United Way New Zealand Annual Community Grant

Applications for United Way New Zealand’s 2020 Community Grants have now closed. Charities in Manawatu, Whanganui, Canterbury, South Canterbury, Otago and Southland will be advised of the outcomes within the next 3 months. The United Way NZ annual grant is a key funding channel for small to medium charities across New Zealand, United Way New Zealand has distributed approximately $12 million dollars to about 650 charities across the country since the grants were launched 45 years’ ago.

United Way New Zealand CEO Teresa Moore says funding is directed to a range of small to medium community-based charities and not-for-profits across the country which are generally New Zealanders’ first port of call when they need help.

“Our aim is to empower every New Zealander to support their communities by making it easy and safe to give” says Moore.

United Way New Zealand donors include philanthropic funds, corporate donors and employees who contribute via workplace giving. A total of 160 individuals and organisations have contributed to this year’s Grant.

“We distribute the generous contributions of our donors to community-based charities without large marketing or fundraising resources inhouse, so it makes a significant impact to their ability to help New Zealanders in need.”

With Covid-19 showing no signs of going away anytime soon, the funding this year is need more than ever. Research conducted by United Way New Zealand earlier this year showed 98% of New Zealand charities have been affected by Covid-19, managing significant rise in demand for their services coupled with a reduction in funding.

Moore says you don’t have to donate a great deal to make a real impact.

“A team of people diverting the cost of a cup of coffee every week through United Way New Zealand’s payroll giving programme adds up to deliver a significant impact to a range community charities across the country, she says.

Applications closed on 31 October. Application criteria and to apply for this year’s Community Grants can be found here.

You can find more about United Way New Zealand’s regular or payroll giving options here.


How many years has UWNZ done this? 

Since 1976

How much funding has been distributed over the years? 

Approximately $12 million

How many charities have received support via this funding? 

Approximately 640 charities

Where does the money come from? 

We have been donation managers for The Tindall Foundation since 1998.  Other donations are from corporates, workplace/payroll giving and individual donors

How much money was distributed last year? 


How much money will be distributed this year?

Approximately $490,000 ($240,000 has already been distributed this year from United Way's Covid-19 response fund)

How many people/organisations have contributed to this year's grant amount? 

Approximately 160

How does UWNZ choose grant recipients? 

United Way does an initial check to make sure the charity meets eligibility, if not it's declined. Then we have regional volunteers who visit and assess the remaining charities in November/February then the charities are advised in March.

How do charities apply? 

Apply here