Congratulations Clutha

Congratulations, Clutha!

Stacey-ScottStacey Scott
Chair
Community Foundations of New Zealand
15 August 2018

The Clutha Foundation, a local fund to be grown by the generosity of locals, is launching this week, in Balclutha, Otago.

New Zealand’s newest Community Foundation will be one of 17 around New Zealand which is being grown by the power of local generosity. People can give to the Foundation and their money is pooled and invested, with the income being returned to community causes.

The Clutha District hopes to emulate the success Community Foundations are seeing in other parts of the country, where we are seeing growing local funds really transforming communities.

It’s no surprise that Community Foundations are proving to be such a success story in New Zealand. Kiwis love their local communities and our country fosters a culture of giving, and giving back to communities is a really fulfilling. New Zealanders are very generous, they want to make a difference and leave a legacy for the future. It’s empowering for many to discover an easy way to do this, for the long term, is through their local Community Foundation.

And Community Foundations are not just for the wealthy, we see many every day Kiwis who want to give to their community, either in life or through their estate when they leave this world. It’s amazing to see that so many people simply gain so much joy from giving.

Former Prime Minister and the long-serving Clutha-Southland MP Sir William English is the Foundation’s Patron.  He has said he can see the long-term potential of such an initiative, and that increasingly communities need to take charge of their own needs. We agree that giving this opportunity directly to local communities themselves is very empowering. Change can come from within.

We have the right people driving this for the Clutha District and the potential is very encouraging. Congratulations Clutha, both CFNZ and other Community Foundations look forward to playing a part in your success as your local folk give where they live and, over time, enable local community transformation.

See the Otago Daily Times story about the Clutha Foundation launch on 17th August at the link.

A new breed of community leadership

A new breed of community leadership

Kelvyn Eglinton
CEO
Momentum Waikato Community Foundation
13 July 2018

People can define themselves, particularly through social media, by being against something. The opportunity is to utilise the medium to define oneself by what we support.

In the four months at Momentum Waikato Community Foundation I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people to support causes that are close to their heart.

I am optimistic for our region. There is a new breed of community and business leadership that is focused on driving an economy that provides purpose to its community and is generous with its skills, funds and vision.

The opportunity for the Waikato (and indeed NZ Inc) is to leverage its strengths to shape a region that has resilience in all areas of economy, community, environment and culture.

This aligns with the government Purpose Economy but importantly enables adaption and meeting expectations of a community to resolve its challenges and build on its strengths in partnership. This requires different localised models of collaboration from procurement, to project delivery and support services that recognises how to connect people, business and natural resources in equal measure.

Value over volume. Leadership that brings that thinking and implementation to the table and understand how to partner thrive here. Bring it on! 

Investing forever

Investing in your community forever

Liz Koh
Deputy Chair
Nikau Foundation
13 June 2018

New Zealanders have always been good at giving to others. Whether it is selling sausages, baking for a cake stall or running errands for elderly neighbours, most Kiwis pitch in at some stage in their lives to lend a helping hand. Our generosity is also to be seen on collection days for charities and in the regular donations made to favourite organisations. Some people are lucky enough to have more money than they will ever spend in their lifetime. For the super-rich, establishing a trust or foundation to make charitable distributions is a way of using surplus wealth to benefit others. The Tindall Foundation, JR McKenzie Trust and Todd Foundation are examples of such organisations which will continue to do good things beyond the lifespan of their founder donors.

Setting up your own charitable trust is an expensive and complex business. It involves preparing the trust deed, administration of the trust, making charitable donations and compliance with regulations for charitable organisations. Smaller trusts often struggle to find trustees once the founder donor has passed away, and poor management often results in funds diminishing over time to a point where meaningful donations can no longer be made.

A simple solution for those with a philanthropic bent but without a massive fortune is to establish a donor-advised endowment fund where funds are invested and the returns distributed in accordance with directives from the donor.  Endowment funds are cheaper to administer, more tax efficient and flexible to operate. They can be established with modest amounts of money, making them accessible to everyone. Community Foundations of New Zealand is a network of sixteen local community foundations which offer donor-advised endowment funds. They provide an easy and inexpensive way for people to invest part of their wealth forever, for the benefit of their local community.

Liz Koh is an Authorised Financial Adviser (www.moneymax.co.nz ) and Deputy Chair at Wellington’s Nikau Foundation. 

An example of Endowment Fund growth since 2003:

* Image example from Acorn Foundation

We all have a role to play

We all have a role to play in the prosperity of our region

Amy Carter
CEO
The Christchurch Foundation
1 June 2018

 

Recently New Zealand was named as the second most prosperous country in the world by The Legatum Institute.  The London based think tank released its annual global Prosperity Index, a huge survey that ranks the most prosperous nations.

