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What We Do

What’s the change you want to see in your region? Do you want to ensure your giving has the maximum ongoing impact on the issues you care about?

Momentum Waikato exists to simplify and enable local philanthropy. We’re here to make the Waikato the most generous region on the planet. A better Waikato for everyone, forever.

Our role is to nurture and build our community strengths and assets. We connect generous charitable people with the work of the proven changemakers in their area and communities. We’re convening the Waikato’s current and future philanthropists to grow the region’s endowment fund and initiate transformational projects, all for the benefit of the generations to come.

As an independently established community foundation, we are nimble and flexible, able to fill the gaps government and most funders can’t reach. We accept and leverage individual and business donations, so offer options such as payroll giving and corporate gifting. And we are a free service – we don’t charge or take a commission when growing your funds.

Talk to us if you want to know more about donating towards worthy causes in the Waikato in a way that provides them with sustainable ongoing support well into the future. Especially if you are considering leaving a bequest in your Will, or are a lawyer or an accountant who advises people writing their Will – Momentum Waikato can help create your legacy.

We ensure that each and every person who contributes to Momentum Waikato experiences the joy of giving like never before, with the ability to choose and then follow the path of their gift from beginning to end. Contact us today to find out more.

What is a Community Foundation?

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

Through the coordination of the Community Foundations of New Zealand (our national body), we’re all working to provide resources that will 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.

Visit Community Foundations of New Zealand

Impact Areas

Momentum Waikato runs the ‘Waikato Vital Signs’ program to research the 'Impact Areas' in our communities. These are the fields in which we will assist and drive transformational change in our region, wherever the needs are greatest. Find out more about Waikato Vital Signs.

Arts & Culture

We find and facilitate social, economic and technical innovations that propagate the growth of artistic, cultural and heritage activities across all communities, age groups and social classes in the Waikato. We aim to increase the number of attendees and participants in artistic and cultural offerings, so our city and region are more vibrant and attractive to talent and can provide more employment opportunities and improved livelihoods for local artists.

Children & Youth

We look to create lasting change for children and youth (up to the age of 21) and their families by generating the maximum impact in areas of therapeutic or rehabilitative services for children and youth, including those with special needs. We will prioritise funding for community-based projects that require and / or make best use of community resources to undertake their proposed activities and / or achieve their stated objectives. These should involve capacity building, i.e. the creation, expansion or augmentation of services, rather than the maintenance of existing offers.

Economic Vitality

We aim to build the economic foundations of a thriving and sustainable future for the Waikato. Strategic economic initiatives we will support to deliver on this commitment could include quality creation, workforce skill development, new or improved infrastructure investment, innovative transport projects or any other enterprising schemes that vastly improve the Waikato's regional economy. Those projects that utilise existing community resources or leverage the work of other organisations to produce economic benefit will be most readily and generously supported.


We look to bring forward any innovation that will strengthen schools, neighbourhoods and workplaces through the participation of students, parents, educators and employers. The anticipated outcomes would ensure children are socially and emotionally prepared to start school, and that young people are able to transition smoothly through and beyond the education system and have increased employment opportunities.


We support innovations that increase the health and resilience of New Zealand's physical environment, and / or protect and enhance the welfare of domestic, wild and farm animals. We aim to achieve outcomes that address and respond to climate change and other key global and local environmental issues, and increase public understanding and engagement with the challenges facing the planet.


We want to encourage individuals, families and communities to create healthy, caring, safe and supportive environments for all members of society. Our goals are to assist people to enjoy improved health and wellbeing and to be well connected to their communities. We want to enable individuals and communities to feel they have the power to contribute to and seek knowledge about their health.

Recreation & Sport

We look to support programs and projects that will have a positive impact on people of all ages through providing opportunities and motivation to take part in sport, physical recreation and other healthy activities. Those engaged in an active lifestyle are more likely to be committed to their ongoing well-being and connected to their community.

Strong Communities

We will work across the community to address economic inequity, social justice and poverty, prioritising seniors and families. Our support will go to innovative, transformational projects that will ease isolation in the growing elderly population, address the effects of poverty and inequity, engender safe neighbourhoods and districts, and help everyone to live secure, more productive lives.

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Who We Support

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Ka Pai Kai South Waikato Incorporated image
Ka Pai Kai Healthy School Lunches
Ka Pai Kai South Waikato Incorporated

"It's a food revolution." Ka Pai Kai's vision is for the Waikato community to work together to build a sustainable food system where great food also means happy and healthy people. In the South Waikato, food insecurity is a reality. As a consequence, many children attend school without breakfast, lunch or even dinner the night before.

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Ka Pai Ki addresses this by delivering low-cost, nutritious lunches to 10 schools including three early childhood centres in Tokoroa in a sustainable enterprise model.

The Vital Waikato Grant will support Ka Pai Kai to develop their social enterprise, increasing the number of lunches delivered to children across the greater South Waikato district to 100% of all schools. The income from the social enterprise will be reinvested back into other social impact initiatives such as youth training, food recycling, and indigenous and pacific food networks.

