Power dividends bonus for charity
Unison customers will receive an early Christmas present of $220 each, as Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust dividend cheques arrive in people’s letterboxes this week.
For many families, this will be a welcome bonus for the festive season, while the money may never even reach others’ bank accounts.
Linda Calder, development manager of Hawke’s Bay Foundation, says every year, around $300,000 of power dividend cheques are never banked.
“Imagine the impact this money could have if it was channelled back to help our local charitable sector,” Linda says.
“We’re encouraging people who can afford it to consider how this dividend could be used to help those in our community who are less fortunate.”
The Foundation has set up an online donation facility on its website to make it easy for people to gift some or all of their dividend to charity. Linda says all donations will be pooled and invested for the long-term, with the interest used to support organisations working at grass-roots level in the community.
“If just 1000 people each gave their $220 dividend to the Hawke’s Bay Foundation, that would result in $220,000 invested in our region, forever,” Linda says.
“In 10 years’ time, the original investment will have grown to around $280,000, and more than $87,000 would have been returned to the community through grants. In 100 years’ time, the original $220,000 should have grown to a staggering $2.6m, with more than $3.7m invested back into our community.”
Christina McBeth, manager of food redistribution charity Nourished for Nil, understands first-hand the impact this money could have on the families they support.
The charity provides food to between 160 and 300 people a day from their Hastings distribution centre, as well as providing food parcels to individuals referred from social services. In the first 10 months of 2018, it served close to 39,000 people and rescued 245 tonnes of food that would otherwise be destined for landfill.
“I’m happily giving my HBPCT dividend to the Hawke’s Bay Foundation because it’s an effective way to donate a generous amount of money to organisations who will take it and turn it into more,” Christina says. “I absolutely love the Hawke’s Bay Foundation model because it is future proofing. It thinks beyond today and now. Most funding is for the short term and a one-hit wonder. Hawke’s Bay Foundation encourages local investment and it creates financial security for organisations that they can not only count on, but one that continues to grow! It doesn’t really get better than that.”
Nourished for Nil is one of 50 charities who received a grant from Hawke’s Bay Foundation in their 2018 funding round. McBeth says the grant will help them implement new measures to ensure no one is turned away.
“It means we don’t have to spend weeks fundraising and asking around for help, when a need is identified.”
For more information or to make a donation, visit hawkesbayfoundation.org.nz or telephone 870 4648. All donations over $5 are eligible for a 33.3 per cent tax rebate.