New Zealand now outranks Finland – a country we are often highlighted as performing poorly against. Since the index was founded in 2007 our lowest place was fourth and we have taken out top spot seven times.

Given recent newspaper headlines outlining our childhood poverty statistics, the housing crisis and rivers we can’t swim in, this came as a surprise to me. So, I did a little more research and thinking.

The Legatum Institute doesn’t view prosperity as being just the amount of money that a country has.  It compared 104 variables in developing the rankings including personal freedom, natural environment and social capital.

Further reading on their website provides more detail.  It is worth investing some time in, over a cup of tea.

When reviewing these results, it seems to me that all of us have a role to play to ensure that our collective prosperity is spread more.  We are doing ok but can do better. Smart central government policy and investment are obviously key, but these wheels take time to turn.

In contrary a nimble, grassroots engaged, fact-based charity or social enterprise can make an impact quickly, if it is well supported.

That is why we have established The Christchurch Foundation as a vehicle for our region’s generosity. We can connect people who have the means to alter the course of the issues our regions faces. We have the ability to be flexible and to take risks and be responsive to our community needs in a way that is difficult or slow for central and local government.

Christchurch in time could become even more prosperous if we can channel the region’s wealth in a meaningful way.

Reflections on growth

Reflections on growth

Nicky Wilkins
General Manager
Acorn Foundation
May 9 2018

As I reflect on the growth of the Acorn Foundation, it’s an incredible story to tell.  When I started with Acorn we had $96,000 invested, 12 years later our managed funds are at $21.6 million. In addition we have over $160 million in anticipated funds (or bequests) coming in the future. These are staggering numbers, and all dedicated funds for the benefit of the Western Bay of Plenty. Grown by the people for the people. It’s wonderful stuff.

And we’re not finished yet, the growth of the Acorn Foundation, and Community Foundations, is really starting to snowball in New Zealand. In the future we will have very sizeable assets which will be changemaking in communities across the country.

When I started with the Acorn Foundation in 2006, we really were breaking new ground in New Zealand and having to “beg, borrow and steal” ideas for Community Foundations from overseas. We don’t have to do that today as we have developed models that work well here and we are learning from each other all the time.

Over the years I have worked with quite a number of Community Foundation Trustees and staff and it is very exciting to see these Foundations really thriving today.  There is such a genuine attitude of sharing, support and collaboration in this sector and it has been a blessing for me working with many of the amazing people across New Zealand.

It has also been a huge privilege acting as the Funding Manager for The Tindall Foundation since 2003 and Tindall has been generous in supporting national workshops for Community Foundation trustees and staff.  Over time we realised it was essential to have a national body co-ordinating the fledgling Community Foundations, culminating in CFNZ being established in 2013. I was a Trustee on the inaugural board and also acted as Secretary.  After a few years this became too much work (in addition to my Acorn role) and we were delighted when the Tindall Foundation and Craigs Investment Partners agreed to strategically partner with CFNZ. Their strategic vision enabled us to employ our first national staff member, Eleanor Cater, to help to steer the ship and build philanthropic giving in communities across the country.

I’ve been fortunate to attend two conferences in Canada which played a significant part in the introduction of Vital Signs® research to New Zealand. Vital Signs has been an invaluable tool for Acorn in terms of developing our funding and distribution model and has given us added credibility to the work that we do.

No one gets results on their own and with the Acorn Trustees providing excellent governance and stewardship, Margot McCool has played a vital role in supporting me at the Acorn Foundation. It has been a real delight working with someone who is so passionate about our local community.

There have been many highlights in my 12 years with Community Foundations but the most memorable are the wonderful relationships I have built with many of our donors.  These are people I will genuinely miss when I move on in June.

To everyone involved in the movement of growing Community Foundations and generosity in New Zealand, I send a heartfelt thank you. What a difference we will make to our country as we continue to connect generous people who care with causes that matter – forever.

Acorn Foundation

Progressing the Vision

Progressing the vision

Kelvyn Eglinton
CEO
Momentum Waikato Community Foundation
11 April 2018

At recent Institute of Directors conference the Minister of Finance, the Honorable Grant Robertson, noted the aspiration of the Labour Government to define the success of New Zealand, not simply by Gross Domestic Product growth and economic data, but by also including the way in which we address our national social and environmental measures.

The concept of utilising the Living Standards Framework to identify key measures that New Zealand should address and setting targets for how the whole of government should seek to impact positively on social issues is a key step change for New Zealand as a country.

