Dame Fran Wilde
Chair, Nikau Foundation
7 September 2021
How Kiwis can help to build a stronger future has been on my mind lately as I look at how Covid-19 has affected us as a country. Different communities have been affected in different ways and I think that the answers have to come from within each of those communities, as they know what they need better than anyone else.
As a Wellingtonian, I’m really proud to be involved with the Nikau Foundation, the Wellington region’s Community Foundation. It’s one of 17 Community Foundations across the country – unique local trusts that are growing from local generosity. They are a great option for people who want to leave a gift to their local community: your gift can be invested and the income earned will be returned to your community - forever.
Community Foundations enable a way of giving where you can be both strategic (ensuring longevity) and really specific about what you want to support. It can be anything you choose, with the investments continuing to give to your cause(s) of choice in perpetuity.
Community Foundations also know who is doing great work locally and can help guide funding to where it is needed most. As “not-for-profit” entities, they safeguard donations and estate gifts to ensure they have a long-term impact.
While Community Foundations are quite young here in NZ, they are now beginning to take off, having grown 33% in the past year alone. And as well as gifts here and now, they can already count around $400m promised in wills for the future. I think that shows that many Kiwis do like to give in a more thoughtful way, seeing Community Foundations as providing the long-term structure to be able to do this. Basically, the foundations support the tūrangawaewae of each of us – the place we stand and feel at home.
Covid-19 has impacted the whole country and while the Government has certainly stepped up, local people know what their needs are and what’s needed to build resilience for the future of their own neighbourhoods. With September also designated as “Wills Month”, it’s a timely reminder that we are able to look after future generations in a bespoke way appropriate for where we live.
Thank you New Zealand for the care you are showing for our country, becoming philanthropic is one of the most influential and fulfilling things that any of us can do.
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