Community Foundations of New Zealand – 2019 Conference

Amy Bowkett with Bill Holland, one of the team who began the Community Foundation movement in New Zealand in 2003. 

Each year, members of all 17 Community Foundations in New Zealand get together for a conference in Wellington.  Amy Bowkett, Development Manager, and Sarah Reo, Trustee, represented Hawke’s Bay.

The aim of the conference is to educate and collaborate. It can be challenging being the only one of your kind in the district. Being surrounded by people who understand those challenges is immensely helpful.

“I was able to ask so many questions of the other managers who were only too happy to share. It’s very positive to know that we are following the exact same model as the larger Foundations who have been around for much longer. I believe in the model, and I know we will be in their position when the time comes,” Bowkett says.

A big topic at the conference was that of ‘Trust Transfers’. Many Charitable Trusts are sitting dormant due to a lack of surviving Trustees. If Charities Services is unable to find an owner, the funds are transferred to Unclaimed Funds at Inland Revenue. Ideally, the Community Foundation can step in and take over management of the Trust, to ensure the original Trustees can continue with their generosity and vision, forever.

“I feel energised and well-supported by Community Foundations of New Zealand and have come away with a very long list of initiatives that I’d like to get stuck into in 2020. With their guidance I am positive it’s going to be a really successful year for us.”