The most generous region in the world?

cherylThe most generous region in the world?

Cheryl Reynolds, 
Chief Executive, Momentum Waikato
29 March 2017

 

In an uncertain world, we are so fortunate to live here in the beautiful Waikato. Ours is a bountiful, safe and happy region, full of generous people who care about their neighbours, friends and families. To us, caring for others is simply who we are, and what we have done for generations. But actually, it’s something to marvel over and cherish in this global age of ‘me first’.

Momentum Waikato’s gift to our community, Waikato Vital Signs, helped shine a light on those things we love and do well, and other things we love that need our support in order for our community to fully flourish. Having asked for input from people on the ground across our communities, we now have real data that highlights areas of priority for ten important themes, all touching things important to our kiwi way of life. The reason this information is crucial to our future is that it enables each of us to learn about and decide what we wish to prioritise and give our time and resources to supporting.

I’d like to propose something to you that I’ve actually been thinking about for quite a while. Having always made philanthropy a priority in my professional and personal life, it is in my present role as Chief Executive of Momentum Waikato that I feel an obligation to issue a challenge to all of us: How would it look if we became the most generous region in the world?

I don’t think it a far-fetched idea. We already know we have a passion for this place we all love. We can agree we all have an interest in making it better. It serves us now and in the future to do that. So how do we go about it? I have a few ideas.

Let’s start by taking a moment for introspection. Think about who and what are most important to you in your life. Don’t even give a thought to the amount of money you earn or what you may have amassed. What matters is your intention. The next thing to do is figure out what things, places or organisations are meaningful to you. If you can determine where you wish to make a difference, the rest is much easier. That’s where this community foundation can help. We put people, ideas and projects together like a beautiful patchwork quilt. Reach out to us and we can connect you with others who have the same dreams and intentions for meaningful results to take place.

You see, Momentum Waikato was created so that all of us have an opportunity to play a part in making our region better. It is up to each of us, regardless of our personal means and professional positions, to put up our hands and work together. I do believe we already are incredibly generous in nature. The challenge now is for us to come together and prove it to the rest of the world.

Momentum Waikato is encouraging generosity across the region. Go to their website for the latest news and to find out how you might become involved in their great work.

A blog post on Community Foundations…

Community Foundations New Zealand – Latest updates…

eleanor squareA Blog Post on Community Foundations

By Eleanor Cater
15 March 2017

I was going to give this a really fancy name but ‘A Blog Post on Community Foundations’ will do just fine.  By world standards community foundations are a fairly new concept in New Zealand and spreading across the country and it’s easy to see why; place-based philanthropy is well-aligned with the kiwi way. We care about our communities and we care about their uniqueness and the people and causes within.

It is also widely quoted that place-based philanthropy is the fastest growing form of philanthropy in the world. People love and take ownership and pride over their communities and those with a philanthropic lean often chose a local cause for their generosity.

And, believe it or not, it’s incredibly hard to give your money away effectively! So a credible and respected foundation in your community which will give your money away effectively, meeting your wishes as donor, is key.

There’s a saying among community foundations across the world that ‘If you’ve seen one community foundation…. you’ve seen one community foundation.” That certainly rings true here in New Zealand where we have grass roots people giving small and large donations in their life through to incredibly large acts of philanthropic giving from those of substantial means. They are all doing it differently and each of our 14 community foundations are responding uniquely but, most importantly, they are all doing it and they are all focused on what is best for their community.

And surely it’s all philanthropy? Big or small?  Wanting to give be a part of something that is bigger than yourself, wanting to really make a difference or leave a footprint on the world? I think that philanthropy is for everyone. And so is community.

We will, over time, have some guest bloggers here, from both New Zealand and from around the world, sharing their experiences, learnings and thoughts on philanthropy and how we might encourage more of it.

We know that there is a will, we just have to find a way to connect up local causes with generous people who want their support to live on in perpetuity. That’s pretty much, in a nutshell, what we do here in community foundations across the country. Will you join us? We are building permanent endowments at a local level for future generations to benefit from, forever.

It’s an incredible encore for your life’s work, don’t you think?