Hello Auckland

August, 2015

Whew – it’s been a fantastically busy time here at ACF.  We’ve had a great few months and suddenly our winter newsletter is actually pretty much a spring newsletter.

Of late we’ve had four new funds set up with ACF.  The Youthfund is a youth led fund to support and promote youth leadership and initiatives. A new giving group, the Better Beginnings Collective Fund is underway (more from them in the future).  Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund has come under ACF’s wing, which is really exciting and will be a long term role in enabling the continuance of Auckland Zoo’s internationally regarded Conservation work (more to follow).   Finally the Rua & Clarrie Stevens Charitable Trust is now part of ACF, with well-known philanthropists Lee & Penny Stevens continuing the 45 years history of family philanthropy with ACF’s support (more follows).

We’ve had changes within our team, which are all to be celebrated.  Kat Dawnier our absolutely fabulous Grants & Projects Manager has gone on to set up Catapult Consulting, contracting to the Centre for Social Impact.  We are all really proud and grateful for the work Kat did for ACF and are delighted with her next steps.  We are also fortunate to now have Natalie Vincent working for us as our Grants Manager.  Natalie has slotted into our team really well and brings invaluable experience to her role with us.

The Board said good-bye in June to longstanding member Philippa King, after a huge contribution to ACF and our thanks go to Pip for all her work.  We are joined by Mel Hewitson who brings a great skill set to the Board.

However we have two new ambassadors for ACF.  Nina Tomaszyk, our previous relationship manager concluded her contract with us.  Nina is developing her own business and is staying with ACF as one of our Ambassadors.  Pip King is also one of our new Ambassadors and having Pip and Nina staying as our enthusiastic advocates is such an asset.

The rest of us in the office are all hands on deck working with our new donors and ensuring the support we give to community organisations is done as well as it can be.

We’ve been doing a lot of work around our strategic focus and helping people set up their giving programmes with ACF.  The next period ahead will be really exciting and seeing Community Philanthropy really start to take off in Auckland is a reward for our efforts, both from board and staff.

And not forgetting The Funding Network having its second event in June, ably run by Ruth Morse and Fe Grimshaw.  We raised $46k in 30 minutes at AUT University’s Business School – group giving at its strongest.  I was fortunate to attend the first international The Funding Network conference in London in July and the bonus was I asked to MC the pitching sessions at St Pauls Cathedral.  Not a bad gig…

Can I thank again all our donors, supporters and friends of ACF and of course thank you to all those community organisations who are making the difference in society.

Nepal Appeal

May 2015

The news from Nepal is devastating and as New Zealanders, we have close ties to the Nepalese. The question now is ‘How Can We Help?’ACF’s main focus is on donors who want to give in their local area, however some wonderful philanthropists, Lee and Penny Stevens, who work with us and contribute significantly to many Auckland and New Zealand charities, also have a very close connection to families and particularly schools in Nepal.

We feel that this is a time that we can support the amazing work that this wonderful couple have done in Nepal over the past 40 years; and therefore we offered to send out an email to you with a letter from them.  Please take the time to read the following:

Namaste folks.

Our Philanthropic journey includes our projects in Nepal that go back to the beginnings of our Trust, in 1970.

Mostly recently we supported a local Primary school in the mountains called “Phaplu School.”  We refurbished 8 of the classrooms to ensure greater warmth in the winter months plus connected them with electricity and the internet; funded a toilet block; provided sponsorship of VERY poor students as well as subsidised a teacher’s salary.

Two years ago we started a new project near Kangel which is the village of the school coordinator of the Himalayan Trust, Nava Bhujel, who established a NGO to fund infrastructure involving sponsorship of students and funding towards an IT volunteer.  We purchased laptops, and funded solar power to run these laptops; provided funding to Nagarik Aawaz which works with marginalised Nepalese, funding their ‘Peace Kitchen,’ plus a new NGO building project,(Tewa) in Kathmandu.

