The Funding Information Service was a Roy McKenzie Foundation initiative in response to an identified need for centralised and accessible information about funding. In 1990 the Roy McKenzie Foundation commissioned a feasibility study and that endorsed the concept. Andrea Goble became Project Manager and established the service over the next two years.
This was paralleled by the initiation and development of the NZ Association of Philanthropic Trusts (now Philanthropy NZ) and we worked closely with them including inviting them to represent philanthropic funders on our management committee. Our association with Philanthropy NZ was helpful when we were approaching philanthropic trusts for their information.
We also worked closely with the Community Development Group of the Department of Internal Affairs who supported our approaches to gather funding information from the various government departments. Manukau City Council had been planning to develop a similar database of funding information and decided rather than duplicating they would support our work as well. Our first Database Administrator worked from the Manukau City Council offices and we have enjoyed an excellent relationship with this local authority.
From February 1991 Andrea Goble was employed to work with the feasibility study and to develop the service. She started by talking to all stakeholders including community organisations, community workers, Tangata Whenua and funders, designing a questionnaire to collect information about funding schemes, convening a focus group to work on the search functions, content and presentation of the database and selecting a software development company to make this a reality.
Once we had the data entry program we intensified the work of collecting the information from funders, coding it for the search and verifying it with the funders. Initially the funders were wary about listing because they thought they'd be inundated with requests for funding but over time FundView has encouraged grantseekers to be more focussed in looking for the appropriate funder. Funders have also become more strategic in their funding and have improved the presentation of their information.
Funding Information Service became an incorporated society in June 1992. Sir Roy McKenzie became one of the initial fifteen members of the incorporated society and he agreed to be patron. A management committee chaired by Ruth McKenzie was formed and met to advise, monitor progress and do voluntary work such as accounts and brochures. Bill Katene was the kaumatua of our service.
In July 1992 Andrea employed a database administrator and a liaison officer In October 1992 we ran the first FundView pilot in Manukau City, Northland and the West Coast.
FundView was launched by Minister of Internal Affairs, Graeme Lee in February 1993 with 80 records. Within three months there were 100 and today there are over 600 current records.
BreakOut was a response to the need of scholarship, grant and award funding for individuals. BreakOut was launched in 1997 and now has over 2,300 records.
CorporateCitizens was launched on 27 June 2005 in Wellington and 6 July 2005 in Auckland. The Funding Information Service and Saints Information worked together on CorporateCitizens. Saints have researched the information, visited the companies and developed each listing with them. The Funding Information Service developed the software programs including the user interface and the data maintenance system
Today the Funding Information Service is a thriving team of nine.