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The importance of community, belonging and wellbeing.

After searching for over a year and a serendipitous conversation (or five), in January of 2020 I asked my LinkedIn network if I was the only one on the hunt for a community of souls in the not for profit space looking to build a network.

Short version of the story - I wasn't, and We Love Phil was created.

Being part of the We Love Phil community (as well as the Woman's Fund, a puzzle piece that gave me the confidence to undertake launching this network) has helped to solidify my sense of belonging in the heart of Auckland in a way I didn't realise I was missing.

What makes this community interesting? In Auckland especially, I've found it difficult to find a "tribe" involved in the giving sector. Launching something warm and inviting was really important to me, particularly as some of the changes we undertake as goals can be quite challenging.

The NFP sector is reliant on three pillars of a triangle: financial givers, employees, and volunteers. Every piece of this puzzle is vital and cannot function without the others. I adore how often these three pillars overlap, quietly reminding everyone that in unexpected ways they are often all three points of this wonderful triangle!

Everyone needs a tribe, often many. Family, friends and professionally. Belonging is key to wellbeing and I am no different.

My role within We Love Phil is to cultivate a kind, fun environment, with an emphasis on collaboration and sharing ideas, knowledge and resources with other Aucklanders. I feel more centered and connected to our whenua now that I have this network of people with a heart of gold.

Rachel Cleary
Founder, We Love Phil(anthropy)

Born in small town Aotearoa, Rachel has lived in Tāmaki Makaurau for longer than her hometown and the organisation she works for, AUT, has more international students than the population of Foxton. From her first visit to the ‘big smoke’ she knew she’d come home.


Photo from We Love Phil's launch in March 2020.