The Harcourts Foundation, the charitable arm of Harcourts, has reached the milestone of $5 million raised since its launch in 2008. That translates to 686 charities supported, 311 communities impacted and 851 grants made through Harcourts offices in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.
The Foundation is funded through Harcourts employee salary sacrifice, ‘off the top’ contributions from sales commissions, and through organised fundraisers.
“We are humbled to be able to have a positive impact on our communities, from supporting programmes to end violence against women, aiding underprivileged families to creating a network of financial support for hospice care,” says Emma Revell, Harcourts Foundation ambassador. “The grants we give support a wide range of local community organisations that are quietly going about their work, making a difference in the lives of those who need it.”
The Foundation operates as a 100% charity, with all funds raised going directly to grants due to the volunteer-run structure that sees Harcourts employees donate their time and expertise to oversee and administer the process. No management fees, salaries or running costs are taken from the donation account.
“We are incredibly proud of the work The Harcourts Foundation has done over the past nine years,” said Harcourts Managing Director Mike Green. “The Foundation is at the heart of our company’s core values, and it is an important part of our international network of offices. Every location in which there is a Harcourts office, there are people in need. We are grateful to be able to give back and make a difference.”
In New Zealand, The Harcourts Foundation regularly supports a wide variety of community groups across the country, including Women’s Refuge, schools, the Fire Service, child poverty groups and many more.
Recently, the Harcourts Foundation announced the Hospice NZ Grants Programme, which gives hospices around the country the opportunity to apply for grants to purchase much needed items.
Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy says it is the highlight of his 25-year career with Harcourts to be entering a formal relationship with Hospice NZ.
“It’s an absolute privilege to be able to assist Hospice NZ. I am personally in awe of the work they do, as is everyone who has been touched by hospice and their incredible teams.”
The Harcourts Foundation donated $55,000 to commence the programme, and pledged ongoing financial support.
In addition, many Harcourts franchises around the country will continue to assist their local hospices, both financially and through volunteer work.
Hospice NZ CEO Mary Schumacher says the support of the Harcourts Foundation will help enable New Zealand’s 34 hospices to purchase equipment, vehicles and maintain their buildings and facilities.
“This will truly make a significant difference to the people using hospice services and their families and whanau. Fundraising is an ongoing challenge for us, at a time when demand for our services is growing.
“Support from sponsors allows us to keep all of our services free for those who need it, so this relationship with the Harcourts Foundation means so much.”
To date, the Foundation has granted a total of 447 community grants around the country.
In Australia, The Harcourts Foundation has supported two major recipients White Ribbon Australia and beyondblue on a national level, and granted over 326 community grants around the country.
The Harcourts Foundation’s Walk A Mile in Their Shoes fundraising effort originated in 2013, with leadership from Harcourts Victoria CEO Sadhana Smiles. The effort was expanded throughout Victoria and New South Wales, as well as in Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia, and in 2015 Walk A Mile went national.
“By forging partnerships such as Walk A Mile in Their Shoes with Harcourts and The Harcourts Foundation, we strengthen the community and, in turn, raise awareness to stop violence before it happens,” said White Ribbon CEO Libby Davies.
The White Ribbon initiatives educate young children about respectful relationships to combat the prevalence of violence against women.
“The issue of men’s violence against women is challenging for many, and we are grateful to see the men of Harcourts taking a stand and changing ingrained attitudes,” she said.
Launched in 2011, the South African arm of the Harcourts Foundation is making a significant difference helping communities across South Africa.
100% of Harcourts South Africa sales offices donate to the Foundation with the sale of each property, and through specially organized events.
Of all the incredible efforts undertaken in the past six years to help disadvantaged families and children, one of the signature events is African Angels, Ride for Education.
In 2016, Harcourts Eastern Cape branches of Advantage, Mercantile, Cornerstone, Queenstown and Mthatha organised a mass mountain bike ride to raise funds for African Angels - an organisation based in Chintsa East, just outside East London.
The African Angels Independent School, established in 2012, provides a quality primary school education to some of the poorest children in the area. With 88 children attending in 2016, all are from local townships with both economically and socially challenged backgrounds, including orphans.
Ride for Education is used as a Harcourts team-building exercise to give offices an opportunity to come together for Fun & Laughter, and raise important funds for the community. The 2016 event raised R60,000 and the 2017 event aims to surpass that number.
For information visit The Harcourts Foundation website.