Michelle and Blair Smith have chosen to 'give back' through Hawke's Bay Foundation to support the causes they care most about, in perpetuity. Pictured at home in Havelock North with beloved service dog Skye. Photo/ Supplied

More than 352 local charities have benefited from grants made by Hawke’s Bay Foundation.

September is Wills Month, and Hawke’s Bay Foundation is pressing the importance of people not only having a will but updating it to consider supporting local causes through legacy gifting.

A rise in localism, coupled with a rise in will-making across the world, has seen a lift in the number of legacy gifts New Zealanders are now leaving in their wills.

The New Zealand Community Foundations’ network (which Hawke’s Bay Foundation is part of) has over 650 confirmed legacy gifts, all to be invested for the benefit of local communities.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation Executive Officer Amy Bowkett said since its inception in 2012, Hawke’s Bay Foundation has made grants totalling more than $3 million to 352 local charities and grassroots community organisations.

This includes funds distributed by the Foundation as the local regional fund manager for the Tindall Foundation and donor-specified contributions.

Through its community investment model, Hawke’s Bay Foundation supports local charitable organisations with long-term sustainable funding. As its endowment fund grows, so too does the Foundation’s ability to make larger distributions.

Since 2012, Hawke’s Bay Foundation has received more than $10 million in donations.

Bowkett said the foundation connected people who wanted to give back to the region they love through organisations, charities and projects which are making a profound and meaningful difference.

“Through the generous support of our donors, every year Hawke’s Bay Foundation funds a wide range of innovative community projects – large and small – in areas such as community connectedness, social development, health, children and youth issues, older adults, arts and culture and the natural environment.”

She said the funds were distributed via an annual funding round, with applications opening early May and closing in June, and grants announced mid-September.

“All applications are reviewed by the Foundation’s specialist Distributions Committee and their decisions are aligned to clear criteria and a philosophy of providing assistance to heal problems rather than manage them.”

Bowkett said the Committee preferred initiatives that assist groups working towards financial self-sustainability.

“More charities than ever before applied for 2022 funding through Hawke’s Bay Foundation which saw near record distributions sustain the operation of 49 local charities,” she said.

“From social services to health to environment to the arts, Community Foundations like Hawke’s Bay Foundation are providing a critical backbone of sustainable support for New Zealand’s not-for-profit sector.”

The funds under management were a “bit of an unknown” she said.

“This is a bit of an unknown as whilst donors are still alive, their estates are still effectively ‘growing’.

“We have a very conservative estimate of $6 million+ in pipeline bequests.”

 Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air


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1 Comment

  1. What a wonderful thing to see our local community supporting local charities!
    We know that government is never going to support our local charities to the level that we need. This is such a rewarding way of giving back to our community, and to help our community look after itself. #selfreliance.

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