Innovation captures attention  

Two examples of the Trust’s innovative funding models are going to be featured in a special edition of Philanthropy New Zealand’s (PNZ) magazine in May.

TrustLine newsletter, March 2012

Philanthropy News, which highlights the latest ideas and research from within New Zealand and internationally, will this time include articles on the Trust’s M?ori and Pacific Education Initiative (MPEI) and the Youth Health and Development Projects. Both represent a new, high-engagement funding model that the Trust has been pioneering. Six other examples of emerging practice by other philanthropic organisations will also be profiled.

With the focus on promoting effective grant-making, the magazine’s case studies will become a resource for others philanthropic organisations interested in developing similar ways of working. The magazine will be available as a PDF on Philanthropy New Zealand’s website: www.philanthropy.org.nz

Italian conference takes note

The MPEI project was also the focus of a lot of interest when Trust CEO Jennifer Gill attended the Bellagio Initiative conference, in Italy, last November.

The conference was a project of the Rockerfeller Foundation, in partnership with the UK-based Institute of Development Studies and the Resource Alliance, and it drew 100 leading philanthropy practitioners from around the world. It was the culmination of a series of global discussions aiming to create a new framework for philanthropic and international development collaboration in pursuit of human wellbeing.

Jennifer was the sole participant from Australasia, but others involved included US and international foundations, international NGOs, development professionals and social investment experts from around the world.   

“Participants were particularly interested in ASB Community Trust’s high engagement work,” Jennifer says, “and in particular the Trust’s Pacific Strategy and the process developed in 2005 at the beginning of the M?ori and Pacific Education Initiative.

The use of M?ori and Pacific reference groups, working alongside Trustees in the initial problem identification phase and on the selection panel was seen as an example of best practice, she said.

The Trust’s decision to record participants’ views, including those of unsuccessful applicants, was also seen as an important innovation.
“A number of international practitioners and researchers are interested in this work as a model of a new way to work with indigenous and migrant communities,” Jennifer says.

Results of the summit are now being shared on-line at http://action.bellagioinitiative.org

Meanwhile, the Trust’s Funding & Operations Manager, Karyn McLeod, has been selected for a scholarship at New York’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society in March, where she will be part of the International Fellows Program for a month. Karyn will share her experiences, and what she has gained from the scholarship, in the next edition of TrustLine.