Our  co-founder, Sir Stephen Tindall, was in New Plymouth last week to launch Te Karaka Foundation, Taranaki’s Endowment Fund.

Sir Stephen’s appearance was welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd who affirmed the Foundation’s vision of a thriving Taranaki – an outstanding place to live, learn, work and play –now and for generations to come.

Te Karaka Foundation has been established to create a new source of funding for the region by administering endowment funds on behalf of people and organisations looking to give back to Taranaki. Based on an international model of philanthropy, the Foundation was initiated by Ken Horner of Hawera and Paul Goldsmith of Oakura, who were looking for a way to develop long-term, strategic giving to sustain the many organisations doing great work throughout Taranaki. A connection with The Tindall Foundation led them to discovering the Community Foundation model and the solution they were seeking.
Through Te Karaka Foundation Taranaki people, or those with Taranaki at heart, are invited to establish their own endowment fund or contribute to a special interest or general Taranaki fund. Gifts can be made in the form of a bequest or given during the donor’s lifetime so they can enjoy seeing the impact their contribution makes. Donated funds are pooled and invested by a professional fund manager, Craigs Investment Partners, and the income used to make grants to the community according to the donor’s wishes. The Foundation also offers funds and grants management services to charities and community groups to help provide for their long-term sustainability.
By 2025, the Foundation aims to grant at least $400,000 each year to causes throughout the region, and it appears to be on track to live up to expectations. Foundation Chair Ken Horner last night announced seven founding endowments representing over $750,000 in funds received and promised to Te Karaka Foundation. Horner, who together with his wife Jennifer is himself a Founding Donor, reflected on the Foundation’s success to date, “We are thrilled with the support we have received from the Taranaki community thus far. At its core, Te Karaka Foundation is about Taranaki people leaving a lasting gift for Taranaki people. Our role is to encourage and facilitate cost-effective and efficient philanthropic giving, to make that process easy and to ensure that the gifts given today have enduring benefit for Taranaki, for generations to come.”
Sir Stephen, whose own Foundation has been instrumental in the establishment of Community Foundations throughout New Zealand, says the model has proven itself both internationally and here in Aotearoa. Te Karaka Foundation is one of 14 Community Foundations across the country which collectively hold over $55m in funds under management, are promised a further $160m through bequests, and made grants of over $2.6m in 2015.
Community Foundations are well-established internationally, with the first of the existing 2,000 community foundations being formed in Cleveland, Ohio over 100 years ago. The model operates on the notion of place-based giving – people giving back to a specific geographic region which holds significance to them – and Sir Stephen believes it is a perfect fit for Taranaki. Recognising our strong regional pride, he says, “We are thrilled that Taranaki now has its own Community Foundation and are confident that there are many people who care about this community and want to leave a lasting gift for future generations. The Tindall Foundation is pleased to be able to support Te Karaka Foundation in these early years and looks forward to celebrating many more important milestones like this in the years to come.”