Thriving community philanthropy

Eleanor Cater
Marketing and Membership Services Director

15 June 2021

Talking with our members and pulling together our national comms and conference programme each year, tells us a lot about the Community Foundations’ network.

Right now, there is a real buzz about and a thirst for knowledge in new areas – impact investing, working with corporates exploring CSR, smart and enduring distribution models, strategic and flexible grant making, building enduring relationships to support Māori and wider community aspirations.

NZ’s philanthropic sector is responding more than ever to community needs and Community Foundations’ facilitating role between generous donors and community needs and opportunities has never been more important.

Our conference this year – from 21-22 September - will capture the essence of what makes community philanthropy thrive, plus some upcoming opportunities in a world that has had to swiftly adapt.

CSR and working for purpose is more important than ever (Amy Carter, from The Christchurch Foundation, will pose the question, how can corporates afford not to in today’s world?)

What is the latest investment outlook? Thought leader Mark Lister, from Craigs Investment Partners, has his finger on the pulse (and makes it all very relatable for the non-investment experts amongst us).

We know from research what makes a Great Fundraising Organisation, so let’s draw on some of that knowledge in building community funds utilising some of the best in worldwide expertise from Philanthropy and Fundraising International.

And let’s make sure we get our basics right – great governance will grow community impact immeasurably, and great governance includes taking the time to respect bicultural practice, build relationships based on trust and respecting Māori and wider community aspirations. We are honoured to have Caren Rangi, from the Centre for Social Impact, joining use for two powerful sessions on governance essentials.

Very fitting too to hear from Simplicity's Sam Stubbs about how the landscape is changing and what this means for Community Foundations in the new Aotearoa NZ; how do we use wealth smarter in communities? How do we maximise the opportunities that present themselves from the well-known kiwi generosity of spirit?

How do we think innovatively outside of the status quo and challenge some of the old ways we distribute community funds?

Right now there is a real desire from New Zealanders to give back, and we are uniquely poised to have communities giving more strategically to affect the change that they want to see, using a worldwide not-for-profit model that has already endured for over 100 years. Part of our strength is, and always has been, being adaptable and nimble to respond to opportunities.

There is a Māori proverb “Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi,” which means, “With your basket and my basket, the people will thrive.” Let’s keep our lofty goal in mind, towards a future where NZ communities will have all the funding that they need.

And, without giving too much away, we have some upcoming announcements to make about our young network's growth stats – so stay tuned NZ!

See the Community Foundations of NZ 2021 conference programme here - 'Growing community impact - Whakaaweawe tē hāpori'

Date Posted: 15 Jun 2021

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