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

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