In 2008 the Foundation invited not-for-profit organisations in the region to put forward proposals for multi-year funding and support for innovative approaches to Māori and Pacific education, youth health and development, emerging artists, and social housing. A number of proposals were selected and over the last three years these have come to maturity. Some major successes have been achieved. One Maori and Pacific education initiative for example, a home and school partnership approach developed by Sylvia Park school to support children's learning from Years 1 to 3, saw such a marked improvement in student achievement that this is now being picked up by the Ministry of Education. It is currently being introduced to over 100 schools nationally.
What the Foundation learnt through its high engagement investments is that funding in itself is not an answer. Social innovation is complex and stressful and stretches the capacity of both organisations and the key individuals involved in driving programmes. Support in areas such as organisational capacity development, leadership, evaluation, and programme design are essential to give organisations the best chance of delivering on their vision and achieving their goals. These insights lead to the establishment of the Centre for Social Impact.
He aha te mea nui rawa? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
"What is the greatest thing? It is people, people, people."