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Retailers Staring The New Year, A New Way

Retailers Staring The New Year, A New Way

The recently launched Robin Hood Foundation enters 2003 with the partnership of two of New Zealand's retail giants, Farmers' Trading Company and Progressive Enterprises.

The Foundation was launched in October 2002 and immediately attracted partnership from some of New Zealand's largest companies, including Restaurant Brands, Griffins, Microsoft and Coke.

>From a business partner's perspective,"The Foundation is a much-needed and positive forum where the business and charity communities can work together, Farmers' CEO Nick Lowe said. "The Foundation allows businesses to give back to the community in a manner that makes the money work harder for the charity.

"We are excited to be part of the Foundation, he said. "The Foundation's work and philosophy fits in perfectly with Farmers' tradition of supporting the community, which goes back to the early days of company founder Robert Laidlaw who believed strongly in giving back to the community.

"I am particularly thrilled with how quickly the Foundation has gained momentum," Mr Lowe said.

He said the partnership with the Foundation would not affect Farmers' existing sponsorships including the Farmers Santa Parade and the Salvation Army Charity Day.

A new concept for New Zealand, the Foundation performs the role of marriage broker between business and non-profit partners, and has attracted rapid interest from both sectors. The Foundation's October 30 launch party and inaugural charity auction raised more than $200,000 to support the Foundation's work in its first year.

The Foundation's core role is to bring a common language to both business and non-profits and create sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships.

Backed by one of New Zealand's most influential boards, the Foundation has high profile and successful individuals on board such as Sharon Hunter, Diane Foreman and Dick Hubbard. A unique feature of the Foundation will be to broker strategic alliances between several companies (often business partners) and a mutual non-profit partner.

"The value of shared pride that engenders from several partners working together to support a mutual non-profit partner is immense", Foundation Founder and Director, Jude Mannion said. "The process enables a deeper working relationship between all parties, which is good for business and good for the non-profit".

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