10 reasons to give through your local Community Foundation

10 reasons to give through your local Community Foundation

Eleanor Cater
Executive Officer, CFNZ
9 January 2020

Recently a journalist rang to interview me about a story and one of her questions was ‘why is it better to give through a community foundation rather than giving directly to charity?’

It’s a good question. We don’t say it’s ‘better’; there is certainly a need in the world to address current issues, respond to emergencies and to fund operations with charity donations. But giving through a Community Foundation is certainly different, and it can be more fulfilling, appealing to donors keen to see impact and to make a real difference long-term in their communities.

It got me thinking that this would be a really good blog topic to kick off the new year – so here are my top 10 reasons why you might choose to give through your local Community Foundation:

  • Your giving lasts forever. We don’t spend your gift; we invest it in perpetuity and give away the income – forever - to causes of your choice.
  • Your giving goes further. $100k invested over 100 years can return an estimated $775k* over that time to your cause of choice. Our aim is for your donation to keep its value (we manage investment returns to keep pace with or exceed inflation), so your gift will keep on giving as you intended for the next 100 years …. and so on, into perpetuity.
  • Your giving can have more impact. We know our communities, and we know who is doing great work in them. We connect generous people with causes and projects that will make a lasting impact. Many Community Foundations utilise solid research into community needs, and we know where your $ will make the biggest difference.
  • You can target your giving – which can be as specific as regular support to your local school or as broad as an annual gift to your favourite national charity. You get to choose how your giving will benefit your community for the long term and you can write this into your legal documentation. And your wishes will be honoured forever (see 1).
  • As a not-for-profit, we are all about purpose and we charge very low fees. Our fee structure is intentionally kept transparent and low – typically just 1% is retained as an administration fee. Our passionate and well-respected Boards and committees are made up of local volunteers in order to maximise returns back to the community.
  • We achieve economies of scale with all invested donations, professionally investing your gift as part of a much bigger fund. This way we are able to reap better returns for your chosen cause.
  • You can give with a thoughtful, strategic lens, directing your giving to where the greatest needs are, both now and in the future. The invested endowment model gives confidence that donations will be spent as you intended for the long-term.
  • You can give where you live or where your heart resides, truly making a difference to your corner of the world. So, whether you grew up in Whangarei or the Wakatipu Basin, or live in Taranaki or Timaru, you can affect change in your beloved local community. We help people to affect locally the lasting change that they want to see.
  • We do all the legal and compliance work while you get to concentrate on the best bit – deciding where your money will go.
  • Finally, giving makes you happy! Did you know this? There is plenty of evidence to back up that giving releases endorphins and oxytocin that give you a ‘giver’s high’ - and can actually prolong your life. Many of our donors say that giving through a Community Foundation and being able to affect the change they want to see is particularly fulfilling, so give it a try and feel your happiness soar.

In a nutshell you can make your giving go further and you can get great joy and fulfillment from giving through your local Community Foundation. You may even lead a longer, happier life – what’s not to love about these 10 great reasons?


* Estimated at an average 6.5% investment return and 4% distribution.
Source: Acorn Foundation long-term investment return calculator.


Date Posted: 09 Jan 2020

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