Health research is critical, and yet because of the huge demands on hospitals and other frontline facilities, it is often at the back of the queue for state health funding.

Various trusts therefore exist to financially support health research. These groups often invest their capital so they can make grants from the resulting returns to their area of concern.      

Which makes them well familiar with the ‘smart giving’ model offered by community foundations like Momentum Waikato, as the regional endowment fund we look after is the same concept writ large.

When it comes to investment, scale is important, not only because more capital means a given percentage is a larger sum, but because it allows for a more diverse portfolio, wherein the risk of pursuing larger returns in some areas is mitigated by lower but more certain returns in others.   

It is unsurprising then that in the last year three health research trusts have moved some or all of their capital to create philanthropic investment funds at Momentum Waikato - Waikato Sick Babies Trust, Waikato Medical Research Foundation and the nationally focused Vision Research Foundation.

They now all get the larger long-term returns that come with our multi-million-dollar endowment, and benefit from our public-facing online donation portal and promotional activities – as demonstrated by you reading this in your local community paper!

The Waikato Sick Babies Trust (WSBT) was set up in 1983 to back the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Waikato Hospital. A big public fundraising push in the Eighties built up the monies it then invested, and its resulting grants then went to neonatal research and staff development in the NICU. However over recent years, the latter had become the necessary priority.

So, in late 2022 the WSBT moved capital to Momentum, to grow its income so it could again back research, and to open itself up to new public donations.

The Waikato Medical Research Foundation (WMRF) was set up in 1986, to provide funding for local health research that bridges inequity gaps and improves health outcomes across the board. It supports early career researchers with projects too small for national funding and builds local research capacity.

The WMRF started a fund with Momentum earlier this year to make it easier for the public to contribute to local health research.

The Vision Research Foundation (VRF) was established last year to move ‘beyond the safe and incremental’, to attract funding and knowledge for life-changing discoveries, and to unlock the potential talent shut out by inequity.

The VRF set up its Momentum fund to diversify and therefore secure and grow its income streams.

To find out more and to donate, click the relevant link about the Fund above or visit Our Funds page and then click the relevant Fund listing.