Longveld fabricated 'Ngaa Pou Karohirohi' on Hamilton’s city river jetty, a project led by artist Eugene Kara, Ngaati Korokii Kahukura, in collaboration with local hapuu representatives.
Coupling IRD’s Payroll Giving scheme with a philanthropic investment fund has been a ‘win win win’ for a Waikato engineering firm, its employees and the social service providers they’ve supported.
Longveld started up its fund in 2019 at Momentum Waikato, their local community foundation, and ever since has dollar-for-dollar matched their team’s donations towards it.
Payroll Giving takes the agreed donations out of pay packets in the same manner as income tax or student loan repayments, with the tax on the donation being able to be claimed back at tax return time.
Once a year the team votes on where to grant a portion of the fund’s income, which Managing Director Pam Roa describes as “a fun process”.
“Our payroll giving and funding vote brings together our support team and our trade crew for a common purpose unrelated to work,” says Pam.
Pam Roa, Longveld Managing Director
“The staff who have donated to the fund submit their ideas for who they want it to support and then we get together to chat about what each nominated organisation does for the Waikato community. Then we vote, and the most popular choice gets our support that year.
“We love that pooling and investing our donations has a bigger longer-term impact. And along the way, we all learn more about what not-for-profit groups are achieving in the Waikato.
“To date, there has been a common theme of supporting organisations that help young people deal with adversity,” says Pam.
Over the three full years since it was founded, the Longveld Fund at Momentum has supported Centre 401 Trust (mental health and addiction services), The House of Grace (home for pregnant teens and young mums) and Kids in Need Waikato (care packs for children).
“Our fund is still small, so our grants have so far only been around $2000 to $2500 per year, they’re getting bigger as time goes on.
“However, we don’t place any restrictions on how the recipient can use the funds or require any engagement from them. It’s given in good faith that they will put it to good use – no hoops to jump through or red tape – and the grant is always happily received,” says Pam.
Longveld’s staff are free to use payroll giving to donate directly to any charity they prefer, but the matching donation from the company is an attractive incentive to back the Momentum-based fund, and to date all the payroll givers have chosen it as the destination for their ongoing donations.
Longveld staffer member Melissa Bowen says it feels good to give back in this way.
“I donate specifically to the Momentum fund through payroll giving, because Longveld matches my donations, so the good that my money can do is doubled.
“It is only a small amount out of my pay, but I feel happy knowing that it is part of a fund that will help long term,” says Melissa.
Pam says leaving a portion of the income invested each year keeps the fund growing.
“Even if a donor leaves the company or drops out of the fund, their previous donations are still contributing to the Fund’s ongoing intergenerational impact, unlike making a one-off grant directly,” says Pam.
Pam recommends that companies setting up a fund fed by payroll giving should plan to include information about payroll giving in their on-boarding packs.
“We want to inspire current and new team members to get involved, so it is also a good idea to tell the whole team about the organisation receiving the grant and what it is striving to do. Explaining why payroll giving goes towards a fund at Momentum, rather than direct donations to charities, is also useful, since it’s not commonly understood how an endowment fund works,” says Pam.