Our generous women

Our generous women

dellwynDellwyn Stuart
CEO, Auckland Foundation

5 July 2017

Women are becoming more and more influential in philanthropy, as earning power and financial independence grows. They control more of the financial pie than ever before and this is set to rise with a huge wealth transfer on the horizon and women set to be significant winners.

Research tells us that women tend to view money in terms of personal security, freedom and a way to achieve goals – so does it translate that women’s giving is different?

While there is no New Zealand specific research, some studies in the US have looked at philanthropy from this perspective.   The findings say that women tend to be more altruistic and empathetic, partly because of the way they are socialised regarding caring, self-sacrifice and the well-being of others. The research also suggests that women tend to give to promote social change or help others who are less fortunate.   In addition, they found that women are nearly twice as likely as men to say that giving to charity is the most satisfying aspect of having wealth.

There is another characteristic of women’s philanthropy that has emerged globally and that is collective giving.  The collective giving model pools individual dollars to make significantly larger grants, allowing people of all levels of wealth to participate in big gifts.   It appeals to women because it is a flexible, grass roots model that taps into several emotional drivers of women: creating relationships and community as well as working together for common causes.

Around the world community foundations have fostered the growth of Women’s Funds – large collectives that use their pooled funds to make significant grants.  Many focus their grant making on women and girls in their community, applying a gender lens to create greater equity.  This acknowledges that women face different kinds of economic and social challenges, which require different solutions.

In New Zealand, community foundations are exploring launching a similar focus on women’s giving.  We’d like to bring like-minded generous women together to learn, collaborate, and make a difference in our communities – while also having some fun!

 

Auckland Foundation are inviting interested people to attend a breakfast on July 14th to hear about what makes women’s giving different and the vision for this new network and fund. To become involved and for further details email melody@aucklandfoundation.org.nz 

The fastest-growing form of philanthropy in the world … and it’s happening right here!

The fastest-growing form of philanthropy in the world … and it’s happening right here!

Stacey-ScottStacey Scott
Chair, Community Foundations of New Zealand
12 June 2017

What an incredible journey it’s been getting to this point in time with 14 vibrant community foundations operating around the country.

And we can only grow; currently we are investigating opportunities in several communities so far not covered by our network. It’s our goal to give everyone in New Zealand access to their very own community foundation so they can give where they live and build on crucial and locally-managed, independent endowment funds for the future.

This year sees us striding ahead with the appointment of our first Executive Officer which will help us work on some of the more  strategic factors such as our growing our network, and growing the message that there is a credible and active vehicle for localised philanthropy in New Zealand. Our community foundations have a wealth of knowledge and one of the key strengths in our network is collaboration and information sharing. One community foundation’s success is everyone’s success, that is why expansion is so important to us, we are stronger with the sharing of knowledge and resources.

Currently we are working on developing resources for new, start-up community foundations in New Zealand and these, along with the support and knowledge base already out there, will make it easy for new community foundations to begin that journey for themselves.  It’s an exciting time of planning and development.

If you want to be in touch regarding starting a new community foundation in your community please contact us, we will be more than happy to chat through the opportunities.

When you consider that Acorn Foundation, for example, is only 14 years old and already has funds totalling $18m, with anticipated funds of $150m in the pipeline, you can begin to see what can be achieved in even small communities with a local focus, commitment and care. Know-how is important when it comes to starting and growing an endowment fund, but it’s worth all the effort as the future grant-making impact on local communities can be huge.

It’s a fact that community foundations and place-based philanthropy is the fastest-growing form of philanthropy in the world. And it’s easily matched up with the Kiwi way of generosity and loving our communities.

Will you join us?

The answers have to come from community

margot mccoolThe answers have to come from community

Margot McCool
Acorn Foundation
17 May 2017

Community Foundations of Canada’s 2017 conference delivered a strong message that community foundations everywhere have the responsibility and the ability to be change-makers in bringing about tolerance, reconciliation, and a better life for those in our communities who do not have the same opportunities to create their own Good Life.

Based on the conference theme “Belong 2017”, powerful presentations from a number of community leaders in Canada reinforced how important a strong sense of belonging is if we are to have healthy, inclusive communities. We all have an inherent desire to belong, but there are many who are still trying to find their place – even those who were born here but whose racial, religious, sexual or cultural identity doesn’t necessarily comply with what many in our country would consider to be “us”.

The answers have to come from community.

Diversity brings richness to society, so we should all encourage and celebrate diversity. This is particularly evident when it comes to the way we treat immigrants – the word “integration” is often used, but integration implies “you must change to be like us”. When we don’t embrace and celebrate other cultures, we imply that their intelligence is less valid and they are inferior in some way. Let’s open our communities to allow everyone to shine in their own way – we can all be changemakers simply by the way we treat every person we encounter.

There are many parallels between Canada, where there were and continue to be significant injustices done to their First Nations people, and New Zealand. Whilst we might like to think that New Zealand has made great progress in our own reconciliation pathway, the statistics on crime, incarceration, unemployment and education outcomes suggest otherwise – we cannot afford to take our eye off the end game.

Community Foundations can make a difference by encouraging community dialogue on these issues, and taking leadership when it comes to building strong, caring communities where we are all equal.

Do you want to know what a modern-day philanthropist looks like?

eleanor squareDo you want to know what a modern-day philanthropist looks like? Look in the mirror.

Eleanor Cater
CFNZ
1st May 2017

I read this quote recently and it really struck a chord.

We can all be philanthropists.

The Oxford dictionary defines philanthropy as:
“A person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.”

Business Dictionary.com takes it further:
“A Greek term, which directly translated means “love of mankind”. Philanthropy is an idea, event or action that is done to better humanity and usually involves some sacrifice…”

It’s certainly big picture stuff and mostly about the impact rather than the size of the philanthropic gesture, which brings me to the point of this blog post; we can all be philanthropists, in big and small ways.

We see this at community foundations nationwide, for example at Momentum Waikato in their latest initiative: their Vital Impact Programme, where every Waikato person has an opportunity to participate: “a child with $10 pocket money can team up with a person who gives 10% of their salary, or a successful business leader who gives $10m, alongside many other generous Waikato people who wish to collectively support significant projects – taking action and making a difference together.”

It’s inspiring the next generation to be generous and reassuring them that their contribution is just as important as the local business owner’s donation or civic leader’s support.

mirrorIt’s seeing change as being within everyone’s sphere of influence, not just the rich and famous.

It’s the child looking in the mirror and seeing the philanthropist they are becoming and – exciting! – it’s happening in a community near you.

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?