News -- Christchurch City Foundation announced – central library first recipient

Christchurch City Foundation announced

Communities, charities and projects will be the benefactors of the new Christchurch City Foundation announced today.

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Christchurch City Foundation announced

Communities, charities and projects will be the benefactors of the new Christchurch City Foundation announced today.

It is being established to foster and promote philanthropy. The Foundation will actively collect, manage and distribute money for the betterment of Christchurch communities through endowments, corporate partnerships and other gifting programmes.  

Humphry Rolleston, chair of the Christchurch City Foundation, said that since mid-2015, a steering committee has been looking into the feasibility of establishing a City Foundation.  Rolleston will take the lead in formally establishing the new entity which will likely have a different name when it is formed later this year.

“From these initial conversations, we have had great interest and support to the extent that we are able to announce our first contribution of $2.5m to the Knowledge Centre/new Central City Library.  

“We have good backing from the Christchurch City Council, as well as our initial cornerstone partners that include Spark and TSB Bank as Principal Partners, Southbase, KPMG and Perception PR and Marketing as Major Partners.

“Rātā Foundation has entered into a service level agreement with the Foundation,” he said.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the formation of the Foundation marks the beginning of an exciting new era for Christchurch. 

“People have already shown their generosity to the regeneration of our city. This started in the aftermath of the earthquakes and continues as today we announce a huge contribution from partners committed to financially supporting one of the key developments in our city, the Knowledge Centre/New Central City Library.

“The Foundation is a legacy project that gives benefactors the opportunity to show their support as we make Christchurch, the country’s oldest city, an inspiring and dynamic place for future generations. It is a city where I believe anything is possible, and the City Foundation will help realise those possibilities.”

The Christchurch City Foundation board of trustees is still to be confirmed. There will be two Council representatives on the board, but this will be a minority. Other board members will likely include representatives from other organisations and other members with the skill sets required to provide best practice leadership to the Foundation.

Community Foundations are relatively common-place in cities around the world. Already 14 New Zealand centres have recognised the need for a place-based charitable organisation to enable donors to give directly to their city. 

“The Foundation will provide corporates and individual donors with a city-wide vehicle that will make it easier to contribute to a range of charities, causes, projects and communities and create a legacy for the long-term good of Christchurch.  

“The donor decides where their funds go and the Foundation handles the process. Donors’ contributions can be ‘tagged’ to a particular sector (e.g. recreation and sport community projects) or to a specific community within the geographic area (e.g Opawa). “They could also be ‘untagged’ and spent at the discretion of the Foundation. The Foundation will always ensure donor wishes are met.” 

Roger Bridge, chair of Rātā Foundation, says the relationship with the City Foundation will see the two entities work closely together, with both having distinctive roles to play within the City’s philanthropic sector.

“This working relationship will not change the levels of funding available under Rātā Foundation’s existing programmes. Together we can benefit Christchurch and the wider regions,” he said.

Rolleston said that the Christchurch City Foundation is one of the missing pieces of the puzzle for philanthropy in Christchurch.  

“For many individuals and companies that want to give to Christchurch and its communities there is currently no vehicle in place for managing this or for promoting Christchurch giving city-wide.  

“The establishment of a City Foundation is an opportunity to create a legacy for the long-term good of the city and its residents. It will also provide a vehicle for the wider promotion of Christchurch.

“This Foundation can and will raise funds through a wide range of giving programmes, and will therefore support projects for the community, charities, causes, and not-for-profits both large and small in delivering the important work that they provide,” he said.

Rolleston said that sharing of, and increasing, knowledge in Christchurch struck a chord with Spark, TSB Bank and Southbase.  Their contributions are tagged to assist the Knowledge Centre to become the digital heart of our city, where people can access knowledge and freely share knowledge across the wider library network.  This will include a Spark Lab housed within the Knowledge Centre/ central library, and TSB Bank speaker series which will be free to attend.

The fund application process is yet to be finalised. Once the Foundation is formally established this information will be shared widely.

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