If you want a reminder of who Mainland Foundation is, they are a For Purpose Class 4 gaming Trust. Their Authorised Purpose can be found here, but basically it covers:
- Amateur South Island rugby north of the Waitaki River, including the West Coast
- Amateur sport
- Charitable purposes for the relief of poverty
- Cultural grants beneficial for the community
- Grants for education of training
Secondly, they are true to their authorised purpose. Rugby is the winner on the day, receiving around half of the total funds given by the Mainland Foundation.
The third point is that the dips in grants don’t appear to relate to machine numbers. DIA publishes some good data on gaming machine numbers. I have used 31 December numbers for the period under review. Although the number of machines hold fairly stable, there seems to be a bit of churn in the venues: over the 8 years under review there have ben 26 venues with Mainland machines, but in any one year there are between 13 and 15 venues with their machines. They won’t lose one venue and pick another up the same day, so I suspect some of this variability in total grants given is affected by timing.
Now, I know that you are wondering which lucky rugby organisations get all that wonderful cash. Some 70 different rugby groups were the recipients. Below is a chart with the last 8 years of data showing the top ten beneficiaries. And no surprises where the lion’s share went.
Below shows the entity, the amount of money granted, the number of grants made over those eight years, and the average dollar value of each grant.
What is also interesting is where some of the other grant money goes, and a few allocations drive my eyebrows up. In 2020 Mainland gave money to $4,807 to Redzone Drone Racing Incorporated. Of course it's their money to give, but in the same year they declined 214 applications for various groups, thereby making resource allocation decisions for many activities in the NGO sector.
This chart shows their grant profile: the amount given verses the amount requested. It shows that they give 50% of what is asked for, that sport has the best odds of getting funded (although this will be driven by rugby) and that community and environmental causes have a lower chance of success.
We can also look at this data regionally. The chart below shows where 2020 grant money goes to by region. Note that the numbers are not quite the same as above: this is driven by the fact some groups are national, so are tagged accordingly in my system. Other groups seem to not have caught up with the fact that Mainland’s venues have changed so keep applying even though they have no chance of getting funds. Around 4% of total money requested came from groups outside of where the machines are who went on fishing expeditions for cash.
This also shows that Canterbury gets around 60% of available grants, which is around our share of gaming machines (62%).
Anyway. There is a bunch of really interesting stuff in this material: the average amount given in 2020 was $6,235, up from 4,936 in 2019. There were 633 grants approved this year, down considerably from 909 grants in 2019: numerics which I suggest are driven by COVID given that many events / tournaments didn’t happen this year, there was government support for many groups, and I suspect many groups have not applied. Shout out if there is anything you want to explore here.
I write about this stuff as believe that as need to understand where funding comes from, where it goes, and how it gets there. As a citizenry we allow both those supplying money and those asking for money to operate, and as a community we need to ensure we have oversight over the organisations they choose to fund. Love to talk with you if you think this is at all interesting, and if you want to dive into the data a bit more than happy to do so. Check out my website http://www.delfi.co.nz/