Fanning the flames of giving

Fanning the flames of giving

Arron Perriam
Executive Director
Community Foundations of NZ
7 June 2022

What's the spark, why do people give? For the vast majority it comes down to our individual or collective values, beliefs and experiences. This informs a sense of duty to give back and tackle inequality by giving some of our own good fortune to help others. It boils down to simple human generosity and regard for others.

Interestingly, this is the exact definition of ‘philanthropy - the love of humankind’.

Where's the fuel, how much is given? Total philanthropy and grantmaking was estimated at $3.8 billion for 2018 and is increasing, with bequests set to become more significant with an aging population and rising asset values. The largest gains for receivers of philanthropic giving is in welfare and human services related sectors such as social services, community development and disabilities. Giving to the environment, to sustain our planet, is growing.

However, it’s also important to remember not all giving is financial, with volunteerism continuing to be of critical importance at a $4b pa value to the New Zealand GDP1.

Can we fan the flames – can philanthropic giving be doubled in New Zealand? We are on the cusp of the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in modern history, and we have an unparalleled opportunity to use our rising wealth to increase giving to those who need it most. The giving landscape in this beautiful country of ours is a rich green, yet still possesses so much growth potential.

Now is the time for the New Zealand Government to support a national co-funded campaign to build on the culture of giving across Aotearoa and inspire the nation to reach deep, plan forward and think smart about their giving, today and for the future.

Now is the time for the New Zealand Government to incentivise giving through improved tax treatments, matched funding initiatives and strategic investment into the philanthropic sector.

Right now is the time to light the fire on giving as a collective act of generosity, love and regard towards others. Most fires destroy things, but not this fire, it creates positive impact and changes lives for everyday Kiwis.

Date Posted: 07 Jun 2022

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