Bay of Plenty community groups can expect more money coming their way after BayTrust posted a record $42 million surplus this year.
BayTrust's net equity has reached an all-time high, allowing it to increase the amount of money it distributes to groups tackling social and environmental issues.
The trust's asset base is now $246m, an increase of $42m from the prior financial year.
BayTrust chairwoman Rita Nabney said the record surplus had given the board confidence to lift its expected granting to more than $25m for the next three years.
"These grants will be focused on delivering BayTrust's kaupapa to 'accelerate bold and meaningful change, assisting BOP communities and our environment to flourish'," she said.
In another major investment decision, BayTrust has committed to have a fully sustainable and carbon neutral investment portfolio by 2030 (or earlier) which they and their investment advisers, Cambridge Associates, believed would be positive for both the planet and the trust's long-term investment returns.
"We are committed to moving to an entirely sustainable investment portfolio over the next 10 years where all investments will be consistent with a low-carbon, prosperous, equitable, healthy and safe society," Nabney said.
BayTrust chief executive Alastair Rhodes said BayTrust's funding priorities would remain kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the land), healthy, secure and affordable housing, sustainable employment and inclusive growth, community wellbeing and Tū Māori Mai (cultural embeddedness).
Housing was a key issue BayTrust would be working hard to help address.
"We have committed $3.4m to Tauranga Community Housing Trust, a BOP community housing provider, and $2m to a shared equity fund – YouOwn," Rhodes said.
"We are allocating a further $10m of our investments into this space where we will look to work with Maori/iwi, community housing providers, central and local government and other key stakeholders to maximise the impact that this $10m investment can make as we believe everyone has a role to play in terms of turning around the current housing crises seen throughout New Zealand."
Climate change is another area where BayTrust were looking to focus its efforts and help the community to do things differently.
"As a philanthropic, BayTrust has significant flexibility to help local communities understand and mitigate their climate change impacts, as well as grasp opportunities through its internal actions, its investments and its community support."
BayTrust's investment base has grown from $89m when it was first established as a separate investment entity in 1997. Over the past 25 years, a total of $85m has been granted to local community groups.
"We remain committed to sustainably increasing our granting and expect to grant over $25m over the next three years as well as significantly increasing our impact investments – with this forecast to be over $20m within the next year or two," Rhodes said.
BayTrust's region extends from Katikati to Tūrangi to Te Kaha and includes the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty and Rotorua and Taupō districts.
• Anyone who would like to hear more about BayTrust's performance and plans for the years ahead is welcome to attend BayTrust's Annual Public Meeting at 3pm on August 27 at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Tauranga. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with number attending by August 18.