Already we have seen the Prime Minister set Child Poverty reduction targets within Treasury and other departments. Additionally, the Minister stated that to resolve these issues, business leaders and government were going to have to partner with the social sector.

Importantly this provides an avenue for philanthropy and Community Foundations throughout New Zealand to align the needs of their communities with their generous donors and thoughtful gifting, with the government and business focus areas.

Here at Momentum Waikato, and through the evidence-based and robust Vital Signs process, we have a clear approach to identifying the region’s aspirations and issues for resolution.

And it is through the act of giving that we seek to leverage other investment to make profound change in society for the betterment of the Waikato community and make ‘a better Waikato for everyone; forever’.

To do this we are focused on three main objectives:

  • Building a Long-Term Endowment – The Waikato Future Fund such that the fund generates returns that can be granted to change agents within our communities in perpetuity.
  • Secondly, we want to link generous donors to issues and subjects that matter to them and in doing so leverage other donors who have the same interests and leverage greater returns for the donors and the agencies.
  • And thirdly, we want to drive and support transformational projects and programmes, our current project being the Waikato Regional Theatre. Future identification of regional transformational projects will form a pipeline of opportunities to leverage partner funding.

We see philanthropy as thoughtful giving – the philosophy being that we seek to make significant investments and grants to change agents who will make disruptive change and positive impact to issues that are important to society and the environment.  Key to this is the linking of donor centric interests to the evidence-based Vital Signs findings.

Momentum Waikato is also keen to explore how innovation can be utilised to impact on social issues.  How can creativity and execution of ideas be supported by philanthropy to positively impact change?

To be able to lead this organisation, in a time where the communities need to leverage all of our collective wisdom in new and innovative ways, is a great opportunity.  To build on the work of the previous CEO Cheryl Reynolds and work with the current team to progress the vision of Momentum Waikato is exciting.

We look forward to sharing our journey with you and learning from you as we go about making Waikato the most generous region on the planet.

Welcome Wakatipu

Welcome Wakatipu Community Foundation

Stacey-ScottStacey Scott
Chair
CFNZ
15 March 2018

“He aha te mea nui o te ao
– What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
– It is the people, it is the people, it is the people”.
Māori proverb

We are immensely proud to be involved in the launch this week of New Zealand’s newest Community Foundation – Wakatipu Community Foundation, based in Queenstown. The Wakatipu basin have identified a gap in their community, the need for a vehicle to channel the region’s generosity in a strategic way – both individual and through business. They are seeing the magic that is happening across New Zealand in communities such as Northland, the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Taranaki and Ashburton (to name a few) and want their community to be a part of that magic, that spark that begins with generous people in communities wanting to give to local causes and initiatives, and being able to do so in an effective and impactful way.

It’s also fitting that Sir Stephen Tindall will be at the launch in Queenstown. Sir Stephen, widely known for his community spirit and philanthropic endeavours, has been the driving force behind the growth of Community Foundations in New Zealand. He recognised their immense success overseas, particularly in the USA and Canada, and that Community Foundations had the potential to be changemakers in communities here. Through the Tindall Foundation Sir Stephen backed Community Foundation establishments in the early days (starting with the Acorn Foundation in the Western Bay of Plenty) and has backed their growth ever since.

That is what we are all about at Community Foundations; we channel the generosity of thoughtful people to the causes that matter most in the community. It not only strengthens the community it empowers people within them to become instigators of change.

As we reflect on the immense energy and drive we see across New Zealand, changing communities by channeling resources to where it is needed most, we wish Wakatipu Community Foundation, and the people of the area,  every success!

 

Generosity can be as personal as it is impactful

Generosity can be as personal as it is impactful

Eleanor Cater
Community Foundations of New Zealand
22 February 2018

With 15 – very soon to be 16! – Community Foundations spread across New Zealand we are seeing local people catching on to the importance of personal generosity shaping communities.

Community Foundations assist generous people to be changemakers and to have an impact locally. They enable people to realise that change really is within their sphere of influence, and not something that is just for the rich, the famous or the politically-minded.

They enable people to be not just locally-focused but cause-focused, enabling gifts that will benefit the community for generations to come.

There is a strong history of philanthropy in New Zealand, and there is a great deal of wealth that will change hands from this generation to the next. There is also an immense sense of attachment to a place which is held by people who have grown up, chosen to live and dedicated their lives to building a strong local community.

It’s a crucial niche that links generous, philanthropic people with community causes that matter. Community Foundations exclusively fill that niche enabling people to give in a strategic way, together with the surety that donations from their precious life’s work will be well cared for and continue to give forever.

