Where There’s A Will There’s A Smarter Way Of Giving

Press Release: Hawke’s Bay Foundation

The role of professional advisors in ensuring communities benefit from what’s being labelled “the greatest inter-generational transfer of wealth in human history” has been thrust into the spotlight, following the release of a revealing new study into Kiwi philanthropy.

According to a recent White Paper released by Denton Swan and Community Foundations of New Zealand, an unprecedented wealth transfer is now taking place from a generation of baby boomers at an estimated worth of around $150 billion across New Zealand over the next 20 years.

If channeled into communities via strategic giving models like Community Foundations, study author lawyer Henry Brandts-Giesen believes sustainable funding streams will follow.

“Professional advisors have a key role to play in the philanthropic advice they give, and should not underestimate how crucial their role actually is. Not only that, Community Foundations can resolve some of the big governance, compliance, and administrative issues facing grant makers and philanthropists in New Zealand’s non-profit sector. A well designed Donor Advised Fund or Special Interest Fund obviates the need for standalone legal architecture and governance of an endowment fund or bequest. This can relieve the governance, compliance and administrative burden and enable funds to grow and grants be efficiently channeled to the third party project deliverers.”

Hawke’s Bay Willis Legal partner Sarah Beckett agrees the efficiencies of community foundations is what many of her clients find appealing, and why it’s being touted ‘the fastest growing form of philanthropy in the world today.’

“Giving to a Community Foundation ensures that you can support many different charities within your community with even a small bequest in your will or a donation. By economy of scale a community foundation provides efficiencies that will help ensure the gift actually ends up making a difference to our community.”

According to a recent study by the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) around 5% of the public have already made provision for a gift in their Will to Charity with a further 21% likely to or considering doing so.

Sarah Beckett says like many others, her clients are becoming more strategic with their charitable giving and are seeking out more enduring structures to deliver it.

“Charitable giving by clients is generally driven by their personal experience. They increasingly want to ensure that their gift to their desired area of interest can be enduring, without imposing an administrative burden on their remaining family. Community Foundations are a useful vehicle for meeting these objectives.”

Hawke’s Bay Foundation is one of 17 Community Foundations in New Zealand and over 1,800 Community Foundations worldwide, connecting generous locals like Rachael Knight with causes close to home and close to their heart.

“There are significant benefits to be gained from the charitable sector moving steadily towards a more collaborative model, like that offered by local Community Foundations,” says Rachael.

“I chose Hawke’s Bay Foundation to manage my charitable giving because there’s no bureaucracy, it’s local and it’s getting through to the people who need it. It’s got integrity and I like that.”

Rachael’s suggestion to others thinking about giving back to their community:

“Don’t leave it too late. I’ve had a very good life and thought I may as well start giving back early so that I’m still around to enjoy the joy of my giving and be involved with its recipients, isn’t that what it’s all about?”

It’s estimated Community Foundations across New Zealand have over $200M in funds under management and a further $400M in a bequest pipeline steadily growing as Kiwis discover this form of giving and the benefits.

As a lawyer advising clients for over forty years on their Wills and a Hawke’s Bay Foundation trustee, Kevin Callinicos has been impressed with people’s willingness to give back – be it a little or a lot.

“Many New Zealand families have enjoyed unprecedented inflation fueled growth in their net worth to the point where their resulting wealth sees surplus funds available for the fulfillment of philanthropic objectives. But as is clear, many in our community have not enjoyed this inflation fueled growth. So, in the Kiwi way of giving everybody a fair go, Community Foundations are a great way for D-I-Y Kiwis to contribute – give to your local Community Foundation, have the fund grow in perpetuity and let the income generated from the ever-increasing fund support those in need in our community.”

When posed with the question, ‘to give or not to give’ Henry Brandts-Giesen believes there’s never been a more critical time for professional advisors to advise well.

“Professional advisors should be encouraged to have these conversations with their clients now. If some of this immense wealth currently held by the baby boomers can be invested for the benefit of the charity sector, then tangible and measurable benefits to New Zealand society will inevitably follow.”

If you, or someone you know, would like more information on Hawke’s Bay Foundation visit:www.hawkesbayfoundation.org.nz