There is no doubt that supporting a cause that you care about is incredibly rewarding.

You will enjoy the immense satisfaction of leaving a lasting legacy, forever.

Read some stories here of local generosity and contact us today if you are keen to support your own community in this way.

Marisha (Max) Koh

Marisha (Max) Koh

“I like the way that endowment giving through Nikau Foundation is a more strategic way to give, and will benefit my beloved chosen causes forever”.

Max Koh has always been someone who has financially planned for the future. At age 14 she joined Kiwisaver which, she says, enabled her to buy her first house, on her own, in her mid-twenties.

As a home owner she wants to plan for the future and has made a Will, including gifting her estate to Wellington’s Nikau Foundation to benefit her favourite causes, Cats Protection Wellington and Wellington Women’s Refuge.

She likes the idea that giving through Nikau Foundation enables her to give in exactly the way she wishes. “I like the idea of an endowment fund where the giving will go on forever. It is a much better way to give to my causes for the long-term through Nikau Foundation, rather than giving a sum of money directly to the charities to be spent.”

Max says that she doesn’t want to have children so it makes sense to make a plan now for future of her assets. She adds, “Even if I did want children I would still give in my Will to causes that I care about. These local causes, Cats Protection and Women’s Refuge, are really important to me.”

Andrea Barry

Andrea Barry

“ ‘Live Here, Give Here’ is a statement that really resonates with us. We are making a legacy here in the Hawke’s Bay that will last forever”.

For some time Andrea Barry had been looking at ways that her family could get involved and give something back to support their community. Andrea was invited to view a presentation locally by the Hawke’s Bay Foundation and came away convinced this would provide the perfect opportunity.

“Our local Community Foundation runs a well thought-out and proven business model where the grantee organisations are chosen by a panel of trusted advisers with the community knowledge to know who, what and where the greatest needs are. We know that our donation makes a difference.”

“I like the model of giving where the gift benefits many and the legacy can keep growing through the generations. “We can choose to keep adding annually to our donation or take a break … regardless the donation keeps giving”.

Andrea also likes that she is able to target specific causes with personal meaning, “Whether it is within education, youth, sport, or a specific geographical location, I can choose the cause which benefits from our gift”.

Phil Carmichael

Phil Carmichael

“When you think about the fact that Acorn, my local Community Foundation, invests the funds and only gives away a portion each year you begin to understand the huge value of a Community Foundation. It means that your legacy will go on forever”.

Phil Carmichael likes the fact that, over time, his contributions to Acorn Foundation in Tauranga will become a good source of funding the community organisations he supports.

He says it’s particularly rewarding to give while he is alive. “That means I can get to see some of the results of my giving. And when I am gone my own children will be able to become involved. It sets a good example for them now and they may be encouraged to do the same”.

 “By telling my story, I hope it helps the whole system to grow and create more awareness of the great work Community Foundations are doing in communities in New Zealand.”

Shirley Potter

Shirley Potter

“A gift in my Will was so simple and easy – an email to my lawyer and one to Geyser Community Foundation – done!”

Shirley Potter loves where she lives and has made a gift in her will to benefit the Tongariro Memorial Fund managed by Geyser Community Foundation.

It’s a cause which is dear to her heart. Shirley is employed as a Wetland Ranger for Project Tongariro for a few hours each week and the rest of the week she generously volunteers her time.

“Leaving a gift in my will to Project Tongariro means that the fantastic work that this largely voluntary organisation does in this beautiful part of the country will continue on long into the future”. 

In the meantime, Shirley says she has plenty of pest animals and plants to deal to for a good number of years yet!

Jock Nowell-Usticke

Jock Nowell-Usticke

“I think it’s really important to give back and it’s not just up to our parents’ generation to do it. You’ve got to start everything young, and flexing that ‘giving muscle’ should be part of everyone’s life-long exercise regime.”

Hawke’s Bay 24 year old, Jock Nowell-Usticke is busy carving out a music career and the world in which he now finds himself is global and borderless, driven by streaming, social media and the online universe. But Jock says he will always be a Hawke’s Bay boy at heart and he is already a regular giver to Hawke’s Bay Foundation.

“I had fantastic opportunities as a kid here – school was great, lots of chances to try new things, all in the beautiful Bay.”

While Jock says he doesn’t give a lot to the Foundation at the moment he gives what a ‘somewhat impoverished musician’ can.  “But I know that each donation I make counts – I really like the fact that Hawke’s Bay Foundation knows where the greatest needs are in the Bay.”

Barbara Blake

Barbara Blake

“Giving through my local Community Foundation relieves the burden of how to make the best choice of which cause to support. I’m confident that my gift goes to where the greatest need is.”

Barbara Blake has set up The Blake Fund through Wellington’s Nikau Foundation to support organisations that contribute to the health and well-being of young people, with an emphasis on young women (15-25), Māori, Pacific Island, migrants and lesbian/gay communities.

“As a mother, I know that teenagers can be a bit tricky and can sometimes seem hard to reach. However I also know that with some perseverance, guidance and a firm push in the right direction at critical moments, young people will flourish and exceed all our expectations”.

