By Kelvyn Eglinton
Momentum Waikato chief executive
Many in the business community put their time, energy and expertise into being trustees of not-for-profit organisations, incorporated societies or charitable trusts that distribute or use their funds to meet community needs. If this is you, you’ll know first-hand that the management of such groups’ capital or trust funds is not getting any easier.
Which is why Momentum Waikato is now in discussion with a number of boards who are considering transferring their funds or assets to our management and stewardship.
These trustees’ most common challenges are:
• the growing complexity of their role, particularly around compliance requirements;
• their increasing obligations and potential liabilities;
• the trust’s original mission has been realised and their funds need to be appropriately reinvested and/or redirected to another community benefit;
• the recruitment of new trustees who are willing and able to meet the entity’s obligations is
• their fund is relatively small scale and they are spending more time on compliance and annual reporting than on distribution;
• the money is sitting in a bank account earning minimal interest and incurring ongoing fees.
As a community foundation, Momentum Waikato’s primary purpose is to focus and facilitate local philanthropy to build a $300-million endowment fund over the next 30 years, so our regional community has its own financial resource to deliver the projects and programmes it needs. We’re here to make ‘a Better Waikato For Everyone, Forever’.
Placing your trust’s funds under Momentum Waikato’s guardianship means it can take advantage of our professional services and get the security and greater investment returns that come from the scale of our operation.
When you transfer the assets of your trust or society to Momentum Waikato, we establish a dedicated ‘named fund’ with your preferred title, and then distribute grants in the group’s name every year, forever, to the beneficiaries and purposes you specify. We work with you to develop a plan, a deed of gift and a charter that provide whatever level of control and involvement you desire.
A ‘named fund’ with Momentum Waikato retains your group’s identity and purpose, but gains our expert legal and financial management, experienced grant-making knowledge and dedicated investment support. As the original trustees, you can continue to make the decisions around distributing the fund’s income, but will be freed from the complexity, time, obligations and costs associated with operating your own legal entity.
We’re not yet able to publicly identify any of the trusts who have or will sign up, but a recently promoted example is the Gisborne Hearing Association and their relationship with our equivalent over there, the Sunrise Foundation.
For many years the association maintained a space where the hearing impaired could practise lip reading, be shown how to get the full benefit from their hearing aids, join in recreational activities and gain companionship to break down their social isolation.
In recent times their active membership and the use of their premises had been steadily declining due to advancements in hearing technology. Coupled with the challenges described above, they could see they would have to close, although there was still a need to financially support some members of the deaf community.
Sunrise allowed them to achieve this goal by taking over the management of their capital and grant-making to establish ‘The Sunrise Hearing Assistance Fund’. The association’s capital fund is secured and still receiving donations and generating interest income to support hearing-impaired members of their local community.
Although changing times had forced the Gisborne Hearing Association to close, its legacy has continued. Committee members say the Sunrise Foundation will continue their good work and are fully behind it.
Momentum Waikato’s work with trusts here has included the transfer of assets such as land to our care, as well as their capital funds. Investment for philanthropy is what we do, and the more we grow and diversify our funding pool, the more effective we can be, so these trust transfers are a win-win for all involved.
If you would like to consider entrusting your group’s funds to Momentum Waikato, or simply want to know more, contact us.