Ever wanted to leave a lasting legacy to a cause you are passionate about? If so, now could be the time to make it happen.
September is Wills Month, a promotion undertaken by all 17 community foundations across the country to try to make people aware of the need to update their own wills and to think about including provision in their wills for making bequests to their favoured causes.
A number of years ago Sport Northland partnered with the Northland Community Foundation (NCF) to establish a Northland Sports Endowment Fund, with the aim of creating a lasting legacy for play, active recreation and sport across the region.
As one of the 17 community foundations in NZ, NCF has an aim of providing a simple, effective, long-lasting way for individuals, families and organisations to leave legacies or create funds to support local causes, and to ensure these gifts will achieve maximum and enduring benefits for our community.
NCF is unique in that it is the only organisation that seeks legacies and gifts from throughout Northland, invests those gifts and then distributes them back into our community.
Sport Northland believes that involvement in play, active recreation or sport leads to a better life – whether that is through participating, officiating, coaching, instructing or administrating active recreation and sport offers so much and has a unique capacity to bring people from all walks of life together.
Maybe you have gained benefits from active recreation and sport during your life, or maybe you are seeing those benefits for your children or grandchildren. Either way you have a unique opportunity to support active recreation and sport in Northland now and in the future.
One Northlander who has given a legacy to his many passions is Whangārei man Gareth Foster.
He has identified a number of causes close to his heart in his will, and so after naturally having chosen to look after family and friends first, Gareth has decided to leave the residual of his estate to his passions; namely sport, opera and education.
His sport part of that gift will be invested with the NCF under the name of the Gareth Foster Sport Endowment Fund, and will live on forever, with the capital remaining intact and only the income distributed to benefit young Northland sports people.
Its interesting to note that the face of NZ philanthropy is changing, with a growing number of everyday New Zealanders making a difference through community foundations.
While a young movement in NZ, funds managed across the 17 community foundations nationwide surged from $150 million to $200m in the past year, while a further $400m has been promised as bequests.
It would certainly allow Sport Northland and the wider sporting sector to do more if we were able to benefit from a slice of this bequest funding in Northland.
So if giving back to active recreation and sport is important to you, it's a great time to make contact with your lawyer to review your will and make that promise to the Northland Sports Fund.
The last word goes to Gareth: "Giving makes me feel good, it's great to give something back to the community I have lived in and loved my whole life."
• Brent Eastwood is chief executive at Sport Northland.