2020 will be remembered for Covid 19, the disruptions it caused to people's daily lives and for some, their retirement plans. Overseas travel was off the agenda for Jill and me; however, like a lot of Kiwis, we took the opportunity to visit parts of our own country that we hadn't seen before and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We also appreciate that this has been a challenging year for some of the more vulnerable in our community.
2021 is looking better but with still a lot of unknowns.
Jill and I moved to the Nelson region just over five years ago after spending 22 years overseas. Looking back, it was the right decision, and we have never regretted it; the Top of the South has so much to offer, and that is evident in the growth we see in the region.
We are proud to continue to support the Top of the South Community Foundation through our Living Giving Platinum Membership, an endowment fund in our Will and my involvement as a Trustee on the Board.
2020 has been a disruptive year for our Community Foundation; however, I believe the building blocks are now in place for exciting times ahead. I was delighted and encouraged when Gavin Larsen accepted the role of Executive Officer to the Foundation. Gavin brings a lot of experience, enthusiasm, competitiveness and energy to the position coupled with his vast networks and links to the community. In the short time Gavin has been with us he has made a significant impact, and this was confirmed when he laid out the Foundation's 2021 objectives and plans for obtaining operational funding at the AGM last month.
I'm also delighted to have Kim McGettigan join the Foundation in the role of Administration Assistant. Kim also brings a lot of experience and energy to the role.
As a Trustee, I'm also very aware that Gavin and Kim can't do this on their own and I look forward to, along with my fellow Trustees, supporting their efforts in the future.
2021 is shaping up to be a big year for our Community Foundation. We have clear goals to expand our presence in the Top of the South (especially in Marlborough and Golden Bay), to increase our overall brand awareness, to build our donor base which will enable us to distribute more to the Charities in the region. We plan to improve our operational funding and attract new Trustees to join our Board.
I continue to feel that the Community Foundation model is the right one. The benefits I see the Foundation can offer donors is a connection with the local community with all donations benefitting local Charities. Donors can specify which Charities they would like to support in perpetuity or leave it up to the trustees. Community Foundations are part of a global organisation. However, they have a very local feel through local volunteer trustees. There is the ability to create an enduring endowment fund within the Foundation through your Will, and the right checks and balances are in place to ensure your funds are well managed and protected.
I continue to encourage people to consider leaving part of their estate, and if able start Living Giving, to strengthen and grow the communities in which we live.
I hope our legacy will make a big difference to those groups that we have identified. This gifting feels right to Jill and me and gives us both a great deal of satisfaction.