Since the earthquake, I have been trying to contact Nava and last night we finally connected via Skype for a brief time until the internet went ‘dead.’  Phaplu School is OK.  The headmaster, (Sunil) and his family, have a home in Kathmandu and both he and his family, and their home is OK.

However Nava’s home in Sallery has been damaged by the earthquake.  With the terrifying aftershocks, Nava and his family, (wife and 2 young children), were sleeping in the open until last night when the heavens opened up and they are now living back in their home with the rain coming in.

Nava is leaving Sallery today to walk to his family village which is about a day’s walk and is quite damaged.  They have lost over 20 villagers crushed by the earthquake.  He will meet with the village NGO called “Youth Creative Society,” and report back to me as to where our aid can be best directed.  He will send me some photos on his return.

Nava is a guy of outstanding integrity and love for his community.  

I am now committed to helping my Nepalese friends in their ‘real’ time of need, which, in my vocabulary, is when friends ‘really’ count.  I will put together an ‘emergency aid fund’.  We will personally be contributing $10,000 to this fund.
If any of you would also like to assist by donating any amount that you are comfortable with, it would be most appreciated.  

Whatever “Generosity” flows in will be gratefully received.

Thank you for any support you could possibly offer to help those in need in Nepal. 

Lee & Penny.
Rua and Clarrie Stevens Charitable Trust (Est 1970)

Please make donations as follows and for receipts, please ensure you provide us with your name and address details.Credit Card: Payment can be made securely via Paypal.  Please follow the link to the transaction page here and select “Other” as the Fund.

Bank Transfer: Auckland Communities Foundation, ASB, 12-3028-0714703-00
Please enter your name and the reference NEPAL and email info@aucklandcf.org.nzwith your receipting details.

By Cheque: Please post your cheque made out to “Auckland Communities Foundation” to;
Auckland Communities Foundation PO Box 26 087 Epsom 1344 Auckland
Please include your name and address details with the reference “NEPAL” on the reverse of the cheque.

Thank You…… ​

March is the time for Giving

March 2015 edition

With the end of the personal financial tax year looming, and personal tax credits available, Auckland Communities Foundation is reflecting on a year of giving through their individual donors.

The Foundation is a ‘donor services organisation’, which helps caring and generous donors give their charitable funds away for the best results in the community.  They are place-based rather than cause based which means the Foundation facilitates giving for any charitable purpose or cause within the greater Auckland region.

Although still a relatively new model to the Auckland region (in the US a community foundation isn’t considered to be maturing until it’s at least 20 years old), ACF is seeing a greater uptake of its services as people start to seek advice on how best they can help the causes they care about, and know that their donation will be making a difference.

Over the past 12 months there has been an increase in funds being established with ACF and in individual gifts passing through the organisation.  Board Member Philippa King, who along with partner Clint and daughters, are building their own fund at ACF says; “More and more people are looking at how they can help develop and support their community through long term philanthropy as well as immediate charity.  There is also a growing awareness of pooling donations for greater investment and impact, and the Community Foundation is an independent, robust and transparent vehicle to do this.”

ACF works with all sorts of donors, including a group of around 20 women who are the ‘Fabulous Ladies Giving Circle’; established at the Business School at the University of Auckland.  Members of this group each donate between $10-20 per week (the amount is confidential for each individual) and after just over 18 months they have accumulated $25,000.  Their first grant was made this year with a scholarship to help a student who is also a parent with childcare costs so they can attend university.  The aim for this group is to grow their capital and distribute the interest on the capital each year.  One of the Founders, Deborah Levy is a huge advocate of Giving Circles as a means of democratizing philanthropy.  “A lot of us don’t have a lot to give away, but we want to do something which will make a difference and this way together we can.  I think the Circle model is great and we’d love to support more and more of them setting up.”

So at this time of year, there is the chance to give to a cause, an issue or a charity and benefit yourself by reducing your taxable income.  One third of personal giving is returned as a tax refund and there is no threshold on that gift, which is a huge incentive to help contribute to our communities.

