Information about supporting registered charities through COVID-19

Updated 13 May 2020

COVID-19 is here and there are many charities committed to supporting whānau, hapu, iwi and communities across Aotearoa with the ongoing impacts. If you also want to help then it is important to follow these tips to ensure that you will help those in need. 

What should I donate to?

Food banks, housing assistance, and food delivery services for vulnerable groups, are all areas which will likely need additional assistance. The Spinoff has written a helpful article outlining How to help, volunteer or donate to the fight against COVID-19(external link).

Where should I volunteer?

As we transition through alert level 2 there may be more opportunities to volunteer however you should always keep in mind your safety and the safety of those around you. There are 17 regional volunteering centres around New Zealand. Connect with your local Volunteering centre(external link) for more information on how to help. 

How can I donate safely?

For most groups, the best way you can help is to donate - but we know there are some dishonest people who take advantage of New Zealanders’ generosity by fraudulently seeking donations. 

Check known scams - Our Digital Safety team at the Department of Internal Affairs(external link), Netsafe(external link) and CERTNZ(external link) (the Government’s Computer Emergency Response Team) are the experts on staying safe online.

CERTNZ has issued an alert on attackers using COVID-19 related scams. The details are on their website(external link).

Do your homework - It’s always important to do a little homework on the charity you wish to support. Take some time to search the Charities Register(external link) and have a look at the website of any charity you wish to donate to. The Charities Register includes information around charities activities, their income sources, whether they take donations and what that money is spent on.

For other not-for-profits that are not registered charities, we suggest people do due diligence by visiting their website to find out more about their activities.

Be cautious - if you receive an email, text or social media message requesting a donation and and it looks suspicious, delete it. Do not open any links, or download any attachments. You can report any suspected scam to Netsafe(external link)