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.

 

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 

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, Eleanor Cater, 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?