Shirley with her two great nephews, Charlie and Jasper, enjoy keeping the population of local pests under control.

Shirley with her two great nephews, Charlie and Jasper, enjoy keeping the population of local pests under control.

The total estimated value of endowments pledged by local people in their wills to be managed by the Geyser Community Foundation has grown to $10.5 million, showing just how generous local people from Rotorua and Taupo are.

Endowments and bequests play a vital role in the development of all community foundations. By leaving an endowment to Geyser, or any other local community foundation, the donors’ gifts keeps on giving forever and over time, the total amount of the gift will far exceed the original capital donation. This is a major point of difference compared to giving to than other charitable causes, and is a very powerful way for individuals and families to provide long term benefits to their local community.

Below, Shirley Potter shares her story of bequesting money to Geyser.

Process was simple and easy

Shirley Potter has made arrangements with her solicitor that a bequest be made in her will to benefit the Tongariro Memorial Fund managed by Geyser.   Shirley said the process was simple and easy.  “An email to my lawyer and one to Geyser – done!  Say you are leaving a gift to three family members in your will, think about increasing the number of beneficiaries to four, making the fourth a charity of your choice.  Chances are it won’t make a big difference to your three family members but the benefit for the charity will be huge.”

A long-time visitor to Turangi and the surrounding area, Shirley became a permanent resident three years ago.  She is employed as a Wetland Ranger for Project Tongariro for a few hours each week in the Te Matapuna Wetlands.  The rest of the week she generously volunteers her time.  “Leaving a gift in my will to Project Tongariro means that the fantastic work that this largely voluntary organisation does in this beautiful part of the country will continue on long into the future.  In the meantime, I have plenty of pest animals and plants to deal to for a good number of years yet!!”

The Tongariro Memorial Fund is a unique and dynamic memorial to four national park rangers who lost their lives in a helicopter crash in the park in December 1982.  Income from the fund will help support four key areas of focus: conservation, education, history, recreation and natural history enabling Project Tongariro to continue development of projects and programmes in and around Tongariro National Park, World Heritage Area, and in the wider Taupo region.