07 Sep 2022

Acorn Foundation announces more than $3M in donations for 2022

Acorn Foundation announces more than $3M in donations for 2022

Acorn’s incredible donors have allowed this region’s local community foundation to distribute more than $3M to 213 charitable organisations and scholarship and award programmes this year.

The total, just announced, represents a nearly 50% increase on last year’s donations and covers the geography of the Western Bay of Plenty, the Eastern Bay of Plenty on behalf of The Tindall Foundation, and other locations important to Acorn’s donors.

2022 is the first time that the foundation’s distributions have reached $3M after just passing $2M for the first time last year. Acorn’s cumulative gifts to the community since its founding in 2003 now exceed $13M, and with funds under management approaching $60M, Acorn’s donors will be making a significant impact on the Western Bay of Plenty region for decades to come.

According to Acorn CEO, Lori Luke, locals contribute to the community through Acorn in a variety of ways: via a gift in a Will, living gifts, resettlements of family or community trusts, regular giving into Community Group funds, as a member of a Giving Circle or Workplace Giving programme, through a corporate gift to designated charities, or as TECT beneficiaries who donate their rebates to the Acorn Vital Impact Fund.

Each September, the foundation distributes its endowment fund grants to the community, while pass-through giving and scholarship and award granting take place all year long.

“The Acorn team truly have the best jobs around. Due to the generosity of our donors, we are able to support the true heroes from all types of organisations – those that are well-known and those that do amazing work under the radar. The groups that Acorn supports love reading about their donors’ stories; it becomes quite a personal gift for them.”

Scholarships and awards make up over $500,000 of the Acorn Foundation’s total giving this year, including substantial support for the arts through the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction, the FAME (Fund for Acting and Musical Endeavours) Trust awards, the Christine Tustain Classical Music Award, the Acorn Foundation Coker Classical Art Award, and the Jann Medlicott Creative Arts Award. Adult learners can apply for four awards at the University of Waikato, Tauranga campus and secondary students are able to access Dale Carnegie Youth Programme Scholarships and Outward Bound Scholarships while in school. There are a range of award programmes for school leavers, including Page/Acorn Engineering Scholarships for apprentices and nearly a dozen University scholarships found at local colleges and high schools.

Aligned with the May launch of Acorn’s Western Bay of Plenty Vital Signs® Youth 2022 Report, this year’s donations include significant support for local rangatahi.

According to Craig Nees, founder of Bay of Plenty Youth Development Trust, the $50,000 received from Acorn for youth-directed funding will be well spent. “This support will enable us to employ for a very strategic role that will support other organisations working with youth and ourselves. The new dual role will serve as the Lead Facilitator for the Piritahi Youth Collective and the front desk face at Youth Central reception so we can expand our services as a Youth Hub in the BOP.”

Many community organisations around New Zealand are currently facing the end of extra central government funding that was granted during the COVID emergency in 2020 and 2021. For Blue Light Ventures, the conclusion of their funding from the Provincial Growth Fund has meant the loss of financial support to help young people get their driver’s license.

Wendy Robertson and the team at Blue Light are thrilled with the $30,000 grant from Acorn. “We have already been in touch with our school point of contacts about registering new students to take advantage of these Acorn-funded spots. It will come as no surprise to the donors how much this is needed in our semi-rural communities where they have no public transport.”

A full list of this year’s recipients can be found here.

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