Donors assured money was used as intended amid Christchurch Foundation review

Photo: File
Photo: File
The Christchurch Foundation is reassuring its donors that all donations have been used as intended after a review found a lack of transparency with the charity's financial reporting.

In a public statement, chief executive Amy Carter said: "We recognise that the media coverage of the last few days about The Christchurch Foundation may have been upsetting to the thousands of generous people, businesses and community groups across the world that have gifted through our organisation.

"To clarify, the media stories are in relation only to our relationship and reporting to the Christchurch City Council, who have provided us with an annual grant towards our operations."

Carter said the management of any donations they have received is not in question.

"All the donations that we have received have been used in the manner in which the donors intended.

"Philanthropy is built on trust, and we understand that this may have caused some upset. If you have any concerns as a donor please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions and we will respond."

The gloves came off at a council meeting on Thursday when the topic was discussed.

The foundation has been accused of lack of transparency in its financial reporting and of incurring high costs by a council-ordered Deloitte review.

Established in 2017, the foundation paid for its day-to-day operations through a $600,000-a-year council grant, something the council had promised to continue doing until 2023, when it expected it to be self-funding.

The review found for every dollar the foundation raised, it incurred 56 cents in costs.

That compares to the Auckland Foundation's costs of 22 cents for every dollar raised or Momentum Waikato at 40 cents.

Councillor Yani Johanson grilled council and foundation staff at a meeting over why there was such a delay in getting the foundation's reports.

"We have asked for reporting that is akin to that recommended by Deloitte with little success.

"I'm trying to understand, given we've been historically asking for that information, why we haven't had it."

And he wasn't impressed to hear reports prior to 2019 were left with an ex-council member.

"I would've thought as part of the review that is quite significant," he said to Christchurch Foundation chief executive Amy Carter at the meeting.

"Well, I can't give them documents that I don't have," Carter responded,

"But the foundation must have them if they have been submitted," Johanson said.

Councillor Sam MacDonald took a swipe at board chairman Humphrey Rolleston.

"Mr Chairman, I'd be really interested to know what this review has cost you?" He asked.

"I don't have that answer now but it would be less than our contribution to you I am sure," Rolleston responded.




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