Porirua not-for-profits get $211k funding boost

Porirua's Kura Kai is one of the many superb organisations to receive a grant from the Nikau Foundation
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Nikau Foundation has announced over $211,000 in funding to support Porirua communities.

A total of $211,305 has been given to fund 35 applications from organisations working in a range of areas in Porirua. This includes grants given to Kura Kai to support key volunteer costs, Oasis Community Cafe Trust to support its community space, Maraeroa Marae Association to make improvements to community facilities and Living Violence Free – Te Noho Riri Kore Incorporated to support tamariki transport costs.

A challenging funding environment

This funding comes at a time when the not-for-profit sector is experiencing significant challenges.

“It is a hard time to be working or volunteering in the not-for-profit sector,” says Nikau Foundation Executive Director, Emma Lewis. “Not only are we operating in uncertain economic conditions, but funding capabilities have generally decreased across the sector.”

Emma Lewis CE Nikau Foundation

This year, the Foundation experienced a significant demand for funding, receiving over 420 applications from across Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Maui, the Greater Wellington region. This represented a 15% increase from 2023 and a 29% increase from the year before. Of those, over 60% were requesting funding to support the basics – operational overheads and salaries.

“These are the costs that are so fundamental to running a not-for-profit, but quite often they are the hardest to secure,” says Emma.

This year, the Foundation has committed over $130,000 to support these costs for organisations in Porirua.

“As a funder, it is important that we lean in when our communities are struggling and work alongside them to offer funding that is helpful, practical and responsive to their needs,” says Emma.

In response to the cost-of-living crisis, almost $45,000 of this funding was given to organisations working to alleviate food insecurity through food banks, food rescue and food systems initiatives. This included grants given to food rescue initiative, Kiwi Community Assistance Charitable Trust to support rent and salary costs, the Vulnerable Support Charitable Trust to support its Do Some Good kindergarten and school food delivery service, and WELLfed to support key salaries.

The importance of building the funding base

This year, the Foundation received funding requests totaling over $4,000,000. Of this, the Foundation funded $964,744 (an increase of 5% from last year).

“Although our funding has increased this year, there is still an incredibly large demand for support in our communities and many wonderful organisations we were unable to fund this year,” says Emma.

“It really highlights the role that generosity lays and the importance of growing the funding pie to support the future resilience of our communities.”

The Foundation, which actively fundraises, invests and grows all donations, does just that, says Emma. “Community foundations, like Nikau, play a crucial part not only in delivering funding to our communities today but also builds reliable funding streams to support our communities long into the future.”

About Nikau Foundation:

Nikau Foundation is Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Māui, the Greater Wellington region’s community foundation. With a mission to grow generosity to support the people and places of our region, every gift is responsibly invested and grown to build reliable, long-term funding streams. In total in 2023, Nikau Foundation gave out almost $1.2 million to community organisations doing good mahi to support our communities.