Philanthropy New Zealand Network Symposium

The team at J R McKenzie Trust was pleased to have the opportunity to attend the Philanthropy New Zealand Network Symposium which took place in Auckland on 11 and 12 April. The Network Symposium brought together four different funding networks: Environment Funders, Youth Funders; Family Philanthropy Funders; and, for the first time, Education Funders. It was designed to encourage exchange of ideas and there was great enthusiasm from participants to participate in the korero. The Trust had representatives at three of the network sessions: Youth, Family Philanthropy and Education. The JR McKenzie Trust, Connecting Education and Communities team of Eileen Kelly, Jim Matheson and Nadine Metzger hosted and facilitated the Education session.

Youth-focused funders including family, business and community trusts and foundations, as well as representatives from Government attended the Youth Funders’ Network session. Presentation topics included obligations of funders, assessing the quality of youth programmes, and child poverty. There was also discussion around how tamariki and rangatahi can be empowered to thrive now and in the future.

At the Family Philanthropy Funders’ Network session, we were very fortunate to hear from Liz Tindall, who shared the story of The Tindall Foundation. We heard from Gemma Slack (Momentum Waikato) who provided some excellent insights into Millennials and how this generation has the potential to be the most significant philanthropists in history. Discussion was held around how this current generation has agency and that young people don’t necessarily seek an overarching organisation to enable action. If they see something that needs doing, they will simply go and get it done. Next Generation Philanthropy was a hot topic and it sparked fascinating conversations about how each generation’s influences affect their attitudes towards giving.

The inaugural Education Funders’ Network session provided a great opportunity for open and animated conversations around what the future of education could look like in Aotearoa New Zealand. We were delighted to hear from Rob McIntosh on the subject “Future Directions in New Zealand Schooling: The Case for Transformation”. It was clear to all in the room that there is a willingness to identify common interests that may lead to sharing knowledge and resources, which may even lead to collaboration on future projects.

The J R McKenzie Trust team found the Symposium very valuable and we’re looking forward to incorporating the new learnings into our future thinking.