Louise Parkin is the new General Manager of Nikau Foundation, a Wellington based Community Foundation and Tindall Foundation Funding Manager.
Here she talks about her background and why she is excited to be taking on the challenge of this new role.
How are you finding the first few months in your new role at Nikau Foundation?
It has been exciting, enjoyable and a steep learning curve so far! A real highlight for me is working with a small team of talented people who are moving mountains every day.
Which organisation have you come from?
For the past 15 years I have been self-employed, running capacity building businesses serving the fundraising and philanthropic sector. Saints Information provided fundraising research for charities and Execucare is a recruitment agency specializing in charity management, fundraising marketing and communication roles
You have a background in working with charities and philanthropic organisations, what do you love about working in this sector?
Yes. When I first left university I worked for IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War). In the UK, I worked for Greenpeace and through my own business, I have worked with at least 1,000 charities in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.
My personal moto is ‘highest good everyday’. Every minute of every day I want to be working for greater good and this is why I have chosen to work in this sector.
Community Foundations are quite unique, is it different from anything you have done before?
Yes, it is different in that I haven’t worked for a Community Foundation before, but having had many years in this sector it is a perfect career move for me. I am using all the same skills especially in philanthropy and fundraising, but the professional challenge in this new role is the leadership, governance and financial side of things and I am really looking forward to getting stuck in!
What is exciting about your new role?
The potential that the Community Foundations model offers is really exciting and so too is the life stage of the Nikau Foundation. It’s great to see it all coming together and starting to deliver. I hope my experience in fundraising can really benefit the organisation, especially in the area of major donors.
Is there anything in particular you’d like to achieve in this role?
I would love to see the growth in the endowments we are managing so we can do more for Wellington. There is an opportunity to start some innovative grant making practices and to see some real cut-through. We are in a unique position to make a big impact and it is a big personal challenge to be leading the organisation on this journey.
Are you originally from Wellington?
I’m originally from Nelson. I love Nelson. But I have been living in Wellington for 15 years and it is a great city.
What is involved in your role of Tindall Foundation Funding Manager?
We are The Tindall Foundation’s Funding Manager in Wellington, which means we distribute Tindall Foundation donations to local charities and groups in our community that fit within the Foundation’s Families and Social Services programme area. In 2015, we made 37 grants totaling $101,646 from the money provided by The Tindall Foundation.
How do you work with The Tindall Foundation and the wider community in this role?
We work with The Tindall Foundation’s donations team. We have complete autonomy when it comes to selecting organisations to receive Tindall Foundation funding. We report to the Foundation once a year and get support from the team when necessary.