Philanthropy New Zealand Award Winners 2017

May 12, 2017

Three New Zealanders were recognised for their dedication to making a positive difference in Aotearoa at the inaugural Philanthropy New Zealand Awards last night in Wellington (Thursday 11 May).


The Awards, which will take place every year, were established to recognise and celebrate people and projects within the philanthropic sector and all they do to help make Aotearoa New Zealand a better, more generous place.

Philanthropy New Zealand CE Tony Paine who presented the awards says, “As a sector we don’t often get the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the people and projects involved. It is heartening to be reminded of the positive impact that grantmakers and philanthropists have on the communities we live in.”

The following categories and winners for the Philanthropy New Zealand 2017 Awards are:

AMP Capital People’s Choice Award

Springboard Community Works – led by Gary Diprose –
Funded by the Vodafone NZ Foundation
This award recognises a New Zealand individual and a project they have led that has achieved positive change with the support of philanthropic funding.

Philanthropy New Zealand Emerging Individual
Lani Evans (Vodafone NZ Foundation, Wellington)
This award recognises those who are in the early stages of their role within the philanthropic sector.

Perpetual Guardian Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award
Jennifer Gill (Foundation North, Auckland)
This award recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to the philanthropic sector with lasting impact.

For all enquiries, contact Olivia Lacey | | 021 022 40312

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

AMP Capital People’s Choice Award recipient profile

Since 2002, the Snells Beach- based Springboard Community Works has been empowering marginalised young people and their families with life changing principles, skills and mentors to facilitate personal transformation and connection with community.

Snells Beach-based Springboard Community Works was founded to support at risk youth and families in 2002, and has worked to change the lives of hundreds of young people. Springboard run various programmes to engage and connect, upskill and mentor marginalised young people and families. Some of the programmes include alternative education, youth offender intervention, work transition initiatives, and family support services.

Springboard’s community development aims to establish working relationships with other like-minded organisations in other communities. The purpose of this collaboration is the sharing of know-how, resources and partnership in what can be an isolated and difficult environment. The goal is that as each organisation taps into the collective resources available to it, the outcomes for young people increase exponentially.

Springboard now partners with three other communities.

Highlights and outcomes include Springboard delivering excellent results and positive change for young people and their whanau: reducing youth crime, unemployment and increasing community well-being.

Gary Diprose received a Kiwibank ‘Local Hero’ award in November 2016. In February 2016, Springboard Community Works was a semi-finalist of the Community of the Year Award. Springboard has also received accolades from Police and local schools.

Prior to founding Springboard 14 years ago, Gary spent 10 years in business management, self-employed in the farming sector. As CEO Gary oversees all of the Springboard staff, programmes and organisational development – including expansion into new communities.

Funding:Vodafone New Zealand Foundation first supported Springboard in 2013 through the World of Difference award and in 2015 gave a grant to help them reach more young people. Part of this work is through collaboration and the grant is allowing Gary to work with like-minded organisations to replicate Springboard’s successful model across other communities.

Philanthropy New Zealand Emerging Individual recipient profile

Wellington-based Lani Evans is Manager of the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation. She has worked in philanthropic and volunteer roles since the early 2000s and has demonstrated a passion for youth development and innovation in philanthropy.


Bringing the private and philanthropic sectors closer through her work with Thank You Payroll and general support for social enterprise, Lani was CEO of Thank You Payroll for three years, helping to build it into the client and community-focussed social enterprise it is today.

Lani is challenging traditional grantmaking processes through her research and subsequent Winston Churchill Fellowship report on participatory grantmaking. She is practicing this through her social enterprise’s giving arm, Thank You Charitable Trust. She is also supporting best practice of continuing support for grantees with mentoring from the Vodafone business and ensuring Vodafone recipient alumni are a focus for the Foundation.

Working voluntarily on many projects and organisations, Lani is living her values of generosity and action—as a past Board member of Philanthropy New Zealand, and current roles in Thank You Charitable Trust, Room:Maker, Action Station, West Harbour Beautification Trust and is on the board for the JR McKenzie Trust Peter McKenzie Project.

Perpetual Guardian Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award recipient profile

Auckland-based Jennifer Gill has been Chief Executive Officer of Foundation North since 2004. In this role, she leads New Zealand’s largest philanthropic trust and the largest grantmaking foundation in Australasia with an annual grants programme of $40-$45 million.

Other positions Jennifer has held include membership of the governance board of the Auckland Co-Design Lab, the Tindall Foundation’s Social Innovation Advisory Group, Advisory Trustee of Leadership New Zealand (2005-2014); Chair of J R McKenzie Trust (2000) and Founding Trustee of Wellington Regional Community Foundation (1993 –2004). Most recently Jennifer has been appointed as a Trustee of the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation. A significant achievement for Jennifer in her role as Chair of Philanthropy New Zealand from 2003 to 2009 was the change in 2008 to the tax treatment of charitable donations. As Chair, Jennifer led a lobbying campaign which resulted in New Zealand’s tax treatment of charitable donations moving from one of the most restrictive in the world to one of the most progressive.

At Foundation North, Jennifer has pioneered a move from transactional grantmaking to a strategic portfolio approach. This provides a variety of support to grantees, ranging from small, one-off grants to meet immediate needs to multi-year ‘venture philanthropy’ investments. These combine financial and organisational support to community organisations working on innovative responses to major social issues. She then oversaw in 2014 the establishment of the Centre for Social Impact to provide a resource for the sector as more trusts move to achieve greater impact from their grantmaking.

Over the past three decades, Jennifer has been invited to speak in New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Germany and the UK about philanthropy in New Zealand. In 2011, Jennifer was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to participate in the Bellagio Initiative, an event exploring the future of philanthropy and international development in the pursuit of human wellbeing.

For her services to the philanthropic sector, Jennifer was made one of the first Life Members of Philanthropy New Zealand and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2017 New Year’s Honours.