What is a Community Foundation?

We love where we live.

Community Foundations are independent, not-for-profit organisations located in most regions across Aotearoa New Zealand. They focus on a place and its people, running a lean model and governed entirely by super passionate and skilled local volunteer Boards.

Community Foundations build long-term, reliable funding streams for their local communities by investing and growing the donations they receive. So, you’re not really giving to a Community Foundation, but through it. And it means your generosity will have benefits forever.

Plus, Community Foundations are not about one single cause, they're about the place and the causes, projects or initiatives you choose to support.

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Why choose to give through a Community Foundation?

  • Being local we know where our regions greatest needs are and who is doing great work
  • We make giving to your community easy
  • You choose how your donation is used
  • You will be investing in long-term community transformation by helping build permanent funds
  • It’s a smarter way to give that makes your generosity go further and it will last forever
  • Our low fee structure means that, long-term, we can protect your gift being eroded by inflation
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How do we know what our communities need?

First and foremost, we are close to our communities, working in partnership with generous local people and charities and causes. We know who is doing great work in our communities and we connect generous people with causes that will and are making a difference. To make decisions about priorities for funding many of our Community Foundations undertake extensive research into the health of their communities with Vital Signs® research reports which gather data and spark conversations. They provide a community check-up that measures vitality, identifies significant social and economic trends and supports action on issues that are critical to our quality of life. These reports not only assist Community Foundations in establishing granting priorities, but they also encourage collaboration with other local stakeholders.

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Are Community Foundations different from Community Trusts?

In Aotearoa New Zealand, Community Trusts have similar models to ours in that they have an existing pool of assets, which are invested on behalf of the local community. But Community Foundations are different because we are constantly growing a local fund through the generosity of local people. Our model is proven, respected and successful worldwide.

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Got questions? See our FAQ page or

Contact Us

“Community Foundations are set up to encourage personal philanthropy at a local level. They play a crucial role in how people give back where communities need it most. We connect people, families and businesses with causes that inspire them. We help donors realise their philanthropic goals by matching their interests with community needs and finding innovative ways to make every donation count.”

Image showing cfnz chairperson Stacey Scott Stacey Scott – Chairperson