Trust Resettlement

Acorn Foundation offers simple, flexible and efficient solutions for charitable trusts.

In New Zealand, recent law changes mean that many local trusts are facing a changing environment. There are many reasons why a charitable trust may find itself languishing, including:

  • It's difficult to identify beneficiaries or spend the income of the trust;
  • Current trustees are ageing, and it's becoming difficult to attract new trustees;
  • The legal/compliance/reporting requirements are becoming too cumbersome;
  • The work of administering the trust is becoming too onerous for the size of the fund;
  • The trustees wish that they knew more about local issues and funding opportunities.

Many trusts are looking for solutions to make themselves more relevant to the present and future need of our community. In some cases, it’s important to prevent the further erosion of charitable gifts that were made by previous generations of philanthropists, as well as to give confidence to current donors that the gifts they make will be managed cost-effectively for their intended charitable purpose.

Transferring a trust to the Acorn Foundation provides a simple and effective option.  Our low-cost structure enables capital to remain intact and protects it against future inflationary pressures, while returning income from the investments back to our community.

Benefits of resettling an existing trust within Acorn Foundation’s endowment fund structure include:

1.   Plug into our existing organisation for a simple and stress-free transfer
Annual reports, Charities Service registration, and ongoing compliance are already handled.  Fund setup is simple and straightforward.  Once funds are transferred and the intended purpose of the fund set, fund holders can concentrate on the pleasure of giving to the causes they are passionate about.

2.   Retain an existing brand
Fund holders choose the name and the purpose of the fund, knowing that the Acorn Foundation is supporting effective philanthropy in the background.

3.   Professional fund management
Tap into the financial expertise of Craigs Investment Partners, using a team who have been managing the Acorn portfolio since 2003. With oversight from our highly experienced Investment Advisory Committee, the fund has averaged an 8.8% annual return. 

4.   A partner with granting know-how
Acorn Foundation has in-depth knowledge of the issues facing our community.  Since we granted over $1M to over 150 organisations in 2019 on behalf of our donors, we know where generosity gets the best results.  Extensive research and relationships with other local funders ensure that a donor’s philanthropic interests are met. 

5.   Governance
The Acorn Foundation has a well-established Board of Trustees and Committee members with diverse and complementary skill sets and in-depth knowledge of the local community. Fund holders still determine their on-going level of input into their fund. 

6.   Ongoing costs
Acorn Foundation takes an annual 1% fee.  There are no additional legal, tax, accounting, insurance, staff, or record keeping costs.
Example: Trust Porirua – assets transferred to Nikau Foundation, Wellington’s Community Foundation

In 2018, Trust Porirua transferred assets worth $5.5 M to Nikau Foundation. The Trust had been struggling with administrative costs, since it was set up under an old licensing trust model, long after it still had a realistic alcohol licensing role in the local community.

Towards the end of its life, Trust Porirua was spending three times more on administration each year – including the public elections of trustees - than it was able to return to the community.
In its first year of operation in 2019, the new Nikau Porirua District Fund will triple the amount of grants to the local Porirua community, and this increased distribution level will occur each year.