Proudly for purpose, not for profit

Eleanor Cater
CFNZ
22 June 2020

A cornerstone of Community Foundations' work is that we run a proud not for profit model, which involves a lean structure with skilled volunteer Boards and committees.

I’m lucky to be a committee member for my local Nikau Porirua District Fund. It’s a volunteer position with Nikau Foundation and, I think, a position which comes with quite a responsibility. The Porirua region has a solid ‘forever fund’ which has been gifted to Nikau Foundation by way of a significant Trust transfer (see more here about the transfer of Trust Porirua, and historic Licensing Trust assets, to Nikau Foundation in 2018). We have income from over $5m in investments to work with, and our key focus as a committee is on growing the fund and ensuring maximum returns to the community.

So, it’s really important to us that Nikau Foundation runs a very professional, yet lean, structure.

I have to say there is something very meaningful about working with locals who care enough to volunteer their time, skills and often their own resources to building and strengthening their local Community Foundation. We are safeguarding and building a significant community asset and it’s a privileged place to be indeed.

I love the stories of founders of Community Foundations, who are now highly respected in their communities for their vision and foresight. Bill Holland in the Western Bay of Plenty, who had the vision to start Acorn Foundation in 2003, which today has over $35m in assets invested for local benefit, and continuing to grow, exponentially, year on year. The late Neil Sinclair in Ashburton who founded Advance Ashburton Community Foundation, with a vision to growing a significant community asset, today worth over $11m, with significant bequests anticipated, and all to be invested for the benefit of the local region.

Community Foundations of NZ itself is governed by a passionate Board of talented individuals, many of whom are also voluntarily governing their own Community Foundations. We would like to say a huge thank you to them and all the other community-minded individuals who so willingly provide their vision, heart and soul to Community Foundations all around Aotearoa NZ. Your contribution is significant and transformational, proudly focusing on purpose and proudly not for profit.

Date Posted: 22 Jun 2020

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