A watershed moment in time

Lori Luke
General Manager

Acorn Foundation
July 1st 2020

For Acorn Foundation, like most charities, the development of sustainable income that allows us to focus exclusively on our role in the community, rather than fundraising for our own costs, has always been key to long term success. We are immensely proud that, thanks to the support of generous people who shared the Acorn Foundation’s vision from the very start, our local Community Foundation in the Western Bay of Plenty has now reached financial self-sustainability in our FY2021 budget, which will mean more money can go to local charities.

Annual distributions from several donor funds, combined with a 1% fee taken annually from our funds under management—now surpassing $36M—will cover Acorn’s expenses going forward. Reaching this goal means that the foundation will no longer require corporate, trust or personal donor gifts to assist with operational costs, freeing that money up to go to other worthy organisations in the region.

Acorn was founded in 2003, so it has reached this financial goal within 17 years. International standards show that community foundations normally achieve financial independence between 20 and 25 years after establishment, which puts the Acorn Foundation well ahead of pace. I acknowledge that the Western Bay’s generosity, and the hard work undertaken in the early years of the foundation, laid the solid base which has made this accomplishment possible.

Over the years, many local businesses and trusts have supported our work, including BayTrust, Legacy Trust, Craigs Investment Partners, BNZ Partners, and Tabak Business Sales. In addition, dozens of Acorn supporters have gifted money to help with administrative expenses.

On a national basis, The Tindall Foundation has provided more than $1.3M in donations to charities in the Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty over the years, including nearly $150,000 in service fees for Acorn to act as its Local Donation Manager. From this year forward, we are pleased that the Acorn Foundation will be able to pass through all Tindall donations directly to the community, providing even more support to local charitable organisations.

Acorn’s financial sustainability is an important milestone and a watershed moment for the young Community Foundations’ network in New Zealand. The Western Bay of Plenty has achieved this objective through harnessing community generosity and building a grant-making asset that will give back, and continue to make a difference to this region, forever.

Congratulations Acorn Foundation! See more at the link on Acorn Foundation's website

Lesley Jensen, Board Chair (left), and Lori Luke, General Manager of Acorn Foundation announce their big news on reaching financial self-sustainability, meaning more money for local charities

Date Posted: 01 Jul 2020

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