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Making a Difference

Making a difference - the true size of New Zealand’s philanthropic sector measured for the first time

Media Release
Embargoed 7.30pm Tuesday 27th March 2007

A report released today shows New Zealanders are giving an estimated $1.3 BILLION every year to help the communities in which they live.

Philanthropy New Zealand commissioned economic research company BERL (Business and Economic Research Limited) to measure the scale of philanthropic giving in New Zealand.

Philanthropy New Zealand chairperson Jennifer Gill says this is the first time such a comprehensive study into giving has been undertaken in New Zealand.

“This report provides us with an up-to-date picture of philanthropic giving in New Zealand. It describes giving by trusts and foundations, businesses and individuals”.

Jennifer Gill says the report shows us the extent of New Zealand’s generosity, “and that philanthropic funding has become an indispensable part of New Zealand society. There are many, many programmes, innovative projects and fundamentally good ‘coal face’ work being carried out every day in all our communities using donated money.

“Philanthropists’ generosity facilitates and leads all manner of social and economic change, as we work alongside Maori, community and voluntary agencies, all making a difference to the lives of New Zealanders,“ she says.

JR McKenzie Trust Executive Director, Iain Hines says the research will be welcome data for many in the philanthropic sector. "It has numerous benefits. It adds a lot to our understanding of community organisations, and paints the most accurate picture we have ever had of the funding that supports those groups. We hope it will also encourage New Zealanders to think about their giving and extend their generosity."

The study found giving by New Zealanders equates to 0.81% of the country’s GDP. This compares favourably with Canada, Australia and the UK.

Some other key findings:

Where does the funding come from?
o 58% from trusts and foundations
o 35% from personal donations and bequests
o 7% from businesses (this excludes sponsorship)

Where does the funding go?
o Almost all philanthropic funding goes to New Zealand recipients
o 70% to recipients in specific regions with the remainder supporting national organisations
o 49% to Auckland recipients (reflecting the substantial contribution of the ASB community trust)
o 27% to culture, sport and recreation
o 24% to education and research
o 16% to social services
o 10% to health

This study defined philanthropy as “…the act of giving financial resources to a cause that is intended to improve general human well being, and where the giver expects no direct reciprocation or financial gain in return.”


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