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What is a community foundation and how do they work?

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Whether you’re just starting out on your charitable journey or already experienced in philanthropy, there’s a worldwide movement that’s made it here to New Zealand that you might not know about – yet it makes it easy for you to give, and to give effectively.

Community foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy globally, with more than 1,800 worldwide since the first community foundation was established 100 years ago.

So what is a community foundation and how do they work?

Firstly, community foundations are about making it easy for donors to give. Donors can set up a fund under the umbrella structure of the foundation without the hassle of setting up, registering and then running a separate charity. Because the community foundation takes care of the compliance, administration, investment and governance, you’re free to concentrate on giving to causes you’re passionate about.

There are many different ways to give through your local community foundation, including building your own fund, joining a giving circle or leaving a gift in your Will.

For those who already have an established charitable trust, community foundations offer simple and trusted solutions to issues such as succession planning, or administrative burdens such as filing reports to the Charities Commission.

Making giving easy and effective whilst staying true to the donor’s wishes is exactly why community foundations have gained such popularity.

For more information on the Community Foundation for Auckland, contact Lettie Bright on

021 818 307 or at to discuss how they can help you with your philanthropic goals.


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