Be the change

Be the change

Eleanor Cater
Community Foundations of New Zealand
December 14th 2018

While ‘inspired’ is a tired old word that gets thrown about, its stories of generous people who keep us constantly inspired to think more deeply about how we can affect change in communities across New Zealand. Perhaps stories of grassroots generosity are just what the world needs right now. You can read some of these stories here, which feature in the latest edition of NEXT magazine, they challenge us all to rethink the old assumption that you need to be from a certain demographic to be generous!

I never get tired hearing of the generosity of locals, of new ways that people are choosing to transform their communities. Some do it in small, yet significant ways – through regular giving or giving circles – while many choose to give big while they are alive to see the impact of their giving.  Yet others choose to give through a gift in their will. There is no right nor wrong way to give, and the beauty of Community Foundations is that they enable you to give how it suits your circumstances right now.

Structuring your giving to causes that you care about brings a lot of joy and fulfillment to many people. 10% in a Will is a popular choice we see across the board; as one donor recently commented to me “it’s a pretty painless way to give and doesn’t impact my family much”. I relate to this; with three children of my own I’m certain that their eventual inheritance of 30% rather than 33.3% of my estate would make not a jot of difference to them, but that 10% I gift to my local community will make real difference over time, where the gift will be invested and the income will flow back to the community – forever. It’s a really impactful way to leave a lasting legacy (see more here about the endowment investment model).

And, while inspired might be a tired old word, I do feel inspired by other generous people who give through their local Community Foundation. I hope that sharing more stories will enable others to feel the confidence to explore ways they can effect change in their own community, either by giving now or by giving later. 2019 will be a year of delving more meaningfully into our stories of generosity across New Zealand.

As Mahatma Ghandi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Change is within our own sphere of influence, we can all contribute in both big and small ways.  Here’s to a generous and fulfilling 2019.

 

See ways to give through your local Community Foundation

Read stories of generous people giving to their local communities