The Wilberforce Foundation is governed by its two founding Trustees with the assistance of an Advisory Board. The Advisory Board plays a key role in helping guide our philanthropic work and operational model. Our staff team are spread across the motu (country), coordinating our activities and supporting our organisations in a wide variety of ways.

During the journey as funders, we have observed the increasing need for both financial and non-financial support of charities. We now deliver a range of initiatives that cover collaboration opportunities, networking, upskilling and organisational capability development through the use of technical and consultant specialists. We have a particular focus on building connection and collaboration amongst the community of charities that we support.


Our donation activity falls into three main areas.

  1. We seek to provide annual donations to faith-led charities who are operating nationally, seeking to support and transform communities and who are independently governed. Donations are made in an ‘untagged’ way and typically contribute to no more than 5% of the organisation’s annual revenue. Alongside donations, we run a range of networking and learning opportunities to support the development, connectedness and learning of this ‘community’ of charities. Donations are only made to organisations based in New Zealand.
  2. We also support specific projects that may include strategic change initiatives, step change growth and/or new or innovative approaches to delivery. These projects are funded during the year and may also include specific areas we have a specific interest or focus on.
  3. Christian leadership development scholarships are also a focus area, including the development of governance skills and experience. Scholarships are for tuition fees or other approved costs towards a leadership development programme and include mentoring and an invitation to a governance development programme. Applications for scholarships are taken through our nominator organisations.

Selection process

Applications for funding are by invitation only and are not open to the general public. Where possible, we seek to commit to multiyear funding to provide consistency of revenue for charities. The broad principles of funding decisions are by these key themes:

While applications for funding are by invitation only, we are always open to learning of new initiatives within Aotearoa and may invite organisations to submit a short brief on who they are and what they do, before undertaking the application process if appropriate.