Harnessing community generosity

Harnessing community generosity
for Christchurch

Eleanor Cater
Community Foundations of New Zealand
18 March 2019

We have all watched in horror as events have unfolded on March 15th, on what will be known forever as that black Friday in Christchurch. The ripple effect on Muslim communities, and far wider, will continue to be felt in the months and years to come.

This shocking event will change our country significantly, but we can make sure that some of these changes are positive. At times of real crisis there is a real desire for us all to think about what can we do, how we can help? Empathy is a powerful motivator and for us at Community Foundations we find ourselves wanting to find ways we can harness that angst and helpful energy towards something positive.

Click on the image for further details on how to donate

The Christchurch Foundation have acted quickly in setting up an emergency response. Direct donations will be channeled to families and Muslim communities where the funds are needed most, focusing on medium to long-term needs. The banking industry has come together and has already kick-started $1 million for the Fund.

As Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has said, “The only way communities can respond to hate is to come together with love, compassion and kindness”. And the community is responding magnificently, we are already seeing an outpouring of support and care for Christchurch in the form of donations which is indeed a most practical way to help ease the pain for the victims, their families, the resource-stretched agencies and volunteers on the ground.

In time we see that people often want to do more than the emergency response, so The Christchurch Foundation will eventually be talking with donors about giving with longevity to an endowment fund, supporting migrant communities. Perhaps now more than ever we need some structured solutions and a real sense that our efforts are going to make a real difference over time.

Image Credit: Twitter: https://twitter.com/rubyalicerose

Many Community Foundations already support refugee and migrant families through a range of initiatives, which include tertiary scholarships, direct support to agencies and funding for social enterprises. We aim to foster a greater sense of belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand and we want to enable generous people to be a part of shaping the future.

But for now you can give to the Christchurch ‘Our People, Our City Fund’, see details at this link. You can also contact The Christchurch Foundation at any time to talk about contributing to wider initiatives for the long term.

Kia kaha Christchurch.

We all have a role to play

We all have a role to play in the prosperity of our region

Amy Carter
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.