Otago Community Trust Enjoys a Positive Year
27 Aug 2015
The Otago Community Trust invested $4.3 million into the Otago community over the last year.
The Trust held its Annual Meeting in Dunedin on August 25. It reported a positive year, its Investment Portfolio returning $30.95 million, representing a return of 13.8 percent.
As a result, total Trust funds at the end of the year rose to $264.7 million, allowing the donations budget for 2015-16 to be set at $6.9 million. This is an increase on recent years, and a return to a level more in line with donations budgets prior to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
The Trust’s priority areas, including Warm Homes, cycleways, and youth health and wellbeing (particularly employment, education and training), will receive $1.4 million next year.
The Trust’s investment goals are to return as much as possible to the Otago community through donations, while preserving the real value of the initial capital of the Fund to maintain equity between different generations of beneficiaries. This is achieved through careful investment activity.
Otago Community Trust Chief Executive Barbara Bridger said the Trust processed several hundred applications to March 31 2015, from donation applicants from all over Otago.
Significant donations during 2014-2015 included $290,000 towards the upgrade of the Sunnyvale Sports Complex, $200,000 towards the purchase of the Dunedin Night Shelter buildings, $100,000 to the Otago Museum towards the development of its new Planetarium, and $90,000 to help with pest eradication in Martins Bay on the West Coast.
It continued its commitment to three main priority areas, with over $500,000 being invested in Warm Homes, the region’s cycleways, and youth health and wellbeing over the year.
The Trust contributed $400,000 to insulating low-income households in Otago through the Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes programme. This brings the number of Otago homes insulated to around 1000, directly impacting the lives of several thousand residents.
The Trust made a significant contribution towards sport, donating over $800,000 to regional sporting organisations in 2014-2015. The region’s Social Service Agencies collectively also received a donation of $400,000 to help fund the various programmes they provide to assist the community.
Once again the Trust was able to donate funding towards strengthening systems of service delivery in community wellbeing organisations. In 2014, 14 organisations received funding for IT upgrades, policy and resource development and staff training initiatives.