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Simplicity Charitable Donations Reach $1Million, With Major Native Tree Planting Programme Announced

Simplicity, the nonprofit KiwiSaver and Investment Fund manager which gives 15% of fees to the Simplicity Charitable Trust, announced that it had now given over a million dollars in donations since its inception three years ago.

It also announced a multi-year, major native tree planting programme in partnership with Trees That Count.

While charitable giving has always been a key part of the Simplicity ethos, Managing Director Sam Stubbs said they were surprised at how quickly a million dollars of donations had been reached.

“Charity is not an idea the highly profitable financial services industry is famous for,” he said.

“If the rest of the KiwiSaver and funds management industry gave 15% of fees to charity, the donations could be over $100 million each year,” he said. “It could transform corporate philanthropy in New Zealand.” 

Simplicity’s charitable giving to date has been focussed on children in need, the environment and the homeless. It recently included over $100,000 of donations to support charities helping kiwis during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Simplicity Charitable Trust also announced today their first major multi-year grant, to Trees That Count, a leading conservation charity connecting businesses, communities and everyday Kiwis to plant native trees.

Over the next four years Simplicity aims to plant a tree for every member. Already 2,500 trees have been planted on Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf, and this year another 15,000 will be planted across New Zealand.

“Simplicity members told us a key focus of our giving should be on climate change and the environment, so we’re planting lots of native trees,” explains Mr Stubbs.

There are a lot of benefits of planting native trees, such as carbon storage.

“Over time, native trees can store as much carbon as pine," said Mr Stubbs. "But importantly they also provide habitat for native species, and are better at stopping erosion and keeping waterways clean.”

“We listened to our members’ concerns. If their children and grandchildren could enjoy the legacy of thriving native forests, flourishing birdlife and a more stable climate, we should help make that happen.”

Simplicity has 43,000+ members in KiwiSaver and Investment Funds and $1.8 billion dollars of assets under management. It recently became New Zealand’s lowest cost mortgage lender, charging 2.5% for first home buyers, without any early repayment penalties. The Simplicity Charitable Trust is now giving over $85,000 a month to charity.

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