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 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 $25 million has been granted to New Zealand communities in the past year and today we have over $150 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

Granted to New Zealand communities in the past year

CFNZ stat 2

Invested in managed endowment funds

CFNZ stat 3

Grants made to local communities in the past year

CFNZ stat 4

Committed bequests for future endowments

"Leaving a gift in a will to a Community Foundation is a great way to make a difference to the future social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing of our communities. I hope more New Zealanders will take up that opportunity to help bring about positive change."

Gov Gen 3 The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO Governor-General of New Zealand
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.

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

1991

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

2007-2012

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

2013

Momentum Waikato Community Foundation is launched and Community Foundations of NZ is established to support regional foundations, their growth and capacity building.

2014-2015

Community Foundations are established in Gisborne and Taranaki.

2017

Community Foundations of NZ appoints our first staff member (Executive Officer). Christchurch Foundation is launched.

2018-2021

Community Foundations are established in Wakatipu, Clutha District and for the Horizons Region. Today there are Community Foundations across most major regions of New Zealand (with still a few gaps in our map, 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