Two categories are fairly interesting: Education and Young People. Both have declined a bit over the past three years. The Education spend has dropped around $2m, which seems to have been driven by a reduction in grants to primary and secondary schools: something I have explored previously with Rata Foundation’s strategic changes. There have also been some big grants earlier with capital works: good old school pools sink some serious money, and any school lucky enough to still have a school pool will have had a big fundraising task post earthquake.
The decline in Youth funding is interesting, dropping by almost $3m. Much of this is driven by some real capex going into the sector rather than some reductions in funding for operating costs.
But the biggie here is of course Sport, which clocked over $20m last year. This was driven by $3m ($2m from Lotteries and $1m from NZCT) grant to Nga Puna Wai, so there’s some good news for us beleaguered ratepayers!
We can then break down sports by code. Some has gone to capital items, such as new tennis courts or bowls club rooms, while a fair bit goes to opex: cricket balls, uniforms, coaching costs. We can see this with the average grant, which sits at $11,400.
Horse Racing is interesting, trebling in three years, albeit off a fairly small base. All this money has come from gaming trusts, mostly the Air Rescue and TTCF. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this particularly around the growth in stakes.
The Environment category needs a bit of a microscope to see the low amounts going into that sector. However, I have not included ECan’s grants in this work: they say they put around $1m into this space per annum. They do have some funding available, but from my couch its hard to see how much and where it goes. Part of my “modus operandi” is around openness and transparency and if its too hard to find then sadly it doesn’t make the cut. And actually this is a comment I need to make around family trusts too: there now seems less information on where they are putting their money. All fine as they have no legal obligations around this, but when they proport to be relevant leaders in grant making, then perhaps this trend needs reconsideration.
The chart below is quite interesting too. This shows a breakdown of sector by funder type for three years of data (2015 – 2017). Not surprisingly, gaming trusts dominate in sports (many do have sport as their primary criteria), but they do participate in all other sectors. Community Trusts and local bodies give to everyone as well, a decision that, if they thought about it, they could reconsider. After all, there are plenty of grant makers. They do not need to be all things to all people.