The Blake Fund will generate upwards of $20,000 in grants per annum, in perpetuity, for Wellington youth charities.

Barbara approached Nikau Foundation for assistance when she was struggling with a decision on which community groups to support. She was confident in starting her fund with Nikau Foundation because of the Foundation’s extensive knowledge of Wellington and its unique needs.

Helen Mills

Helen Mills

“I get great joy from knowing that charitable donations will be made in my name to my local community of Nelson forever”.

Helen Mills* updated her Will recently and decided to leave a portion of her estate to benefit the community she loves. Her solicitor suggested she consider working with Nelson Bays Community Foundation, so she took a close look at their Beacon of Opportunities to help decide the causes she would like to support.

Helen said that her lawyer and her local Community Foundation made the process so easy.  “It’s very satisfying to have done this and know that my chosen charities, and the wider community, will continue to benefit once I’ve gone”.

*Not her real name as this donor wishes to remain anonymous.

Seeing the difference your generosity makes in your lifetime

chris tustainIn 2012 Chris Tustain decided to start putting money into her own Endowment Fund through Acorn Foundation and since then has added to the fund each year.  Chris says, “It is good to see it growing steadily and earning more income each year, and therefore larger amounts are able to be distributed”.

“I have chosen to give awards through Tauranga Performing Arts Competition Society and Sport Bay of Plenty.  I have been fortunate to meet the successful recipients of these awards, and have been amazed at the calibre of these young people.  They work extremely hard and fit so much into their lives.  It is a pleasure to be able to help them in their endeavours.”

Chris believes  that Community Foundations are a wonderful concept. “There are people in our community who have the means to help others financially, and there are those who are in need of assistance.  Through a Community Foundation the money can be channelled accordingly.  If you are able, start up an Endowment Fund now and add to it each year.  You will be surprised at how quickly the funds build up, and you can decide where you want the annual distributions to go.  Ask the Community Foundation to help you, as they really know their local area.”

Supporting local causes dear to the heart

amanda bAmanda B is inspiring for many reasons. Among them are her perpetual desire to give back as well as boldly give forward to those whom she will never know.

Serving as a chaplain at Mary Potter Hospice, Waipuna Hospice Outreach and Hospice Waikato, Amanda has helped many people at the end of their lives. She is on the board of the Hamilton Night Shelter and Abbyfield, and lends her energy to Project Rachel. As a ‘grandmother’ to the children of many of her friends, and with her foster children well established in their own lives, Amanda now knows exactly how she wants to spend her life’s earnings; as a gift to the community.

Discovering Momentum Waikato she has chosen to bestow half her fund to forever support the Vital Impact Programme, and half to support the Hamilton Christian Night Shelter, animal welfare charities, educational opportunities for vulnerable children, and for CBMI, an international charity that transforms the lives of people with disabilities.  Amanda pays tribute to all that have touched her most in life: her experiences in India, the foster children she raised as her own and her Christian faith.

For Amanda B, choosing to give through Momentum Waikato provides her with the perfect vehicle to ensure the things she treasures most continue to benefit from her love and support well beyond her own lifetime.


Believing it’s ‘never too soon’ to start giving

Peter Rollo believes that, at a young age, being surrounded by generous, giving people instilled a deep desire for him to help others and to give back. He has a belief that well-educated youth and great leaders are an important fabric in the success and growth of our communities and has made a provision in his Will, establishing the Peter Rollo Endowment fund through Acorn Foundation.

Peter believes that Acorn’s model which allows his donation to be kept in perpetuity, and to give every year forever, is the right fit for him. He says the process was easy and it allowed him to decide where the fund will be utilised. “My Community Foundation has allowed me to detach from the world I live in to the world of others, which may not be a fortunate as mine, with ease and with confidence.”


Helping musicians to give back to the community

daphneAuckland Foundation is proud to be administering the Daphne Gretta Mary Stevens Community Music Scholarship Fund. Born in 1926 in Helensville, Daphne is a musical stalwart of the Waitoki community. After leaving school at 13 (as was common in those days), she began her music teaching career at age 15 when her cousin starting coming round for piano lessons. Soon she was teaching at Silverdale School, while continuing her own musical development through piano teaching qualifications and musicianship classes.  Daphne has continued to be involved in teaching and performing piano, and has supported and encouraged hundreds of students and local musicians for more than 70 years.

Her considerable services to music were recognised in 2017 with a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM). Sadly, ill-health has meant that Daphne is no longer able to teach. With her continuing love of music and of learning music however, she was keen to set up a music scholarship. Despite the help of friends and support from Age Concern Rodney, she was unable to find an organisation or model that would work. Daphne’s lawyer referred her to Auckland Foundation.

Daphne was relieved to discover how simple it would be to set up a fund, and a few weeks later the Daphne Gretta Mary Stevens Community Music Scholarship Fund was established. Through the scholarship Daphne hopes to encourage and financially support those who want to develop their music skills and to contribute to the South Kaipara’s community’s musical activities. Each year, one scholarship of $3,000 will be awarded to an individual or small group to run music activities and performances for community groups who would benefit.


What story will you write?  Contact us today if you are keen to experience the immense satisfaction of leaving a lasting legacy to your community.