John Ilott Charitable Trust
About the John Ilott Charitable Trust
A small fund was established in 1960 by Wellington businessman and philanthropist, the late Sir John Ilott. It was substantially increased by his son and daughter, the late Mr J V (Jack) Ilott, and the late Mrs Suzanne McKellar. Now an incorporated philanthropic Charitable Trust, with a capital base of approximately $3 million, the Trust makes small annual grants, generally in the range of $1,000 - $2,000, up to a total of around $180,000.
After the death of Sir John in 1973, management of the Trust passed to his son, Jack Ilott, who ran the Trust virtually single-handedly for more than 25 years. A bachelor with no relatives in NZ, Jack reached an Agreement with the Rotary Club of Wellington (of which Sir John and Jack had both been Presidents) that after his  death, the Rotary Club President, President-Elect, and Immediate Past-President would serve as Ilott Trustees committed to implement the family’s vision.
This arrangement continues to this day, with the following 2017-2018 officer-bearers of the Rotary Club of Wellington currently serving as Ilott Trustees:
Marion Cowden - RCW President (Chair)
Peter Lawson - RCW Immediate Past-President
Denise Church - RCW President-Elect
To minimise the potential discontinuity in governance caused by Trustees serving just one, three-year term, they are supported by an Advisory Committee of five senior Rotarians who may serve two, five-year terms. While the Trustees retain authority, the Advisory Committee investigates and makes recommendations to the Trustees on matters referred to it.
The Trustees have a duty to grow Trust capital to increase income available for philanthropic use. To this end, the Trust currently uses Craigs Investment Partners to actively manage the $3 million investment portfolio within guidelines set by the Trustees.
While advised by the Funds Manager and a skilled Treasurer (also a Rotarian), the Trustees are ultimately accountable for financial oversight.