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Whanganui Community Foundation decision bucks trends

Whanganui Community Foundation decision bucks international trends

Philanthropy New Zealand (PNZ) is surprised at the Whanganui Community Foundation’s recent decision to disestablish the position of its chief executive Judith Timpany, along with the positions of two other staff members, and replace them with an administrative provider.

PNZ’s board chair Kate Frykberg – who is also executive director of one of the country’s larger charitable trusts, the Todd Foundation – says the philanthropic sector makes a significant contribution to New Zealand communities, and she applauds the work done by the Whanganui Community Foundation.

“Effective philanthropy requires a strategic approach informed by deep community knowledge, and backed up by research, assessment and evaluation,” she says. “An administrative provider is much less likely to have this broad range of expertise.”

Ms Frykberg says good grantmaking is about more than just giving money away.

International best practice has shown that grantmaking organisations operate more effectively – and get better value for money – if they are run by staff with specialised knowledge.

“The international trends are towards deeper community engagement, which is only possible if you have staff with the time and expertise to do that.”

She says PNZ urges the Foundation to continue to invest strategically in Whanganui to gain the best possible outcomes for its communities.


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