About Us

Nikau Foundation is part of a world-wide network of Community Foundations which are set up to benefit a specific geographic area, in our case the Wellington region, and sometimes beyond. We attract endowment gifts, trusts and legacies, which we invest in perpetuity and then make grants from the income to benefit local causes and charities.

Our primary objective is to make a real and long-lasting difference to our region through encouraging generosity and philanthropy, so that people can give to what they care about, forever.

The Foundation was established in 1991 as the Wellington Community Foundation under the auspices of the New Zealand Guardian Trust. With the oversight of the volunteer board, it quietly made grants until 2007, when it rebranded as the Nikau Foundation and funding was secured to recruit staff to grow the Foundation. Since then it has enjoyed a higher profile and attracted more donors and bequests.

Why give through Nikau Foundation?

Flexibility. You can name your endowment fund and define its charitable purpose. We are also able to take over existing funds where trustees wish to provide for a more permanent arrangement, in which case the charitable purpose of the fund is maintained under Nikau Foundation stewardship.

Enduring trusteeship. Our structure provides enduring trusteeship for any fund under our umbrella, relieving the burden of appointing and replacing trustees.

Knowledge of community needs. Nikau Foundation knows where the greatest needs are in our community. This ensures that the income from your gift or fund will make the greatest possible difference, every year. Our free, no obligation donor-advisory service matches donors with causes they are passionate about.

Economies of scale. All funds are pooled for investment purposes, which minimises administrative overhead and costs. These savings flow through to higher income and therefore more funds for donating to charitable purposes.

Simple, transparent and cost-effective. Nikau Foundation has fully transparent processes to report to donors and to the wider community. We offer a more effective alternative to setting up your own stand-alone charitable fund. We take care of all administration, including financial reporting, audit, legal requirements, professional funds management, monitoring of fund management performance, charities registration, grant making and trustee succession. Many services we use are either donated to us, or provided at significant discounts. Our trustees are community leaders who donate their time and expertise.

Give once, and generate an annual income forever. Nikau Foundation will ensure that your charitable wishes are fulfilled each and every year into the future.



Building healthy, resilient and self-sustaining communities


Growing generosity and social investment to strengthen our Wellington communities

Professional, Trustworthy, Sustainable, Inclusive, Collaborative

Nikau Foundation People




Photo by Mark Tantrum |



Annual Reports