Photo Credit: Michael Mulcahy

We know the need is here. We know the generosity is here.

Our mission is to connect people that care with causes that matter, to strengthen our local community, forever.

Our story starts in 2012 when 10 visionary Hawke’s Bay people put some money together to start a fund to give back to the region they love and to inspire others to do the same.

Like us all, they wanted to see Hawke’s Bay prosper for generations to come, and they saw that if the community could be drawn together with a common purpose, we could achieve something much greater with more meaningful and enduring impact than if everyone simply ‘did their own thing’.

For some of us Hawke’s Bay provides a wonderful lifestyle with unlimited opportunities but sadly not everyone in our community gets to experience this the same way we do. Hawke’s Bay has some of the toughest social conditions in the country and life is a struggle for many with low incomes, poor housing, high health needs and complex social issues.

No matter where you look, Hawke’s Bay trails the rest of the country on almost all key socio-economic indicators. Here’s how Hawke’s Bay currently lines up against New Zealand.

  • We have more people living in poverty
  • We have more people dying at younger ages
  • We have a lower median income
  • We have fewer people who are physically active
  • We have more people who have been seriously assaulted requiring admission to hospital
  • We have lower national standard achievement levels
  • We have lower rates of formal qualifications
  • Our under 5s are more likely to be living in households receiving working-age benefits
  • Our youth are more likely not to be in education, training or employment.

These are not just someone else’s problems – we all need to ‘lean in’ and solve our challenges together.

Giving through Hawke’s Bay Foundation is a simple way for you to make a difference in your community.

We have a great understanding of philanthropy and Hawke’s Bay, so we can ensure your gift goes to the area it is most needed and where you want it to have the greatest impact.

We receive gifts, handover trusts, legacies and community organisation endowments, as well as business giving. We are a registered charitable trust which receives gifts and bequests on people’s behalf and we then safeguard those funds, growing them for the long term.  The original gift is never touched – rather, it is preserved forever.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation is here
for our community, forever.

How it Works

Would you consider leaving a gift in your Will that you know will continue to make a difference forever? Long after your gone, through your generosity and foresight you will still be making a difference to something that you care about. It’s pretty powerful when you think in the long term what your original gift could be doing for an area or cause you believe in. You definitely should be looking after your loved ones first and foremost but often you don’t think about what a small percentage of your Will could do and the impact it could have.

Every year income generated by generous gifts made to the Foundation is distributed  to local community organisations that are hard at work building a strong, more prosperous Hawke’s Bay through our annual funding round. By pooling our charitable giving as a community, we can have a much bigger impact on the lives of Hawke’s Bay people and on the vitality of our region than if we operate alone.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation connects people who want to give back to the region they love through organisations and projects that are making a profound and meaningful difference.

If Hawke’s Bay is to become a better place to live for everyone, we need to invest in our community across a wide range of areas. Together, this will build a strong and thriving region for future generations.

Through the generous support of our supporters, every year Hawke’s Bay Foundation funds a wide range of innovative community projects – large and small – in areas such as community connectedness, social development, health, children and youth issues, older adults, arts and culture and the natural environment.

Our Credentials

  • We have been working in Hawke’s Bay  for the past five years and have built up a knowledge of our local community.
  • We have already gifted approximately $675,000 throughout Hawke’s Bay in the past five years.
  • We are trusted by and have a good reputation with organisations, individuals, the professional community, and philanthropists as experienced grantmakers.
  • Our experienced Board are committed to ensuring a strong and professional foundation for our community.
  • We are a member of Community Foundations of New Zealand and the local funding manager for The Tindall Foundation.

What is a Community Foundation?

Hawke’s Bay Foundation is proud to be a member of Community Foundations of New Zealand (CFNZ). 

Membership of CFNZ means that our community foundation meets professional standards of best practice. We are governed by a local Board, are community-focused and are striving to build a permanent endowment fund that will benefit our local community, forever.

We’re proud to be part of a network of Community Foundations that have been growing around Aotearoa New Zealand since 2003.

The concept of pooling and investing charitable donations for the good of a local area has been a growing global movement for over a hundred years now. It works for everyday people because you don’t have to be wealthy to have an impact; all giving makes a difference through our smarter giving model.

One of the reasons that Community Foundations are so popular is due to their simplicity, and commitment to the donor’s wishes. We listen to the donor and ensure that all administration and compliance matters are looked after as well as the governance and investment of their fund.  Donors can be actively involved if they choose, or they can leave it to us, but many are choosing to be involved and are seeing the difference their gifts are making.

As a not for profit organisation, Hawke’s Bay Foundation strives to keep our operating costs as low possible to maximise the impact of every dollar given. In line with this, our administration costs are less than 1% of our fund value, ensuring your donation directly benefits those who need it the most.

We love where we live. And we know there are lots of other caring Kiwis just like us, passionate about transforming their communities. That’s why we’re here. Through the coordination of the Community Foundations of New Zealand (our national body), we’re all working to provide resources that will make a lasting difference in our local communities.

For further details visit

Click here to view a short video about CFNZ.