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.

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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.

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Granted to New Zealand communities in the past year

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Invested in managed endowment funds

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Grants made to local communities in the past year

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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
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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 and Advance Ashburton is established in Ashburton, Mid-Canterbury.


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


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 and Taranaki


Community Foundations of NZ appoints our first Executive Officer. Community Foundations are established in Christchurch, Wakatipu, Clutha District and for the Horizons Region.


With $150m in collective endowment funds under management, 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… )

“We are seeing an exciting time of growth 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

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