Foundation set to launch new tagline and donations

By Roger Moroney

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Pleroma Trust manager Rachel Mackay, with a sandpit therapy counselling aid, is delighted they have received Hawke's Bay Foundation support. Warren Buckland HBT16266803
Pleroma Trust manager Rachel Mackay, with a sandpit therapy counselling aid, is delighted they have received Hawke's Bay Foundation support. Warren Buckland HBT16266803

The Hawke's Bay Foundation, which has given out about $576,000 to organisations over the past four years, is set to launch a new tagline it hopes will explain more simply what it does. The foundation, made up of volunteers, hopes the move will attract more people.

Chairwoman Jules Nowell-Usticke said having what she called a "slightly bureaucratic-sounding moniker" had not helped explain the foundation's aims and it was important to have a tag which cut straight to the chase.

Next week they will adopt the tagline 'Live Here, Give Here' under the Hawke's Bay Foundation umbrella.

The unveiling of it would accompany the announcement of their 2016 grant recipients at a special function in Napier.

Ms Nowell-Usticke said the development and style of the new title was carried out by local creatives who gave their time for free, and said the four simple words went straight to the heart of what the foundation was all about, and she hoped it would result in greater community involvement.

"In a world that has so many needs it is often hard to work out where or who to donate money to," she said.

"The Foundation allows people to give back to their community but at the same time support a cause or organisation they care about - it provides the best of both worlds.
"They can support the foundation to grow while at the same time supporting the causes they love. It's a way of making the money go further and puts it to work for the community forever."

She said the foundation was focused on encouraging people to consider helping those in need around them first.

"On any given day of the week you'll likely see a kind-hearted volunteer standing for hours outside your local supermarket - sometimes it feels like we've reached charity overload," she said.

"We believe we can make the most difference in our own patch as it is likely to be the place in the world people feel most passionate about, after all, they have chosen to live here, and so why not try to ensure our region reaches its full potential?"

Ms Nowell-Usticke said if they were able to harness even a small proportion of Hawke's Bay charitable giving and keep it within the region, she believed they could start turning "some of our dismal statistics around".

"We are a community foundation which exists exclusively for the benefit of Hawke's Bay, and which offers a way for our whole community to come together to leave a lasting legacy for future generations."

A registered charitable trust, the foundation receives donations and bequests on behalf of the Hawke's Bay community and then safeguards those funds and grows them for the long term, with the original donation remaining untouched and preserved for good, but built off.

Over the last four years the foundation has funded 114 community initiatives and projects, given out more than half-a-million dollars and reached an estimated 120,000 locals.

With the exception of two part-time staff all those involved in the foundation work voluntarily, and it has more than $1.5 million invested and aims to grow that to $$10 million by 2022.

Foundation trustee Jessica O'Sullivan said they were making an impact, but wanted to make more of an impact.

"We need more people to trumpet and support what we do, even if people aren't in a position to donate at the moment, all we ask is people keep us in mind and spread the word."

While next week's special function would announce grant recipients, the crucial component was ensuring people got a greater understanding of what they did.

"We've hoping the evening will help foster a huge and vocal legion of 'Live Here, Give Here' flag bearers," she said.

One of the organisations which has been supported by the foundation is Pleroma Social Services which is based in Otane and looks after the counselling and social services needs of the Central Hawke's Bay community.

It has been assisting the community for about 35 years, and manager Rachel Mackay has been there for nearly two years.

"It is always very fulfilling when we have clients tell us how much of a change we have made to their lives."

She said it could also be challenging at times and as its work was effectively voluntary funding was always an issue.

What had once been 70 per cent government assistance had now reduced to 50 per cent.

"So this sort of support is so valuable to us - it is great."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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