As the Sumner-Ferrymead Foundation becomes better known, the opportunities to make grants increases. We have noticed that over the last year or so the number of grant applications has increased. This increased interest for grant applications is a good news story – we are delighted to be able to help more people in our community even though at time in the future we may need to raise more money to do it.
Part of our increase in granting has been our Scholarships which are certainly popular: we are awarding Scholarships for more disciplines - e.g. we now have a Scholarship for people doing finance and a new apprenticeship assistance Scholarship.
However, we would like to do more. First, this means more people. With that in mind, we are delighted to welcome Sumner residents Max Mathias and Mel Jones as new trustees. Both Jim Keegan and Julie Cunningham have recently stepped down - Julie has been a Trustee since the Foundation’s inception nearly 30 years ago, and Jim has served for eight years. We take this opportunity to thank them both for their service.
As we find more trustees we must also look to our financial resources - we currently have a little over $300,000 in capital. Of this, $200,000 has been invested for the long term in an investment portfolio with FANZ and we do not expect to have to draw on this anytime soon. The balance is in cash and so available to meet grant applications.
Our capital has come from within our community courtesy of some very generous donors. Dora Grut started the Foundation with great generosity, and she has been joined by others over the years.
The Foundation has helped a lot of people and organisations over the years. This year, trustees were overwhelmed with the quality of the young people who applied for tertiary education and delighted that we could help them advance their education through Scholarships. We were sorry that we could not help more.
We have also granted to people and organisations for varied purposes including going to international sporting events like the World Junior surfing Championships. At our last meeting we made grants for travel to the World Junior Orienteering Champs and a Canoe Racing New Zealand Camp. At the same meeting, we also made a grant to the Redcliffs Library.
While these grants will continue to happen, we are also considering a major project, possibly the replanting of the valley above Barnett Park.
There are any number of individuals and organisations in the Sumner-Ferrymead area that are worthy and for whom some help could make all the difference. As the granting side of the Foundation increases, we will need to bolster our finances. A bigger Foundation with more resources will be able to better help its community.