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HaloBiz – the Waikato’s newest online business directory - which has been described as being “socially innovative” and “the hottest online directory that makes a difference” launched recently with two local fundraising competitions.
The first competition was an online, public search to find the Waikato’s Favourite Charity and the second was a lucky dip and open to all Community Organisation Members of the HaloBiz Network. Each prize was $500 cash.
HaloBiz is a business directory which, unlike other online directories, connects local businesses with local community organisations with local people and returns at least 70% of its advertising fees to nominated community organisations. “Our research told us that locals wanted to be able to support local businesses that supported local charities, schools, churches, sports groups, etc” said General Manager, Julie South “but they didn’t know where to find this information easily so we solved that problem for them”.
HaloBiz launched in Hamilton in July with approximately 2,500 businesses and almost 700 community organisations. Since then, many more businesses and community organisations have joined the Network. “Because we’re so different to regular directories it takes a little bit of getting your head around” says South “once businesses realise we actually return 70% of their advertising fee onto their nominated community organisation they’re right behind the win/win principle”.
Plunket Waikato joined the competition a few days after some of the other contestant charities but didn’t take long to race to the lead. Over the four week period of the competition South posted updates on HaloBiz’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/halobiznz) and Tweeted (@halobiznz) the competition link out to Followers and Fans. With a combined following of almost 2,000 Twitter and Facebook Friends, word of the competition soon spread. In addition, competitor charities that have also integrated social media into their communication channels helped spread the word.
The competitors were: Plunket Waikato, Waikato SPCA, Waikato Society of Arts, Arts Waikato, the Salvation Army (Midland Region) and Brick for Life – the new Cancer Society’s Lions Lodge.
With about 10 days to go, SPCA Waikato got serious and gave Plunket Waikato some stiff competition but Plunket always maintained its lead. The winner of the $500 lucky dip Community Organisation prize was the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Hamilton. “Every competitor charity deserved to win” said South “but in the end there can be only one winner – we know that Plunket Waikato will put these winnings to good use to further their cause of helping the development, wellbeing and health of kiwi children under 5”.