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 every New Zealander to be able to affect lasting change wherever their home or heart may be.

We like to say that you don’t need to be wealthy to be generous, or to make a real difference to your 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 $200 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 endowments

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 >>

Heart hands 479709 unsplash

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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


Bill Holland, Sir Stephen Tindall and Neil Craig are appointed as founding Ambassadors. The Right Honourable Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand, is appointed as our first Patron.

“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