An innovative new service to help both those seeking and distributing philanthropic funding in Aotearoa New Zealand is underway.

Philanthropy New Zealand (PNZ) has just pressed the go button on Match – your funding place. The vision of Match is a more accessible, collaborative and equitable funding system in Aotearoa. It aims to more efficiently and effectively connect the demand for, and supply of, philanthropic funding.

PNZ Chief Executive Sue McCabe said the service looked to reduce the amount of resource community groups needed to put into connecting with interested funders; while making it simpler for funders to find causes they were interested in supporting.

“Community groups will be able to post one proposal and get the eyes of multiple funders who have expressed an interest in that geographical area, demographic, or focus are of interest. Funders can choose to be alerted to new proposals or can search on requests at a time that suits them.”

An aim was making it easier for funders to collaborate – which would make fundseeking easier for community organisations.

“We see many great examples in the philanthropic sector of funders making their processes easier for community groups and collaboration with other funders to make the funding sector easier to navigate. Match will enable greater progress across the system over time.”

Match will be a helpful tool after a major event, when both global and local funders were looking where to donate to, meanwhile smaller groups responding to urgent community need have no time for funding proposals. These community groups could quickly be identified as needing additional financial support.

The 2019 JB Were NZ Support Report, which PNZ partnered on, estimated the philanthropic dollar was valued at $3.8b a year.

“The NZ Support Report found 91% of philanthropic and grant funding goes to 9% of charities. We know that smaller groups doing great work often don’t have the resource to identify funding sources and make applications. A key objective of Match is to ensure greater equity in funding distribution. Match will have an outreach service to support less visible groups get in front of funders.”

Sue McCabe said Match was designed to complement other initiatives. For example, while platforms like Perpetual Guardian’s Givealittle supported everyday givers, to access Match funders would need to donate larger amounts to part or fully fund community projects. It complements services that increase community groups fundraising capability or facilitate fundseekers identifying funding sources.

Sue McCabe acknowledged the philanthropic and government funders enabling the development of Match. The project kicked off with a small grant from the J R McKenzie Trust in early 2020.

The following funders provided money to enable PNZ to test support for the concept late last year: the Hugh Green Foundation; D V Bryant Trust; Auckland Foundation; Clare; J R McKenzie Trust; Wilberforce Foundation; NEXT Foundation; Williams’ Charitable Trusts.

Thank you to the organisations providing seed funding to support the establishment and scale up of Match over its first three years are:

Premier funders: The Working Together More Fund (Members are: the J R McKenzie Trust; Todd Foundation; the Tindall Foundation: Hugh Green Foundation: D V Bryant Trust; Len Reynolds Trust; Lindsay Foundation and the Wayne Francis Charitable Trust).

Hero funders: The Department of Internal Affairs; J R McKenzie Trust, Todd Foundation. Supporting funders: Sutherland Trust; Ministry for the Environment; Fletcher Trust; Auckland Foundation, Namaste Foundation; Whakatupu Aotearoa Foundation; Jenny Sutton from Greenlight Ventures New Zealand.