It was announced at The Sunrise Foundation AGM that strong support from the community saw the fledgling organisation receive $627,721 in donations to grow endowments by 32 percent to $2.1 million in the year ended 31 March 2018.

As a community endowment foundation, all donations to Sunrise are invested in endowment funds in perpetuity (forever). Every year some of the investment income is retained to ensure they grow in line with inflation and are protected against investment market fluctuations. The balance of the income from investments is granted to worthy causes throughout Tairāwhiti-Gisborne every year.

John Clarke, Sunrise Chair, says “although still fairly new to New Zealand community foundations are one of the fastest growing forms of philanthropy in the world. Community foundations have been around for a long time overseas and the endowment model is proven and trusted.”

He added that “Sunrise is part of a global movement of ‘place-based’ generosity, meaning all money given here, stays here. Our donors like that the donations they gift to Sunrise are only used to support causes in our district. It is one of Sunrise’s key strengths.”

David Clark, Sunrise Investments Committee, says investment managers JMI Wealth Ltd performed well in managing Sunrise’s endowments and in the 12 month period to 31 March 2018 endowment funds earned $101,968 at a 5.6 percent annualised rate of return.

David added that “it is especially important for Sunrise to invest funds wisely. We have an extra duty of care to safe keep funds donated by a large group of donors. We strive to achieve the best returns possible, while keeping the risk level low, and take a cautious approach to inflation proofing to ensure funds remain robust.”

Glenda Stokes, Sunrise Executive Officer, says even though she spends a lot of time encouraging donations and bequests to build endowment funds, “Sunrise’s reason for being is to support and give back, by way of grants, to our community.”

“We are very grateful for the generous support we’ve received from donors. It is due to their generosity that we were able to gift 39 grants to arts, community, education, environment, health and sport causes throughout Tairāwhiti-Gisborne last year. That is quite an achievement in what was only our third funding round.”

Sunrise invites local charities and organisations to apply for funding once a year. The 2018 funding round is now open, applications must be received before 16 August 2018.  The application form and funding policy is available on