“This year we’ve seen a marked increase in private individuals coming forward, wanting to increase their giving and wanting our support to make it as effective, easy and enduring as possible.” says CEO Hilary Sumpter.  “We’ve had individual people personally give away between $1,500 to over $150,000 to varying different charities, on whom we’ve done the due diligence.  We’ve also had people ask us to help with their charitable aims, rather than setting up their own Foundation or Charitable Trust.  And at the end of the last year we saw increased activity in people making donations into their Funds to benefit from the end of the financial year – Aucklanders are starting to get the idea!”

New Zealanders are notoriously generous and during March it’s the time to remember that generosity can get a give-back by way of a tax refund, as well as the get-back people get through giving.

Tuesday, March 31st is the last day to benefit your community and yourself through a donation to your favourite cause.

For further details contact:
Hilary Sumpter
Auckland Communities Foundation
027 216 3123

December 2014 Edition

Dear Auckland

We’d like to wish you a Merry Festive Season and say how fantastic it is to see you maturing and finally coming into your own as a fun and creative place to live and play. No longer do we apologise for being a JAFA, instead we can be proud of this place which is full of JAPhAs (Philanthropic Aucklanders).

We’d like to anticipate 2015 as the year of “Collaborative Leadership”, where leaders of all the Anchor Institutions and Local Government with Community come together to start the journey of realising the potential of Auckland for every Aucklander.

We are a beautiful city and region, but we have many social challenges, and the gap between the high net worth and the high needs is increasing. The recently released OECD report has found NZ is missing out on growing its economy because of the increasing width of disparity between the wealthy and the poor. A large chunk of these people are in Auckland and we need to offer them opportunities to be a fully participating part of Auckland so they can contribute and benefit from our city being great.

There are many positive aspects to and the ground swell around Auckland as a Creative City is exciting to see. We look forward to watching this develop so we can all identify ourselves through our unique richness and the narrative that describes what that is. With action we can take our place on the world stage as a truly great place to live and all that that means for our people.

The Board and Staff of the Auckland Communities Foundation have made headway in our long game of helping Auckland realise its potential. Whilst there is so much to do still to strengthen our communities in general, we acknowledge the work that has been done. We are grateful for those who have made their contributions to ACF and in 2014 have moved on to help others.

Our organisation works to help generous individuals make donations which have the most impact and genuinely make a difference. Through this work for our donors we engage with a significant number of incredible people doing amazing things to make that difference in Auckland. To those people who have worked with us, we thank you. To those people who provide services to help and support our fellow Aucklanders, we honour you.

Auckland - we wish you Happy Holidays and hope you have the opportunity to reflect and regenerate to face the excitement of 2015.

Making philanthropy accessible

Are you ‘Just Another Philanthropic Aucklander’?

A group of ‘JAPhAs’ have pooled their donations into our JAPhA Fund and since August have been awarding a monthly grant of $1,000 to innovative projects across the region.

The JAPhA Fund supports amazing people, doing inventive things, for social or environmental good.

The September JAPhA grant was given to the Kumeu Arts Centre for an inspiring arts project. Here’s what they did with it:

Unleashing potential through tertiary education

ACF Patrons Dick and Diana Hubbard are passionate about education and have chosen to establish a scholarship scheme through ACF.

Three inaugural scholarships were awarded earlier this month from the Dick and Diana Hubbard Fund.  The scholarships will support three young people to access tertiary education and unleash their potential.

The scholarship will be managed by First Foundation, whose programme provides wrap-around support for the scholars - including a personal mentor, support with tertiary study fees and paid work experience.

Dick and Diana were on hand at the recent First Foundation Awards Evening to award their scholarships to Tialeoo Vailele (Tangaroa College), Lavinia Vehikite (Manurewa High School) and Fereni Peti (McAuley High School).  

The Funding Network returns in April

The Funding Network NZ’s inaugural event in September was a fantastic occasion - raising over $73,000 through live crowd funding.

We can now confirm that TFN will be back in 2015, with the next event planned for 17 April.  The evening will form part of an exciting week for philanthropy, as Auckland hosts the biennial Philanthropy Summit.

Book the date in your diary!