Kāpiti communities get $160k funding boost

Kapiti Foodbank are a recipient of funds from the Nikau Foundation
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The Nikau Foundation has announced over $160,000 in funding to support Kāpiti communities. 

A total of $166,632 has been given to fund 29 applications from organisations working in a range of areas, including food insecurity, health and wellbeing  and youth, across the Kāpiti Coast and Ōtaki region.

This includes grants given to the Kāpiti Youth Employment Foundation to support its work-ready rangatahi programme, the Kāpiti Loss and Grief Support Trust to help vulnerable communities through counselling, the Kāpiti Retirement Trust to purchase equipment  and make key upgrades and Energise Ōtaki to support salaries of key team members. 

“The Kāpiti Coast is home to so many amazing organisations that are supporting our communities in a range of ways,” says Nikau local committee chair, Adrian Gregory. “We’re so pleased to provide so many of these organisations with the funding they need this year.”

A challenging funding environment

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

Nikau Foundation (Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Māui, the Greater Wellington region’s community foundation) Executive Director, Emma Lewis says it is a hard time to be working or volunteering in the not-for-profit sector.

“Not  only are we operating in uncertain economic conditions, but funding capabilities have generally decreased across the sector.”

Emma Lewis, Nikau Foundation Exe.Director

This year, the Foundation experienced a significant demand for funding, receiving over 420 applications from across Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Māui, 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 $100,000 to support these costs for organisations across the Kāpiti Coast.  

“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, over $18,000 of this funding was dedicated to organisations working to alleviate food insecurity through food banks, food rescue and food systems initiatives. This included grants given to the Kāpiti Community Foodbank, Moore’s Meadows Trust and L’Arche New Zealand Incorporated. 

Organisations working in the disability sector also received a $40,000 boost, mostly owing to support from the Foundation’s Kāpiti Disability Support Fund. These included grants given to the Foundation for Equity Research to start a community action group, People First New Zealand’s Kāpiti Group, to promote the rights of people living with an intellectual disability and The Shed Project Kāpiti.

The Shed Project Social Services Manager, Steve Hickey says “This kind of funding doesn’t just help to keep the lights on – it also helps us to maintain a space of belonging and inclusion for our communities,”

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’s Grants Round). 

Emma Lewis says “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.” 

She says “it really highlights the role that generosity plays 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 building 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.