We have responded to the more than 280 Expressions of Interest (“EOIs”) received for our initial grant process.
We were hugely impressed with the thinking, quality and commitment that had gone into the EOIs. As a whole, they represent a privileged insight into the hearts and minds of all that is good about New Zealand and New Zealanders. They contain great ideas, innovation, passion, community service, generosity, enthusiasm, volunteering, and just a fundamental belief in a way to a better NZ. They are very inspiring.
We would love to be able to select more of them. But in looking at our next stage, the Board had to narrow its choice down to the very few that it considered would be most transformational, most inspirational and have widest impact for all New Zealanders. We have done that and communicated with all applicants directly by email on 1 August.
After reviewing the EOIs, we have decided to include an intermediate step in our process, and not go straight to RFP (“Request for Proposal”) stage with any applicants at this stage. Instead we will meet with a small number to better understand their proposal and to explain our interest. Some of these discussions may lead to a RFP, some will not. We have asked those applicants we are in discussion with to treat them as confidential.
We have offered all applicants the opportunity to participate in NEXchange, a forum we will be creating on our website for the EOIs, which we hope will bring value for all EOI applicants, and attract other potential funders of initiatives in the Environment or Education sectors, and for any other parties who are interested in the sector.
The thinking behind NEXchange is threefold. First, we believe that there are a number of philanthropic individuals or organisations that may have an interest in supporting the EOI initiatives in either the environment or education. We will be actively encouraging such parties to look through NEXchange.
Second, in many cases EOIs have a lot in common, or are looking to address a similar issue. We believe knowing about this could lead to good outcomes.
And third, we see it as an acknowledgement by NEXT of the work and thinking that each organisation has put into its application, for which we are very appreciative. We are pleased with the job the two page EOI has done as the mechanism for our initial evaluation, and feel that it has enabled us to give all applicants an early and informed response without them having had the burden of a full application process. However we also acknowledge the significant amount of work and thinking that went into each of the EOIs, and we would love that work to be acknowledged and shared with others through NEXchange.
NEXchange will be live from late August. We encourage you to review it yourself then, to look for connections that may add value for your project, and for where you might be able to add value for others.
For further information please contact: Bill Kermode on 09 308 4037
The NEXT Foundation was launched in March 2014 and will spend $100 million over the next 10 years to create a legacy of environmental and educational excellence for the benefit of future generations of New Zealanders. It will make commitments of approximately $5-15 million per annum, to be distributed as part of an annual process, to selected initiatives over their project lives.