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Working differently to slow the spread

24 March 2020   /   News & reports

As part of our COVID-19 Response Plan, and in line with the latest government advice, Foundation North is finding new ways of working that aim to slow down the spread of Novel coronavirus/COVID-19.

On Tuesday 24 March (5pm) we closed our office (50 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland) and all staff will be working remotely.

Digital collaboration tools will replace face-to-face internal and external meetings – otherwise, our main business practices will not be affected. Our free telephone number 0800 272 878, website and cloud-based Funding Hub will function normally, as will email communications.

Core business processes relating to accepting, assessing and making decisions on grants will also continue as normal. As well as a commitment to supporting our community of applicants and grantees as best we can in the current circumstances, the Foundation will be looking at how we can best respond to the short-medium needs of grantees who may be facing fundamental challenges with how they operate due to COVID-19.

“The Foundation wants to reassure applicants and grantee organisations that our grants programmes will continue”, Foundation North CEO Peter Tynan commented. “Our granting depends on our investments and we take expert advice. We have a diversified portfolio of investments which means not all of our eggs are in one basket. We are also a long-term investor, and our portfolio is designed to withstand highs and lows over time.  Overall, our grants budget levels will remain consistent with previous years for at least the next two years”.

The new working practices are the latest step in the Foundation’s ‘abundantly cautious’ approach to the situation. Since Monday 16 March, any staff members who shared living space with people who required to self-isolate were asked to also self-isolate and work from home.  Similarly, since early March, staff, trustees and visitors to the Foundation’s premises have been reminded of the Ministry of Health’s guidelines on personal hygiene, travel, public gatherings and self-isolation.

To keep our community and stakeholders connected and updated, Foundation North is actively communicating via e-newsletters and social media, and has established a dedicated COVID-19 webpage here.

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