Give where you live ... to build a stronger community.
Advance Ashburton is a Community Foundation that accepts donations, invests the money and distributes earnings for the benefit of our community.
What is Advance Ashburton Community Foundation? Advance Ashburton Community Foundation is a registered trust which is set up to facilitate personal giving for the benefit of worthwhile community organisations and causes. Which community organisations and causes receive payments from the Fund? The Donor may specify particular worthwhile community organisations and causes or the Donor may leave the gift “unrestricted” so that the Foundation decides where the money is most needed each year. Many Donors choose both: they specify a certain percentage of the distribution to go to particular charitable causes and leave the rest unrestricted.
What does the Foundation actually do?
Receives Donations and Bequests
Manages each Fund - Each nominated or special purpose fund is separately monitored and accounted for. The capital of each Fund is combined with all other Funds (to achieve economies of scale) and invested as part of the whole. The Foundation has an Investment Advisory Committee whose main role is to manage the Foundation investments. The members of the Investment Advisory Committee are professional, astute investors who offer their expertise at no cost. In making their recommendations to the Board the Committee is guided by the Investment Policy as set out in our Policy Manual.
Makes distributions - Distributions from each Fund are made on an annual basis. The Foundation makes these distributions in accordance with any instructions which have been given by the Donor. Where the donation is wholly or partially untagged, the Foundation makes the decision as to where the distributions are to be made. The Foundation has a Grants Committee whose main role is to advise on these distributions. This Committee receives applications throughout the year, investigates and considers these applications and makes recommendations to the Foundation Board as to how the available funds shall be distributed. All distributions are approved by the Board of Trustees.
Promotes generosity - The Foundation’s principal role is to promote the concept of people “giving back” to the community. We encourage the concept of giving through the Foundation as a means of sustained and ongoing benefit to our community.
What are the benefits to the Donor?
Personal satisfaction - Our Donors are very happy to know that during their lifetime or after they have died, their donation will benefit their community forever.
Tax Benefit - Every donation, made during the donor’s lifetime, of more than $5.00 to the Foundation entitles the donor to a tax credit that is one third the value of the donation (up to the limit of their taxable income). For example, a donation of $1500 entitles the donor to a $500 tax credit.
Staying within the Community - Donations are retained within the Ashburton District forever, or as directed by the donor.
Donor remembered - Unless anonymity is requested the name of the donor remains in the community forever. Recipients of funds receive information about the donor.
Funds not eroded - The administration costs of the Foundation are low so the donor’s gift is not eroded by fees and costs. The gift is also inflation adjusted.
Avoids problems of a personal Charitable Trust - Donors may establish their own personal Charitable Trust. However, the problems of having a personal Charitable Trust include:
(i) Ongoing trusteeships - Who will continue to manage the Trust after the Donor and the Donor’s advisers have passed on? (ii) Economies of Scale - The compliance requirements and the costs associated with properly managing a Trust mean that the annual administration cost reduces the effectiveness of the gift. Establishing a Fund through the Foundation has much the same effect as establishing a personal Charitable Trust but without those problems.
What are the benefits to the Community Organisation or Cause?
Ongoing benefit - Most community organisations desperately need an ongoing passive income source.
Where a Donor nominates a particular organisation, that organisation knows it will continue to receive that income forever without having to go through the effort and uncertainty of making applications for grants.
The organisation can rely on that income and budget accordingly.
Asset not recorded in financial accounts - If an organisation is holding investment funds to maintain an income flow, this sometimes renders the organisation ineligible for other funding. If the investments are held by the Foundation, the organisation receives the annual donated income, but the invested capital is not part of its financial accounts.
Expert investment advice - The organisation itself does not have to worry about making investments decisions.
Extra source of funding - Even if an organisation has not been specified by any Donor, it can apply to the Foundation for part of the income from the unrestricted Funds. This is particularly valuable for new or emerging organisations and for responding to the current and immediate needs of the community.
Increased charitable giving - The Foundation is helping to change people’s attitude towards leaving gifts to community organisations and causes in their wills or making donations during their lifetime.
How are the Foundation’s expenses funded? All Foundation Trustees and Committee members are volunteers and are unpaid. There are however, costs, (staff salaries, rent, phone, postage, marketing, etc.) in operating the Foundation. The Board aims to keep these costs as low as possible: we deliberately run a “lean and mean” operation using part-time staff and economising on rent, etc. In order to cover these operating costs, a levy of 1% of the capital of the Fund is made to the Foundation each year.
Who runs the Foundation? There is a Board of up to ten Trustees who administer the Foundation. They are appointed as follows:
Are there Community Foundations elsewhere? Advance Ashburton is one of a number of Community Foundations that have been established in New Zealand. Community Foundations are one of the fastest growing forms of philanthropy internationally, operating for over 100 years in the United States.
Is the Foundation concept successful? Yes. We measure our success by the number of donations made and the Funds that are established.
What is the future of the Foundation? Very strong. Initially, it took time to get started but as people heard more about it and were attracted to it, the Foundation has grown rapidly in recent times. Donors now have full confidence in the integrity of the Foundation and are comfortable in the knowledge that any gift left to the Foundation will be properly and safely managed in accordance with their wishes. The Foundation has become widely known and respected in our community and its future is assured. If you would like to support the work of the Foundation or if you would like more information please contact us.
The Role of our Patron Our Patron, Trevor Croy, is a very valuable and significant member of our Foundation's team. He is the guardian of our values and an important connection between the Foundation and the public. His primary duty, conferred on him by our Trust Deed, is approving the appointment of new trustees. This naturally means that he takes a very close interest in the protocols, practices and processes undertaken by the Nominations Committee. A well managed succession plan ensuring we have the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience is crucial. Also very important is selecting people of highest personal and professional ethical standards, honesty, integrity and independence; willing to commit the required amount of time to carry out the duties; a commitment to making the Ashburton District a better place and contribute to a successful board. Trevor brings a vast experience in governance and accounting and is committed to supporting the Foundation operate with the highest levels of accountability and best practice.
Trustee Appointments Recruiting and appointing new trustees is a very important aspect of the governance of our Foundation. Our Trust Deed specifies that there are to be no fewer than 6 and not more than 9 trustees. The appointment process is managed by our Nominations Committee which comprises our Patron, Chair, Deputy Chair and 2 other persons appointed by the Board. Its role is to assist the Board in planning the composition of the Board, evaluating the competencies required of prospective Trustees, identifying prospective appointees, establishing their degree of independence, developing succession plans for the Board and making recommendations to the Board accordingly. The Nominations Committee then makes a recommendation to the Board and Patron who make the final decision to appoint. To be eligible for appointment prospective Trustees must have:
The highest personal and professional ethical standards and honesty.
Integrity and independence.
Willingness and commitment to devote the required time to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a member of the Board or committee as the case may be.
A commitment to improving our district and a history of community work/philanthropy.
An ability to contribute to a harmonious, safe and productive board environment/culture.