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Charitable Trust's Strategic Funding Impacts Local Charities

Charitable Trust's Strategic Funding Greatly Impacts Local Charities

Most charitable trusts are known for donating large sums of money, but one in particular is showing that smaller amounts over a longer period of time can make an even bigger impact.

The Farina Thompson Charitable Trust, managed and administered by Perpetual Guardian, aims to help a variety of different charities in the Christchurch and wider Canterbury area. Due to an increasing amount of interest and demand for funding, the trust has developed a system where applications are divided into five categories and are rotated annually – meaning a charity only has to apply once every five years and if chosen, gets a set amount as a grant which is awarded annually.

The Farina Thompson Charitable Trust was set up in 1977 and has distributed almost $7 million to charities in the Canterbury region to date who fall within the following five categories:

- Relief of poverty and local mission work (*mission work is defined as “a charitable centre that offers shelter or aid to the destitute or underprivileged”)

- Homes, holiday camps and programmes for disadvantaged children and/or the disabled

- Cultural and performing arts

- Medical services and medical research organisations

- Youth services

In addition, a music scholarship was established in 2006 (which is granted on the recommendation of the University of Canterbury to an exceptional student) and has since granted a number of scholarships totalling $80,000.

Established with a substantial donation from Farina Thompson, the Trust was also co-funded by various members of her family who were inspired by her passion for philanthropy.

Throughout her life, Farina worked to support a number of children’s causes in New Zealand and internationally. Her wish was that this Charitable Trust be used to help those that are less able to help themselves, to support the arts that she loved and to provide funding to organisations that benefit the community.

The Farina Thompson Charitable Trust is an example of sustainable giving and how a little can go a long way if the management process is strategic. Grants awarded to charities can often be moderate in size, but when spread over a five-year period are impactful in their outcomes – resulting in continuous funding of these services.

Deserving young parents have been benefitting from a grant made to the St John of God Hauora Trust, a small charity which operates out of East Christchurch that helps to support vulnerable young people and the disabled. The organisation was granted $5,000 per annum in 2012 by the Farina Thompson Charitable Trust, which enabled them to fund and provide courses for young parents (under 25 years old) on life skills, education and parenting.

The money was utilised to support the Young Parents Development Service and the Pacific Young Parents Development Service for women aged between 14 and 25 years old in the Canterbury region, as well as fund experiential learning based on best practice research.

After the five-year granting period concluded, 90% of attendees reported the courses were valuable, so much so that the programme built up a reputation for being highly successful in improving parenting skills. On the basis of this, the Ministry of Social Development is now providing ongoing funding for its continuation.

St John of God Hauora Trust Regional Manager of the Community, Youth and Child Services, Sarah Williams, says, “Without collaboration and partnerships with philanthropic organisations like the Farina Thompson Charitable Trust it is fair to say we couldn’t continue to be able to serve the children, young people, their families and our communities in the very special way that we do.”

Perpetual Guardian’s Client Manager Kate Palmer, who is based in the company’s Christchurch office, says the Trust is the gift that keeps on giving. “This system allows the organisation to forward plan a little more easily, as well as allow opportunities for us to fund interesting projects and observe how they develop over the years.

“It’s a great example of how one Trust can be influential across different charities and how strategic funding can really make a difference to communities. It illustrates the far-reaching benefits of philanthropy when operating under good structure and management.”

This year’s grant was awarded to St John of God Hauora once again, who will receive an ongoing grant for the category of youth services. The next category to be considered will be relief of poverty and local mission work. Applications will open online next year.


About Perpetual Guardian

New Zealand’s leading statutory trust business, Perpetual Guardian, was created with the coming together of Perpetual Trust and Guardian Trust. As two of New Zealand’s oldest trustee companies, they have more than 130 years of experience in providing estate planning services to New Zealand individuals, families and companies.

In the private client services sector, Perpetual Guardian’s mission is to ensure that every New Zealander has a Will and every child is protected by one. They do this by making Wills affordable and accessible to everyone. All consultants are specialists in their field – for example, Client Managers are experts in finding a solution that uniquely fits each client’s needs, using well-crafted Wills, Trusts, EPAs and other legal structures. Perpetual Guardian helps to preserve everything clients have worked for by ensuring their wishes are carried out, often for generations, after they are gone.

The experience and reputation of Guardian Trust has made the company the preferred provider of corporate trustee services for many of New Zealand’s leading corporations, financial institutions, fund managers and banks. Guardian Trust proactively monitors the obligations of its clients to their investors in a commercial and pragmatic manner and with regard to its duties at law, including the provisions of the relevant Trust deed. As a statutory supervisor and corporate trustee, Guardian Trust has over $140 billion in assets under supervision.

As the country’s pre-eminent provider of philanthropic services, Perpetual Guardian offers strategic advice, long-term investment management, careful planning and a commitment to ensuring that people’s generosity is effectively sustained over many lifetimes.

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