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National centre to support philanthropic investments

National centre for support of major philanthropic investments founded by ASB Community Trust


A national centre of excellence for the support of innovative responses to complex social issues has been launched by the ASB Community Trust. The Centre for Social Impact is being established to support major social investments by philanthropic trusts, government and local government agencies, community organisations and corporates.

"The ASB Community Trust has seen the benefits of providing both multi-year funding and organisational support to community organisations working to explore solutions to some of the most difficult issues in our region," ASB Community Trust Chief Executive Jennifer Gill said.

"This combination of funding and organisational support draws on a venture capital model to build the capacity of organisations to grow successfully and achieve their goals. "

Ms Gill said venture philanthropy had developed internationally as successful entrepreneurs sought to invest back into their communities.

"From a business perspective, they knew that funding alone was not always the answer to helping an organisation with great ideas turn those into reality. Support in such areas as governance and leadership development was also essential. That tallies with our own experience as a major philanthropic trust."
A $20 million investment by the Trust over five years since 2009 to support, for example, innovative approaches to raising Māori and Pacific education achievement has delivered excellent results.

"We identified organisations who were keen to try new approaches. We partnered with them to help them refine their ideas, increase their skills, develop their programmes, monitor implementation, and evaluate the outcomes."

The Trust's Māori and Pacific education initiatives are now producing results. A programme to develop a learning partnership between parents and Sylvia Park School, for example, has seen such a substantial increase in student achievement that it has been picked up by the Ministry of Education and will be rolled out to over 100 schools over the next two years.

Ms Gill said the Trust was now dedicating several million dollars each year of the $35 to $40 million it distributes across Auckland and Northland to venture philanthropy.

"We are currently investing in a range of programmes to support innovative youth at risk, youth development, and solutions to homelessness. The Trust is providing the funding and the Centre for Social Impact will provide support to each of the organisations involved."

The Trust's latest major multi-year commitment is to Manurewa Marae's Taiohi Whai Oranga, a unique service model targeting long-term wellbeing and development outcomes for youth in Manurewa. The Trust will invest about $400,000 a year to support the programme through to 2019.


Background

ASB Community Trust
ASB Community Trust is an independent grant-making organisation supporting the work of not-for-profit groups in Auckland and Northland. Founded on the sale of the Auckland and Northland communities' shares in ASB Bank, the Trust has made grants worth almost $800 million since being formed in 1988. Any incorporated society or charitable trust in Auckland and Northland can apply for funds, provided they are a not-for-profit organisation.

The Trust distributes between $35 and $40 million a year to not-for-profit organisations in Auckland and Northland. This includes an annual investment of around $15 million a year in high engagement initiatives through its Catalysts for Change and Key Community Partners funding programmes.


The Centre for Social Impact
The Centre for Social Impact is an initiative of the ASB Community Trust. The Centre was founded to support philanthropic, community and government initiatives to address complex social issues. Services provided by the Centre increase the capacity of community providers to deliver effective programmes.

The Centre draws on the experience of supporting community providers developed through the ASB Community Trust's successful high engagement philanthropic investments. Since 2006, the Trust has provided multi-year funding and support to selected not-for-profit initiatives for Māori and Pacific education, youth health and development, emerging artists, and social housing. These high engagement programmes have demonstrated the potential for community-driven responses to provide new answers to long-standing challenges.

The Trust provides support to its Catalysts for Change venture philanthropy partners through the Centre for Social Impact to help each organisation to deliver on its vision. The skills and experience of the Centre for Social Impact are also available to support major social investments by philanthropic trusts, government and local government agencies, community organisations and corporates.


Centre for Social Impact partners
The Centre for Social Impact brings together a range of providers to support venture philanthropy initiatives. The centre's partners include KPMG, Vodafone, Kinnect Group, Spirited Leadership, and a range of national and international specialists.

Dr Alison Taylor
Head of the Centre for Social Impact
The Centre for Social Impact is headed by Dr Alison Taylor. Dr Taylor lead the development of its high engagement funding programmes and capacity support programme.

Alison is also a Trustee of the Vodafone Foundation New Zealand, and has held a number of senior public health and social sector leadership roles in the UK and New Zealand. After travelling to Australia on a Winston Churchill Fellowship Alison came to New Zealand in 1996 to take up a role at North Health as a Public Health Manager, she became CEO of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, then the General Manager of the Ministry of Youth Development before setting up Sinclair Taylor Consulting in 2007, providing advice and support to the philanthropic, health, youth and social sectors.


Alastair Bell
Chair
The Centre for Social Impact is chaired by Alastair Bell. A trustee of the ASB Community Trust, Alastair runs a consultancy specialising in stakeholder relations, business development and change management for commercial and not-for-profit clients. A Chartered Accountant and member of the Project Management Institute, he also has considerable experience in leadership roles within the community. Alastair is a JP and a member of several community groups, including the Motutapu Restoration Trust, Parnell Heritage and Communities and Residents. Alastair is currently a Director of the New Zealand National Party.


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