Personal giving

According to Giving New Zealand, our regular survey on philanthropic funding in New Zealand, 55% of all giving in New Zealand is personal giving. Most personal giving is in the form of donations of various kinds. The rest is from bequests.

Before you give

However you choose to give, it pays to ask yourself a few questions first, to make sure your donation is as effective as possible:

  • What issues do you feel strongly about and what causes do you want to support?
  • How much of your income do you want to give? Many people recommend between 1% and 5% of your total household income but it’s entirely up to you.
  • How effective are the organisations you support? You can find information to help you decide this in the annual returns all registered charities must make to Charities Services.

Direct giving

Direct giving includes everything from putting money into a bucket on the street to setting up regular online banking donations to the charity of your choice. Providing you have an approved receipt all direct donations of $5 or more are eligible for a 33.33% tax credit.

Community foundations

Community foundations are one of the world’s fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. They provide a way for ordinary people to “give where they live” by pooling their donations to create a permanent fund which is then invested to generate income that can be distributed to local charities and organisations.

You can contribute to a community foundation in a number of ways:

  • leave a bequest in your will
  • set up a fund for a specific cause
  • contribute to the community fund which provides grants across a range of community

Community Foundations NZ colour logo (002)
New Zealand now has 14 community foundations which have more than $40 million of funds under management and another $200 to $300 million in anticipated bequests. Find out more.


Payroll giving

Payroll giving means you can have donations to the charity of your choice taken directly out of your pay. More than $14 million has been donated since payroll giving was introduced in New Zealand in 2010.  Payroll giving is easy, and you don’t need to worry about claiming tax credits – your employer does that for you. Find out more.

“I do it every fortnight. My payments go out and I don’t even see it. I get the tax back straight away. It’s so simple.”


Leaving money to a charity in your will is easy and it’s becoming increasingly popular. Giving New Zealand 2014 found that individual bequests increased by 29% between 2011 and 2014. Find out more:


Online fundraising platforms are an increasingly popular way of giving. New Zealand sites include:

      • Givealittle: a service for charities and individuals run by the Spark Foundation
      • Boosted: a service run by the Arts Foundation to raise money for arts projects
      • PledgeMe: a service to raise funds for a wide range of projects; PledgeMe can also be used to raise equity funding.

Giving circles

Giving circles are groups of people who pool their resources and then pick charitable causes to donate to. You may choose to donate monthly, or you might prefer to accumulate funds then decide later what to do with them. Find out more