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Fundraising Update – Save our seeds

Kia Ora,

We have been overwhelmed at the fantastic support that the Koanga member community has shown over the last month, it has been absolutely amazing……thank you!

As a sign of our appreciation to our donors to the ”Save our Seeds campaign” for their support, we sent an ebook gift  from the Koanga Institute team, a copy of one of Kay Baxter’s best selling books in ebook format.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that seed saving is slowly moving into mainstream focus. People are starting to understand that we are dependent on heritage seeds for both food security and higher levels of nutrition and health. With the UN estimating in 1994 that 94% of seeds varieties have been lost, the work that Koanga Institute and its founders are doing is more important than ever.

We would like to thank you for the $132,000 donated so far!!!! This is absolutely amazing and we are immensely grateful for your support for both the Koanga Institute and New Zealand’s heritage seeds future.
We have managed to negotiate one more extension on our impending 3rd January deadline for the first funds due, this has now been pushed back to the 30th of January.

We received a few comments that our last update was a little confusing, so we have clarified our goals below:

We need to raise a total of $700,000 by  June 29th  2014  to secure the land the heritage seed and tree collections grow on. Without this money we are at risk of losing the lot. We have some interim dates for a portion of these funds to be raised and paid to the landowners, the table below breaks this down including how much we have raised so far:

Due Date Amount Due Amount Raised to date Possible source of fundraising source
30th  January $ 295,000 $ 122,000 Online crowd fundraising
30th  June $ 405,000 $ 10,000 Speaking tours, workshop tours, business memberships, online auction, possible grants
Total $700,000 $ 132,000

We are conscious of being a non profit organisation focused on financial self reliance. Whilst we can sustain ourselves on a yearly basis, capital purchases such as land are not within our grasp with our current operating expenses. We are largely staffed by volunteers or staff who get paid very basic allowances. We are frugal with our operating costs. We are in the process of improving our current business model and offerings to ensure further development of Koanga Institute but this will take time i.e. 2 years to ramp up.

In our goal to purchase the land to save the seeds, we are not just asking for handouts, there are many ways that people can help that have tangible benefits i.e. buying a ticket and attending a talk by Kay Baxter on our nation wide tour, attending one of our workshops held in 5 locations in New Zealand, becoming a business member of Koanga Institute with benefits, donating to our online crowd fundraising campaign and receiving a free seed saving ebook.

Securing this land will not just mean the securing of New Zealand’s largest heritage organic tree and seed collections. It will also mean the securing of a future home for some of our research and development projects in self reliance and regenerative living.

The Koanga Institute has committed to developing a campus at 96 Kotare Road dedicated to:

  • holding our heritage food plant collections
  • research into all aspects of regenerative living
  • sharing our experience and knowledge

Through this, we aim to ensure the long-term sustainability, and regeneration of New Zealand’s bio-diversity heritage, and to contribute towards transformation in the wider community.

Primary Goals / objectives for 2013-2015

1. To continue our stewardship of our heritage collections, including:

  • new seed storage facilities
  • developing an East Coast heritage fruit tree collection further
  • continued collection of seeds
  • development of a seed bank incubator program within New Zealand

2.  To develop a research center that supports our vision.  Including the research,   modelling and promotion of:

  • the best practice of biological agriculture and production of nutrient dense food
  • the connections between soil, plant, animal and human health
  • the value of heritage varieties for nutrition and health.
  • the use of multi-tiered, perennial agricultural systems
  • use of traditional (non-industrialised) foods and food processing for good nutrition and health
  • appropriate technologies and self-reliant housing
  • appropriate social organisations (eg Community Land trusts, Bio-regional Associations,  Co-operatives etc)

3.   To further develop our membership base and the range of services offered to the public to ensure financial self reliance of Koanga Institute (a registered non profit organisation) including:

  • sales of seeds, books, booklets, and other products
  • an on-site campus for workshops, courses, internships and apprenticeships
  • seed bank incubator program
  • on-line courses and e-books.
  • consultancy and design
  • strategic commercial partnerships

4.  Once the land is paid for to research the development of a village community that models all aspects of our vision, including purchasing our leasehold site within the village
5.   To engage with a wide range of individuals and organisations nationwide and internationally in mutually supportive relationships and partnerships.
6.   To complete the transition from an organisation with a dominant ‘founder energy’  to an organisation that can be independent of the founders and engaged strongly in the wider national community.  This will include a 3 year program of skills development with the staff team, ongoing apprenticeships, and a well documented institutionalised set of processes and protocols.

Thank you for taking the time to read this note, refer below for more information on how you become involved.

Once again thank you for your amazing support, it IS truly APPRECIATED.
Kind regards

p.s. Please feel free to share all of these ideas and our need with all of your friends and contacts.

Crowd fund raising campaign-

We still need to raise more and would like your help to spread the word. We would be honoured if you would help us promote our crowd fund raising campaign to your community and friends through e-mail, newsletters, blogs, facebook,  other social media or contacting the media to tell out story. Click here to see our campaign.

Nationwide Speaking Tour
Our founder Kay Baxter is going on tour throughout New Zealand in May 2014  to talk about two very important topics, all funds raised go directly towards saving New Zealand’s heritage seeds and our campaign to buy the land the seeds grow on. The talk topics are:
1) Seeds, humans and the process of co-evolution
2) Nutrient dense food production and preparation for health

The tickets for these tours will go on sale click below to buy now (the first 50 tickets sold will receive a free Urban Garden booklet)

New Plymouth

Or can you help us with either sponsorship of the travel for the tour which will cover a campervan, small daily expenses and petrol or event locations ? This would offer significant media coverage. If so contact Emma [email protected]


Buy a business membership that offers your company many benefits click here to find out more
Become a life member for a lifetime of benefits click here to find out more

Spread the word:
Spread the word on facebook, twitter, google+ or any other online media/ distribution list. Contact the media and tell that you want to see us on TV

Sponsor someone on a course/ offer a scholarship- email [email protected] to find out more

Become an apprentice: We have a group of people willing to pay us to train garden and orchard designers and managers for a serious new co operative community in the Wairarpapa. Being accepted by this group as apprentices could potentially get you free training with us and entry and a wonderful work opportunity in this community. If you are keen please contract us urgently, or if you know somebody who may be interested please send this to them. This could support us a lot.

Do a course with us: Permaculture design course in February, Appropriate Technology Internship in February

The Koanga Institute is a nationally recognised charitable trust, dedicated to preserving the heritage food plants of Aotearoa. Over the past 30 years, fruit trees, vegetable seeds and perennial vegetables that are unique to NZ have been saved from extinction through our work. The Koanga Institute has also developed a comprehensive education program that offers the skills and understanding necessary for truly sustainable living in New Zealand, encompassing all aspects of health, sustainable food production and self reliance.

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