What the organisation is and does

Trust Waikato is one of 12 New Zealand Community Trusts, serving a large area that includes Thames–Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata–Piako, Waipa, Waikato, South Waikato, Waitomo, Otorohanga and Ruapehu districts, as well as Hamilton city.  The Trust’s vision is for resilient and vibrant Waikato communities. It distributes over $11million per annum in donations to community groups and projects in the Waikato region.

What the client brief to us was/ community partners’ needs

In 2016, Trust Waikato sought support to create a 10-year strategic plan. The Trust was interested in maintaining the existing focus on community funding, whilst identifying priority issues for the region and exploring new funding mechanisms that would enable greater impact on these challenges.

What our response was

CSI undertook a co-design process with the Trust Waikato Board.  This involved a trustee survey to assess appetite for change, risk and to identify strategic priorities.  The survey data provided a platform for a Board retreat, where trustees and staff identified:

  • Strategic priorities - including an increased focus on high needs communities, and community sector development
  • An expanded funding framework – with increased scope to invest in innovation for ‘transformational change’.
The progress

The strategic plan was adopted by Trust Waikato’s Board earlier this year and is now integrated into its day-to-day practice. Next steps identified by Trust Waikato include the development of an evaluation framework to support the Trust in measuring the impact achieved through its grantmaking.

Outcomes / impacts 

Through this work, CSI supported Trust Waikato to:

  • increase its understanding of opportunities to enhance the impact of its grantmaking
  • strengthen its funding strategy to support more impact-focused grantmaking, with a stronger prioritisation of high needs communities
  • identify increased opportunities to work with marae and iwi to support them to achieve their aims and aspirations.