FAQs for Applicants
Private individuals ("Donors") are encouraged to set up a "Named Fund", or contribute to a “Community Group Fund”, which is held and managed (like a sub-trust) by the Foundation. Once a Fund is established, the Donor/s is encouraged to make donations. These may be made during the Donor's lifetime (in which case there are income tax benefits to the Donor) or upon the Donor's death (i.e. under the Donor's Will).
All money given to Endowment Funds by the Donor is invested by the Foundation, and each year income earned is distributed to the community. The capital is invested in perpetuity - "the gift that keeps on giving".
This is entirely up to the Donor. The Donor may specify particular charities (or more general charitable purposes); or the Donor may leave the gift "unrestricted" so that the Foundation decides where the money is most needed each year. Many Donors choose both - they specify a certain percentage of the distribution to go to particular charitable purposes and leave the balance unrestricted. Donors may choose to leave a specific sum, or a percentage of their estate.
(a) Ongoing benefit
Most charities desperately need an ongoing passive income source. Where a Donor nominates a particular charity, that charity knows it will continue to receive that income forever without having to go through the effort and uncertainty of making applications for grants. That charity can rely on that income and budget accordingly.
(b) Asset not recorded in financial accounts
If a charity is holding investment funds to maintain an income flow, this sometimes renders the charity ineligible for other funding. If the investments are owned by the foundation, the charity receives the annual donation income, but does not have to disclose the invested capital in its financial accounts.
(c) Expert investment advice
The charity itself does not have to worry about making investment decisions. The Foundation maintains investment expertise on its Trust Board, as well as receiving regular independent specialist investment advice.
(d) Extra source of funding
Even if a charity has not been specified by any Donor, the charity can apply to the Foundation for part of the income from the unrestricted Funds. This is particularly valuable for new or emerging charities.
(e) Increased charitable giving
The Foundation is helping to change people's attitude towards leaving charitable gifts in their Wills. Sometimes people decide to leave capital gifts directly to a charity as well as (or instead of) making the gift through the Foundation. This means that the charity may receive a gift it would not have otherwise received.
A Board of Volunteer Trustees govern the foundation, with a part-time Executive Officer.
We have total transparency with full information being available on our website www.topsouthfoundation.org.nz. Certain tasks are allocated to a range of support Committees, but ultimately the Board is responsible.
None! We believe that if people thought that local government could control what the Foundation does, they simply would not give. Having said this, our Donors share many of the same hopes and dreams for our community as the elected representatives of our local authorities. Both Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council have been supportive of the Foundation.