Impact Funding

Impact Funding is a space where Foundation North tries new ways of working, using experimentation and prototyping to maximise learning.


Our Impact Funding enables us to proactively and flexibly fund innovative approaches that make progress towards the Foundation’s vision of Enhanced Lives.

Foundation North recognises that there are no easy answers to some of the challenges facing the region, and that new ways of working need to be encouraged and supported. We’ve been on a journey over several years to grow our understanding and practice in innovation.

To achieve impact across three of the focus areas within our Strategic Plan - Increased Equity, Social Inclusion and Regenerative Environment - our Impact Funding work might include:

  • support for prototypes or trial approaches
  • the seeding of new ideas
  • taking projects to scale
  • working at systems change.

Foundation North’s innovative approaches to Impact Funding include:

Pacific Future Makers - Pacific Future Makers is an initiative that puts grantmaking into the hands of young Pacific people.  This group of ten youth leaders is co-designing and making decisions about an experimental fund that will see small grants going to projects that benefit Pacific communities in South Auckland. Read more

South Auckland Community Innovation Fund - The South Auckland Community Innovation Fund is a fund for innovation to enhance life and opportunities in South Auckland communities, now and for future generations. The trustees have committed $5 million dollars and for the first two years we will be trialling different ways of distributing the money. Read more

Impact Investment - Foundation North is looking for impact investment opportunities in companies, organisations and funds that make a significant contribution to our strategic priorities. 

Read about our research into impact investment here 

Read about our approach to impact investment here

Gulf Innovation Fund Together - Now in its fourth year of operation, our Gulf Innovation Fund Together supports entrepreneurs and innovators to test, scale and create new systems to restore the mauri of Tīkapa Moana/Te Moana-nui-ā-Toi (the Hauraki Gulf). Read more

Catalysts for Change - The impact of MPEI saw the Foundation create a dedicated funding stream of multi-year grants, Catalysts For Change, which targeted a small number of organisations using innovative projects and practices to create positive outcomes and opportunities for young people.

Māori & Pacific Education Initiative (MPEI) - Foundation North’s first significant investment in high-engagement philanthropy put $20m into educational interventions aimed at lifting educational achievements of children in Maori and Pacific communities. Read more 

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