The Sunrise Foundation’s (Sunrise) endowments have grown to $5.2 million in the five years since the fledgling charity was established.

Sunrise Chair, John Clarke, says it is due to the support of our local community that Sunrise has become the fastest growing community foundation in New Zealand. “To say that reaching $5 million in our first five years has exceeded our expectations is an understatement. We are overwhelmed at the generosity of our donors and how quickly Tairāwhiti has taken to the community endowment foundation concept.”

Sunrise is one of 17 autonomous community foundations throughout New Zealand, and although fairly new here, they have been around in the US and Canada for over 100 years and are a trusted and proven model.

Sunrise, like other charities, raises funds through donations and bequests, where they differ is that all the donations are invested in endowment funds in perpetuity (forever). The interest from the endowment funds is granted back to local charitable causes throughout Tairāwhiti every year.

Glenda Stokes, Sunrise Executive Officer, says “the fact that all funds raised here stay here, and are only used locally, is a big attraction for donors. People like to know their donation is going to stay here in our place, and not be sent off to head office in Auckland or Wellington to be used for other purposes.”

Donors can choose to donate to Sunrise’s General Fund, the income of which is granted to charities that apply for funding through Sunrise’s annual funding round, or one of 43 special interest funds. The special interest funds were set up in response to donor wishes and cover a diverse range of local charities. They are a guaranteed source of income for those charities that they don’t have to apply for every year.

Kerry Taggart, Sunrise Marketing Manager, says the team at Sunrise are delighted with how quickly endowments have grown.  “Every year the amount of funding applications we’ve received far outweigh the money we have available to grant.”

“We have seen first-hand how much need there is for more funding for our local community groups and charities. The bigger we can grow our endowments, the more money we will have to grant to those that need it most.”

All donations and bequests to Sunrise are invested in endowment funds in perpetuity. Every year some of the investment income is retained to ensure your gift grows in line with inflation and is protected against investment market fluctuations. The balance of the income from investments is distributed to worthy causes throughout Tairāwhiti-Gisborne each and every year forever.