Community Foundations are the natural funding choice with local impact, able to assist with intergenerational wealth transfers and invest back into the community with purpose. And, make no mistake, Community Foundations of New Zealand members must exhibit immense expertise and sound governance to give the confidence for generous people to give in this way. We are proud that our members across New Zealand do all of that.

If you would like more information on what your Community Foundation can do for you and local causes that you care about, contact us today to talk through your options. There are many ways to give and your generosity can certainly be as personally meaningful to you as it is impactful in your community.

 

Celebrating Women’s Generosity

Celebrating Women’s Generosity

Dellwyn Stuart
CEO, Auckland Foundation
2 February 2018

Female-led social impact is nothing new here in NZ  – this year we celebrate 125 years of world leading women’s suffrage!  But we are relative latecomers to celebrating female philanthropy.  Last year my attention was drawn to the number of funds held by community foundations around the world that focussed on women’s generosity.  At least 150 exist, putting women in the driving seat of granting in their communities.

The drivers of this worldwide movement are many: women enjoy working together and giving collectively, women tend to perceive and use money differently to men, women understand and empathise with the experience of other women so give effectively to them.  When receiving grants, women tend to share their acquired benefits generously with their families and communities.

When women empower women by sharing resources, potent social change occurs.

With the help of Community Foundations of NZ and Philanthropy NZ, we’re excited to have developed the Women Give 2018 event – a deep dive into women’s giving.  If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take a look at our programme. You may have prospective donors, advisors or current donors that would get something out of the event and if so we can extend the membership rate to them.   Let us know.

Men have long been celebrated for their generosity and they are important drivers of change in our communities.  It’s time to recognise and celebrate what women bring, and offer them the platform for their style of generosity to flourish.

Join Community Foundations and Philanthropy New Zealand at Women Give 2018, on March 6th for a day focused on women’s generosity and the role they play in change. Explore how we’re doing as girls and women in New Zealand and the positive impact applying a gender lens to our philanthropy can have.

Full details on the Women Give 2018 programme.

How can we enable change?

How can we enable change in the communities we serve?

Gemma Slack
Momentum Waikato Community Foundation
12 December 2017

If we genuinely want to see change in the communities we serve, we need to do things differently. For years, we have funded charitable organisations to deliver on meeting critical needs. But why do we still see so many challenges? Our communities need disruptive thinking from change-makers of all kinds to create the architecture for change, systems for change, for intergenerational change. How do we, as Community Foundations and philanthropic funders, create space for change-makers to innovate our current systems to drive new and radical solutions, that will seriously benefit those children born in 2067? And then how does a long-term focus impact the demands we place on those we fund?

In 2015, the newly established Momentum Waikato Community Foundation provided me with an opportunity to focus my final university research on the sector. The opportunity peaked a curiosity to understand how everything I had learnt in the Bachelor of Management Studies could be applied in the not-for-profit sector.

I completed the research while studying on exchange in Maastricht, Netherlands, and with the support of Momentum Waikato, was able to attend UKCF Conference in 2015 to further my understanding of the sector. These experiences filtered into my final research which explored the history, development and current state of philanthropy and Community Foundations, strategic community investment, and the tools that Community Foundations can use to empower their communities.

As I began this research, I could see a connection between ‘strategy’ used in the for-profit sector, with ‘philanthropy’ used in the not-for-profit sector, in terms of achieving outcomes and goals. Using a philanthropic lens in the context of Community Foundations meant exploring how can we identify the needs and aspirations of our community to drive disruptive solutions for intergenerational change.

We know the solutions to our local problems lie in the communities we serve, but we know if we keep doing the same thing, but expect a different outcome, it’s insanity. So how can Community Foundations convene, connect and endow to enable the change we want to see? This is the passion behind my work with Momentum Waikato over the past three years, delivering the inaugural Waikato Vital Signs, and researching global movements like social enterprise, to better understand how we might inspire generosity to invest for impact.

I see exciting times for Community Foundations around the country as they look at different, more strategic ways to lead the change for communities and systemic impact. I encourage us all to be bold, courageous and inclusive as we explore new ways to enable change, serving our donors and communities to achieve the outcomes we urgently need.

 

Gemma Slack is responsible for Strategic Initiatives for Momentum Waikato, was awarded 30 under 30 by Hamilton City Council this year, is the Chair of Seed Waikato, is part of the Youth Advisory Group for Philanthropy New Zealand, and has her own social enterprise, Betley.

Read Gemma’s research paper on community foundations and strategic community investment at the link: Philanthropy Community Foundations and Strategic Community Investment (2017) – Gemma Slack