Who we are

The Acorn Foundation is one of 18 community foundations across Aotearoa New Zealand that provide a unique way of charitable giving.

Our Smarter Giving Model involves pooling and collectively investing our donors’ funds, so that the capital in the fund remains intact, while a portion of the income is distributed annually to the local community. This means that our donors’ gifts continue to give back to causes close to their hearts, forever.

Many of our 400+ donors have set up endowments that leave money to the community when they die, while other donors get a lot of pleasure out of seeing their money at work while they are still alive. Donors can choose to support the community through local charitable organisations in the WBOP or by establishing scholarships and awards.

Who We Are

Our story

The Acorn Foundation has been connecting generous people with causes that matter in the Western Bay of Plenty region since 2003.

Acorn Foundation’s first ever endowment fund was gifted by the late Edna Brown in 2003. 20 years later, we now have over $63M in funds under management and have collectively distributed over $16.5M to the community, with over $3.3M distributed in 2023 alone. This funding has supported hundreds of charitable organisations that are important to our donors and are vital to our region’s well-being.


Our mission

To make an enduring difference in our community by connecting generous people who care with causes that matter. 


Our values

  • We are trustworthy 

  • We are empathetic 

  • We are respectful 

  • We are committed 

  • We are prudent 

Our vision

A thriving and vibrant Western Bay of Plenty, for all our people and for our natural environment. 

Our foundation network

The collective good.

We’re part of a network of 18 Community Foundations that have been growing across Aotearoa New Zealand since 2003.

Through our national body, Community Foundations of Aotearoa
New Zealand, we’re all working to make a lasting difference in our local communities. Our aim is for every New Zealander to be able to affect lasting change wherever their home or heart may be.

There are 17 other Community Foundations in our network operating in locations across New Zealand. You can find out more information about each of them and links to their websites here. The concept of pooling and investing charitable donations for the good of a local area has been a global movement for over a hundred years now.

It works for everyday people because you don’t have to be wealthy to make an impact. Find out how your gift can make a difference through our Smarter Giving Model.

In the past 5 years, collectively we have granted more than $60M to communities across the country and today, we have over $240M invested in endowment funds for the future. With hundreds of bequests yet to be invested, and our smarter giving model protecting the original gifts, the potential good we can do in future is huge.


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