About

About Community Foundations of NZ

Community Foundations of NZ is the national body supporting and uniting all of the regional Community Foundations across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our aim is for strong communities, supporting our tūrangawaewae - our place - and creating communities where everyone thrives.

We help kiwis affect lasting change wherever their home or heart may be; we believe in empowering and enabling every New Zealander so that they can make a real difference in their local community.

We’ve been growing as a network since 2003. Find out more about our history below.

Image showing parents and kids playing sack race in a park

The collective good.

Through New Zealand's Community Foundations over $50 million has been granted to New Zealand communities in the past 5 years and today we have over $230 million invested in endowment funds for the future. Furthermore, we have hundreds of anticipated bequests adding up to many millions of dollars yet to be invested for future community transformation. With our invested endowment fund model protecting the original gifts, the potential good these gifts can do for the future is boundless.

CFNZ stat 1 50m

Granted to New Zealand communities in the past 5 years

CFNZ stat 2 230m 2022

Invested in managed endowment funds

CFNZ stat 3 1500 2022

Grants made to local communities in the past year

CFNZ stat 4 600

Committed bequests for future endowment funds

Dame Cindy Kiro website

Our Patron

The Right Honourable Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand

Read more about our Patron and Ambassadors here >>

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Our history:

Community Foundations have been growing as a movement across New Zealand since 2003. But the idea that a group of people can invest their money for the good of their local area has been around for over a hundred years.

1914

Internationally, the first Community Foundation was established in Cleveland, USA. The movement rapidly spread across North America and to other parts of the world throughout the 20th century. It’s a global movement, one of the fastest growing forms of philanthropy in the world today, popular with people passionate about making a difference for their local community and leaving a local legacy.

1991

The Wellington Regional Community Foundation (today Nikau Foundation) is established to build an endowment fund for the region.

2003

With The Tindall Foundation support, Acorn Foundation is established in Tauranga for the Western Bay of Plenty region. The first personal endowment fund, the Edna Brown Fund, is launched.

2007-2012

Community Foundations are established in Ashburton, Northland, Rotorua & Taupo, Hawke's Bay, Nelson, Eastern Bay of Plenty, South Canterbury and Auckland.

2013

Momentum Waikato Community Foundation is launched. Community Foundations of NZ is established, run initially by a volunteer board, to support regional foundations.

2014-2015

Community Foundations are established in Gisborne and Taranaki.

2017

The Tindall Foundation and Craigs Investment Partners come on board as CFNZ funding partners. Community Foundations of NZ appoints our very first staff member (Executive Officer). The Christchurch Foundation is launched.

2018-2019

Community Foundations are established in Wakatipu, Clutha District, and the Horizons Region.

2021

Bill Holland, Sir Stephen Tindall and Neil Craig are appointed as our founding Ambassadors.

2022

Miriama Kamo is appointed as an Ambassador. The Right Honourable Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand, is appointed as our first Patron.

Today

Today, there are Community Foundations covering most regions of Aotearoa NZ. While around 90% of New Zealanders can give through their local Community Foundation, our coverage is not quite complete and our history is still being written....

“Giving through a Community Foundation is a kaitiaki role for society – we can all play a part in being guardians for New Zealand’s future."

Adrian Orr Adrian Orr, Governor of the Reserve Bank of NZ, Te Pūtea Matua

Why community foundations? Sir Stephen Tindall talks about the generosity of kiwis and the joy of giving