It is one of the region's true "feelgood" factors, and last year 44 organisations across Hawke's Bay would have been happy to confirm that.

The Hawke's Bay Foundation was formed in 2012 with one thing in mind - to grow a "nest egg" that will provide ongoing support to Hawke's Bay's prosperity, the foundation's recently appointed chairwoman, Jules Nowell-Usticke, said.

She said the foundation was based on the premise that we cannot rely on central government to build the region.

"We need to find the solutions from within - we all need to lean in and solve them together, head on."


Those 44 not-for-profit organisations supporting children, young people and their families, older adults, community development, health, the arts and the environment shared $117,400 of funding which was drawn from the foundation's invested funds and funds it distributes on behalf of the Tindall Foundation.

They are funds which are growing and the foundation's contributions to the regional community is going one way - up.

The devotion and dedication of all the volunteers, and of the families and individuals who have given back to their region through donations to the foundation, was evident from the day back in October 2012 when the Hawke's Bay Foundation was launched.

The voluntary chairwoman at that time, Rebecca Turner, told those assembled for the launch that nine cornerstone founders had already made substantial donations and pledges.

At the launch it was announced there was already $500,000 on the books.

"It is a great start," Ms Turner said at that time, adding the goal was to continue that generous community philosophy to the stage where after 10 years they could nudge the $10 million mark.

Along with other trustees, who gave their time and individual expertise voluntarily and continue to do so, she had personally given to the foundation to spark its beginning.

Put simply, it is a stance of giving back to the region - to support widespread community development.

The investment funds are growing nicely today, and in a recent online newsletter an example of what the generosity of people created was laid out - using a cornerstone donation of $100,000 made in 2012.

In three years that investment had earned $23,000, with $10,000 of it going to community donations.

The remaining fund value of $113,000 would continue to gain interest which would, in time, encourage further donations.

Jules Nowell-Usticke, who had been the voluntary manager of the foundation, was recently appointed as its chairwoman and is passionate about her involvement.

Her professional life has predominantly been in the hotel industry, where she was regional director of sales and marketing with two international hotel groups, and she moved to the Bay with her family in 1995.

She said she felt strongly about "giving back" to the Hawke's Bay community and that the foundation was a "long-lasting" way for individuals, families or corporations to leave legacies for the region's causes.

"I am passionate about it," she said, adding she had no hesitation in taking on the chairwoman's role.

"Hawke's Bay has been good to me - I was born in Zimbabwe and married a Hawke's Bay boy and we came to live here - but things are not easy for everybody and a lot of people need help."

The foundation, which grew from the vision of Steven Tindall who formed the Tindall Foundation, and which is one of 14 foundations across the country, was something which would be in place "forever" and future generations will see what it had done in terms of support for so many.

"It feels good to be part of that and people are keen to be involved."

Ms Nowell-Usticke said there was about $1.5 million in the foundation account and it was gaining momentum as they had continued to receive "very encouraging" calls from people wanting to support them.

The legal fraternity too had stepped in through advising clients what the foundation was all about, and how a legacy could assist so many people, over a long period.

"There are a lot of great people out there supporting us," she said.

Typical among the donors are the Mackersey family - a familiar name upon building sites throughout the region.

Last year the Mackersey Family Trust donated $50,000 to the foundation as part of a long-term commitment of $250,000 over five years.

"We are giving to it now so that future generations can benefit," David Mackersey wrote in a recent newsletter.

"As a family we have always given to a range of causes in the region, but we liked what we saw with the Hawke's Bay Foundation."

He said community foundations were a vital part of the landscape as they built up an asset which would serve "multiple" generations.

He also embraced the openness and approachability of the foundation and liked the option of being able to make suggestions to it for particular causes to direct funds toward.

"It has been a simple, straightforward process to donate to Hawke's Bay Foundation and we look forward to seeing it continue to grow as other people get on board ... and support Hawke's Bay," he said.

Another donor, Katherine Halliday, believes the foundation offers simplicity in giving, with the ability to support multiple charities, through just one gift.

"Rather than my former ad hoc method of giving small donations here and there, I have decided to donate one amount, once a year to the Hawke's Bay Foundation," she said.

"This means that a) I think about a finite amount I want to contribute, and b) I know that I will be contributing to local organisations and activities that are supported and vetted by the foundation."