation and fun – over half the club has worked on the donut trailer, and

4. Provide a ‘new’ funding source for Rotary’s contribution to the community.

“Our club’s decision to move into focussed social enterprise activities has, to an extent, rejuvenated our members,” said RCCS President Dale Robertson. “You need to sell a lot of sausages to equate to the contributions we are now able to share with worthy causes in our community”. RDU