The Working Together More Fund has given over $2 million to New Zealand not-for-profit organisations who work in a collaborative way to support their local communities.

The Working Together More Fund, itself a collaboration of six philanthropic family foundations from around New Zealand, exists to support collaborative projects.

Everyone of the 212 projects funded by The Working Together More Fund since it began in 2009 is an example of how community groups are working together to make difference for the people and communities they serve.

By the end of 2015, The Working Together More Fund had received 987 applications, 212 of which were successful. The average grant given to organisations in 2015 was $12,853. Grants range from $1,000 to $25,000.

This year The Working Together More Fund will give away a further $435,000 to support collaborations across New Zealand. The next funding round closes on 1 July 2016.

Bede Martin, The Working Together More Fund Project Manager, said working together could achieve excellent results and help to deliver a greater number of higher quality, more efficient programmes and services for our communities.

“We fund groups that are interested in collaborating with others to be more efficient or effective, such as merging, sharing facilities or undertaking a joint project. We give money to groups with an interesting collaborative idea that needs further exploration before they can make it happen; and we fund those who have already done the feasibility on a collaborative initiative and now need a grant to get started.

“A successful collaboration takes time, goodwill and clear communication. It’s not always easy but when it works it adds significant value to groups’ effectiveness and efficiency and the local community really benefits,” says Bede.

The Working Together More Fund committee is made up of representatives from Wayne Francis Charitable Trust, J R McKenzie Trust, Todd Foundation, The Hugh Green Foundation, DV Bryant Trust and The Tindall Foundation

The committee meets three times a year to assess applications. The next round closes on Friday 1 July 2016 at 5pm.

An example of one of the grants from 2015 was a small donation of $3000.00 to Hamilton based Interactionz and partner organisation, Progress to Health.

The donation facilitated an inquiry process, which enabled the organisations to confirm their shared values and philosophies and uncover potential areas of challenge in collaborating. As a result, the two organisations continue to explore the practical aspects of sharing space and resources and to learn more about each other. They remain open to the possibility of co-locating and collaborating on projects.

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