Ka Pai Kai inspires families, schools and local organisations to connect and come together to find win-win solutions for the tamariki. Governed by a unique combination of local organisations with experts, practitioners and advocates from business, local and central government, education and social service providers, all working with local suppliers including the Tokoroa Community Garden.

This project will see Ka Pai Kai offering healthy lunches to all schools within the South Waikato District. The income from the social enterprise will enable a training café to educate and support at-risk-youth to transform their personal wellbeing and provide pathways to further training.

The shared vision ensures that children in the district have access to affordable food choices every day, and are learning how to make healthier choices for life. Believing that it takes a whole community to raise a happy healthy child, Ka Pai Kai dreams of all communities being able to provide healthy, nutritious food choices for their children into the future.

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Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust and Pūniu River Care Incorporated image
Ngā Kaitiaki o Te Awa o Pūniu: Guardians of Pūniu River
Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust and Pūniu River Care Incorporated

"The restoration of the environment and its people, it doesn’t get much better than that." Imagining a future where all Waikato children can have access to rivers with safe places to swim and healthy water to drink, the partnership between Sustainable Coastlines and Pūniu River Care aims to plant 80 million native trees to enhance the waters and replenish the mauri (life force) of the Pūniu River catchment.

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The Vital Waikato Grant will assist a unique partnership where Sustainable Coastline’s knowledge and expertise will support Pūniu River Care’s passion and commitment to healthy waterways. The initiative will transform riparian restoration in the region – removing cost barriers to improving water quality and creating employment opportunities for the people in the Waikato who need it most.

The initiative aims to create a model where a marae-based social enterprise collaborates with local hapu, iwi, school groups and prisons to grow, nurture, sell and plant local, eco-sourced plants on their own land and in Department of Corrections prison within the river catchment.

With real-life leaning opportunities for hapu, prisoners and community service workers, the knowledge gained can be transferred to ‘real world’ jobs. The experiences will upskill hapu so they can become kaitiaki (guardians) of the natural environment and continue to inspire communities into the future, based on what they have learned.

This scalable, disruptive model has the potential to benefit the 440,000 people who call the Waikato region home. Through a simple economic efficiency and combination of social and environmental benefits, there is an opportunity to prove that a local, flax-roots project based in the Waikato can innovate and inform water quality projects across the region, nationwide and internationally.

By ‘open-sourcing’ and sharing knowledge and resources to provide ongoing support for new social enterprises in our region, the aim is to accelerate much needed change. How? By enabling communities throughout the Waikato to access resources and build a region-wide movement that creates safe places, healthy water, and healthy people for generations to come.

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Zeal Education Trust image
Street Youth Work
Zeal Education Trust

“It is essential that young people know they have potential to be harnessed, and are not problems to be solved.” The Street Youth Work project in Hamilton responds directly to the needs of young people on the street, also responding to city authorities indicating significant youth crime and anti-social behaviour taking place in the central city.

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The Vital Waikato Grant funding will enable Zeal to work directly with Hamilton’s ‘overlooked’ young people – helping them gain skills and vocational opportunities that will transform their lives and the city around them.

In collaboration with Te Ahurei a Rangatahi Trust, City Safe Ambassadors, Hamilton Central Business Association and the New Zealand Police, this project is not a traditional approach. It focusses on community connectedness and a strengths-based framework. The methodology is underpinned by internationally recognised models of practice but is uniquely regional, with a strong understanding of the struggles our city’s young people face.

Using an innovative, New Zealand first model, the Street Youth Work project sends trained youth workers onto the streets to connect and engage with vulnerable teens, building critical trust needed to transition them into learning environment. Placement into education programmes are designed to help young people gain skills and build new social enterprises, developing them to become positive contributors in our community, and helping to end the cycle of negativity in these young people’s lives.

Zeal’s aspirational goal is to extend the Street Youth Work project into all major centres, through collaborative partnerships. The impact aims to be transformative, creating opportunities to end the cycle of negativity and abuse in young people’s lives. Zeal ultimately aims to provide every young New Zealander with the opportunity to discover, express and develop their unique creativity.

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Our Governing Process

Momentum Waikato has a rigorous governing process driving its strategic direction, donor gifts, fund growth and impact investment, underpinned by a smart, strategic approach to high-impact community investment.

Our initial five-year strategic plan has some ambitious targets, including the aim of raising $25 million in funds and distributing $10 million in grants, a commitment to genuinely engage with our communities, and for our strategic decision-making to be informed by solid, robust research. It’s a bold start to the momentum we want to create - to meet and exceed the greatest needs and aspirations of our community, now and into the future.

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Investment Information

Momentum Waikato has the added complement of independent investment fund portfolio managers Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr providing strategic investment fund management, to ensure solid growth returns for future distribution throughout the community. An investment committee oversees the recommendations of these expert portfolio managers.


Professional investment advice should be taken before making an investment. This graph provides a guide, however growth depends on fund performance and changing market rates.

Our Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives outlines our commitment to prudent stewardship of donor funds, focused on maximising fund distribution over the long term.

View our SIPO