CHAIR’S REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 18 AUGUST 2018 – 30 JUNE 2019
Over the past year the Rule Foundation has continued its focus on its charitable purpose: the health, wellbeing, and visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in New Zealand. This report covers the period since the 2018 annual general meeting.
The Foundation’s capital base was $2,018,786.70 30 June 2019; an increase of $143,732 on the previous financial year (representing a return of just over 7.5%). To the year ended 31 March 2019, the Foundation donated $65,056 to 24 organisations, almost double the amount and volume of grants in the previous year. A full list of grants is included in our annual financial statements.
Historically the Foundation has chosen to focus on growing its capital base to provide an ongoing source of funds for distribution, rather than seeking wider financial support from the community. To support this growth the Trustees moved the capital portfolio from New Zealand Asset Management to Milford Asset Management, after a careful assessment of options and consideration of proposals. The Foundation Trustees have regular portfolio meetings with Milford to ensure our strategy is clear for them and that we understand the performance of the portfolio.
In addition, in the last year we began to explore options for multiple sources of income as a way to continue to strengthen the Foundation’s financial foundations, make the Foundation more well known and to grow support for our charitable objectives. In 2018-2019 the trustees made several efforts to actively promote the Foundation, particularly aiming at those considering bequests, for example, to refresh Foundation communications, website and considering advertising in legal publications that have nationwide circulation.
Two trustees participated in the International Lesbian and Gay Association pre-event, in which funders of LGBQTI organisations gathered to discuss current issues and strategies for responding. Alongside this event, the Foundation hosted an event at the Michael Fowler Centre, at which local funders and international guests were able to hear from New Zealand Aotearoa groups about funding issues and previous Rule Foundation grant recipients about their activities. The Foundation has joined PhilanthropyNZ which offers a range of services to support philanthropic organisations.
Rule Foundation trustees
During the year long-serving trustees retired and two new trustees were appointed. We have been very grateful to Richard Stone and Sam MacKay for their stirling service and their outstanding support for the LGBTQI objectives of the Foundation. The trustees were delighted to receive a number of high quality candidates for the vacant positions and appointed Eileen Kelly and Toni Duder in June 2019.
The trustees have also been extremely grateful for the secretariat support provided by Chris Howatson which was kindly donated by JacksonStone, Wellington.
Coming up for the Foundation
Over the next 12 months, the Foundation will be working on a number of initiatives to further our charitable purpose, including working more in partnership with the Rainbow NZ Charitable Trust, promoting giving to LGBTQI causes through the Philanthropy NZ network, and continuing to broaden the reach of our funding across Aotearoa.
Peter Rule’s legacy
The New Zealand Defence Force has established an award in Peter’s name and has been liaising closely with the Foundation about plans for this over the last year. We expect the inaugural award to be made in October 2019.
The trustees have been very aware that Peter Rule’s legacy and the Foundation it established has, until relatively recently, been guided by trustees who knew Peter or who have been closely for some time involved in building the Foundation into a strong, community focused organisation. This is a legacy we seek to honour and to develop so that the Foundation will continue to advance the health, well-being and visibility of New Zealand’s rainbow communities in a way that Peter would be proud of.
17 July 2019