The Aoraki Foundation is a unique type of charitable trust that provides a vehicle for people to make donations to their communities, to benefit the organisations and causes that matter most to them.


The Aoraki Foundation formed in 2009 for the benefit of the Aoraki region.

Its primary focus is to provide a simple and long lasting way for people to help charitable causes in the South Canterbury District, and to ensure these gifts have the maximum impact now and in the future.

In addition to managing funds bequested to the Aoraki Foundation for the benefit of the district, the Aoraki Foundation also spearheaded the fundraising campaigns for the CBay Aquatic Centre and the MRI Scanner at Timaru Hospital.

The Aoraki Foundation operates several funds: the South Canterbury Health Endowment Fund in conjunction with the South Canterbury District Health Board; sub funds for the Waimate, Timaru and Mackenzie Districts; named funds for gifts of more than $50,000 or more that have been gifted for special purposes or causes, and; the General Community Impact Fund for all other gifts and bequests.

The Aoraki Foundation is guided by a group of voluntary trustees who are passionate about our district and are committed to strengthening our region.


How does it work?

The Aoraki Foundation invests donated money and distributes the income generated by those funds to charitable causes and community organisations within the South Canterbury district.

Donors who establish Named Funds with the Aoraki Foundation can specify the cause or organisation who will receive the money, or the way in which it is distributed such as through a scholarship.

The General Impact Fund income is distributed to groups who apply to the Aoraki Foundation for a grant in twice-yearly funding rounds.

The Aoraki Foundation is committed to keeping the fund capital growing, and has a skilled Investment Advisory Committee working with our investment advisor to ensure annual growth occurs wherever possible, allowing the legacy of the gift to remain forever.


Find out more about Community Foundations

Community Foundations have been set up all around the world and at present there are 14 Community Foundations all across New Zealand. Many have been operating for several years managing substantial funds with significant annual distributions to their communities. Community Foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy in the world. Find out more here.