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 are proud to have great supporters in The Tindall Foundation, Craigs Investment Partners, Philanthropy New Zealand and Plato Creative, supporting the growth of community generosity across the country.

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 Community Foundations in just the last five years over $20 million has been granted to New Zealand communities. Today we have over $130 million invested from generous locals for the future. Furthermore, we have hundreds of anticipated bequests adding up to many millions of dollars to be invested for future community transformation. With our endowment fund model protecting the original gifts, the potential good these gifts can do for the future is boundless.

Image showing $20m granted to New Zealand communities in the last 5 years

Granted to New Zealand communities in the last 5 years

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Local donations under managed funds

Image showing 800 grants made to local communities in 2018

Grants made to local communities in 2018

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Committed bequests

Kiwis are really generous. In fact, I think international statistics prove that. They’re generous of spirit, generous of heart and also give quite a big proportion of their salaries or their wages.

Sir Stephen Sels 0955 ZDS 2621 002 Sir Stephen Tindall
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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.


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, popular with people just like you and us - people passionate about making a difference for their local community.


The Wellington Regional Community Foundation (today Nikau Foundation) was established along traditional US lines 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.


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


Community Foundations of NZ is established to support regional foundations, their growth and to support best practice across the country.


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


Community Foundations of NZ appoints our first Executive Officer to help to steer the ship and assist in growing our Community Foundations, their capability and their role in community transformation.


Today there are Community Foundations across most major regions of Aotearoa New Zealand; with still a few gaps in our map our history is still being written…

“We are seeing an exciting time of growth in Aotearoa New Zealand and we are really inspired by the work happening across the country. Our vision is to make a vibrant community foundation available to every New Zealander and the exciting bit is that we have the people, the passion and the belief to make that happen.”

Image showing cfnz chairperson Stacey Scott Stacey Scott – Chairperson