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.

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.