Spotlight on Upstream

This week we have a spotlight on Upstream the platform that connects customers to socially conscious businesses to generate funds for charity.

What can you help people with? 

Upstream is all about making a difference in the lives of local young people. NZ has some pretty terrible stats on youth mental health, suicide and family violence so Upstream was set up to help combat this by raising funds for our local charities working with children and young people through counselling, mentoring, youth-work, supporting children with disabilities and whānau education. Often individuals and companies want to support charities to make a difference but don’t have extra money to donate to these causes - this is where Upstream comes in.

By using any of the 120+ Upstream suppliers for anything from coffee to firewood, insurance, trades, solar power and much more, people are able to directly support local young people out of their everyday spend - without costing them any extra. Upstream creates a win-win-win scenario where the buyer gets a quality, vetted service, the business gets new customers, and the charity gets sustainable funding to continue their good work.

What's your company's story? 

Upstream was started in 2019 by two youth-workers who were sick of seeing charities struggle to sustain funding so they could continue their good work. For vulnerable young people, consistency is vital but without sustainable funding this is a huge challenge for charities. It all started with Kevin the heat pump cleaner who committed a percentage of all new work to charity and has grown since then to include over 120 businesses with more than $2.2 million in new sales resulting in over $130k funding for local charities.

What big challenges/opportunities do you see for 2022?

A big focus this year is working alongside companies of all sizes to measure, report on, and make progress in their social and environmental sustainability. We’ve developed software that allows companies to measure their social and environmental sustainability then offers practical, achievable solutions for them to make progress in these areas. This helps local businesses to tackle an often overwhelming topic in a practical way, and results in better outcomes for both people and the environment.

Where are you/what are you doing when you're not working?

We have a team of four who are all actively engaged in our local communities from Rolleston to Rangiora and when we’re not at work you’ll find us spending time with our families, getting outside to explore the outdoors, or volunteering with a number of different youth-focussed charities. 

How do people get in touch?

Our website  is the hub, and we direct all enquiries through here as this provides tracking of enquiries which generates the charitable contribution. If you want to get in touch you can do it via https://www.upstream.co.nz/contact or Mitch on 021 411 800