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Ground-breaking funding research for Wellington

Embargoed to 2pm 20th July, 2017

Ground-breaking funding research for Wellington

Thanks to the generosity of a Nikau Foundation donor, one of the biggest questions facing grant makers in the Wellington Region has now been answered.

What charities are applying to what grant makers for which projects and who is being funded?

For the first time Wellington Funders have come together to map the current funding distribution in our region. The Wellington Funding Mapping Project (WFMP) has released an initial report covering the numbers of successful and unsuccessful grant applications according to sector, project type and target beneficiary group.

Generosity New Zealand (GNZ) was commissioned to carry out research on a pilot group of funders, with Nikau Foundation, Wellington Community Trust and Wellington City Council working collaboratively to oversee the project.

Participants to date include a range of councils, gaming trusts, community trusts, as well as the three project leads. The interim report covers a 3 year period where $38m worth of funding was granted to charitable causes by the 13 grant-making organisations surveyed.

It is hoped this research will provide grant-makers with real-time, comparable data, to quantify their contribution, compare information, learn from one another, plan and evaluate their work based on evidence. In the spirit of transparency and collaboration, the research will be made freely available to funders operating within the region.

Already the research has highlighted some disparities in where funds are being spent. Sports received the bulk (39%) of the funding, amounting to around $15 million. The other sectors that received a significant share of the grants are culture and arts with 19% ($7 million), economic, social and community development with 8% ($3 million) and social services with 7% ($2.6 million). Organisations providing services and support for Older People received only 2% of all available funding.

“This kind of intelligence will help all funders target the real funding gaps,” says Nikau Foundation’s General Manager, Louise Parkin. “If successful, the model can be picked up by other regions to build a national picture of funding needs.”

Funding for this critical research was the result of a request by Ms Parkin to one of the Wellington philanthropists who gives through Nikau Foundation, Wellington Region’s community foundation.

“Knowing the donor’s interests, I had a hunch she would be interested in this research. We were thrilled when she agreed to not only be involved as a funder but also as a volunteer on the project. Our foundation gives out over $400,000 per year in grants to causes in the Wellington Region and it is important that we know what other grant makers are doing in the same space.”

A forum of participants will review the strategy and findings to date, and seek input on how to extend the research beyond the pilot stage so that it can become a permanent resource for all grant makers in the region.



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