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! 

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

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.

 

Thoughtful, grassroots generosity

Thoughtful, grassroots generosity

Tony Paine
Chief Executive, Philanthropy NZ
16 November 2017

The Community Foundation movement has grown in New Zealand to the point where almost all communities across the country have access to, or are establishing, Foundations. That is great news for people who want to ‘give where they live’, and it will see a significant increase in grantmaking and community support as a result. It is also a testament to the hard work of everyone involved, and the commitment of the Tindall Foundation whose work in this space has been pioneering.

International experience (recent US research shows contributions to donor-advised funds outpaced overall giving by a wide margin again last year) and the track record to-date here suggests the trajectory is all positive. If we can continue to promote and support Community Foundations, there is the potential to create combined portfolios well past the hundred-million-dollar mark, with a growth in local grantmaking at a related scale.

At the heart of the Community Foundation model are three values that resonate for Kiwis. Community Foundations of New Zealand name them as being about:

  • Place—geographically defined, drawing on the love of local community
  • Cause—donor-led giving
  • Forever—the gift will never be spent but continue giving to the local cause in perpetuity.

Put these three factors together and they are powerful drivers of personal generosity that are already supporting significant grantmaking in a number of New Zealand towns and cities.

Like all of philanthropy and grantmaking, Community Foundations are as diverse as their communities and have taken different approaches in different parts of the country. That should be celebrated, as should the steps towards new initiatives like Auckland Foundation’s Women’s Fund or Acorn Foundation and Momentum Waikato’s work on Vital Signs projects which set a great benchmark for regional conversations about impact, priorities, and measurement of change.

Philanthropy New Zealand was delighted to develop an MOU with Community Foundations of NZ. We will support their work promoting the Community Foundation model and ensuring that the grantmaking managed by Community Foundations continues to be an exemplar of thoughtful, grassroots generosity.

 

Community Foundations of New Zealand are proud to partner with Philanthropy New Zealand, promoting personal generosity in communities across New Zealand. See further details at the link.

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 

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.

While philanthropy has associations with the rich and famous, you don’t need to be wealthy to be generous.

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, or changemaker, they are becoming and 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 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?