Sir Stephen Tindall is a name that is synonymous with community, financial growth and giving – and he, alongside Bill Holland and Neil Craig were inspired when they discovered the giving model in the USA over 20 years ago.  

“We saw the model working so well in the United States and the ongoing benefits that it provided to communities and we wanted New Zealand communities to benefit too,” said Stephen Tindall. 

“The way that community giving works isn’t as widely understood in New Zealand as it is in more established countries where it has been around longer such as the US and UK. But it’s been proven to work and Wills Month is a great way to raise the profile of what locals can do through Community Foundations. 

“I love the model because funds are invested to grow forever – the money never stops working and it all stays in the community.  It’s future-proofing your local area for the next generation and it helps grow stronger communities forever.   

“It’s a really smart financial model and we’re seeing good growth in New Zealand.  There is now $240 million in funds under management which is going to communities and that number just keeps growing as more and more kiwis catch onto this really different giving model. With over 650 bequests already we are finding that kiwis love this way of giving.  

“September is Wills Month and I urge kiwis to think about leaving a legacy that will benefit whānau and community by including Community Foundations in their will – or better still donate now so you can watch it grow.  You can choose where you want the money to go or what you want it to go towards in your local community – it’s a more interesting way to give back. 

“I love the story of Edna Brown, she was one of the very first donors who bequested $67,200 in 2003 to the Acorn Foundation in her beloved city of Tauranga.   Her endowment fund has now given out more than her original gift and over $75,000 has been distributed to the Tauranga community and the original gift has grown to be over $93,000.  What a wonderful and smart way to support the community she knew and loved – forever. 

“I think most kiwis who donate or leave a bequest to Community Foundations do it because they want to give locally, knowing the funds stay in their community and the longevity of the donation appeals too.  Knowing that the funds just keep growing long after you’ve gone to help future generations thrive makes them feel like they’re making a meaningful contribution to the place they love. 

“I think the Community Foundation model has helped to shift the way New Zealanders are now preferring to give”.   

You can find out more about Community Foundations at