Here is where you can find resources to help you if you are considering starting a new charity.
If you are considering starting a new charity there is a lot of information available to help you. On our website we have detailed guidance on what you will need to register, such as your charitable purpose, your rules document, the officers of your charity and the benefits and obligations of being registered.
Starting up a charity resource in multi-languages
Te Reo Māori [PDF, 90 KB]
Cook Islands Māori [PDF, 93 KB]
English [PDF, 151 KB]
Samoan [PDF, 92 KB]
Tongan [PDF, 95 KB]
Fijian [PDF, 93 KB]
Hindi [PDF, 137 KB]
Chinese Simplified [PDF, 630 KB]
Chinese Traditional [PDF, 564 KB]
Arabic [PDF, 123 KB]
Community Resource Kit
One excellent resource that anyone considering starting a charity should look at is the Community Resource Kit(external link). The Community Resource Kit is an amazing in-depth resource from CommunityNet Aotearoa(external link). It is a guide to setting up and running community groups in New Zealand. It is for community, voluntary and iwi/Māori organisations, from small or emerging groups to more established organisations, and all the workers, volunteers and advisors working with these groups.
Contents of the Community Resource Kit:
- Getting Started
- Organisational Structures
- Financial Management
- Record Keeping
- Raising Funds
Model rules documents
The rules document for your organisation establishes the charity’s purpose and structure, as well as what the charity is allowed to do. We have downloadable model rules available here to help you get set up – one for each type of organisation. The specific type of rules document you use will depend on the structure or type of organisation you have:
- Charitable Trusts will have a Trust Deed [DOCX, 38 KB]
- Charitable Companies will have a Constitution [DOCX, 74 KB]
- Societies will have a Rules Document [DOCX, 47 KB]
These model rules will be a useful starting point no matter what size your charity might be. The model rules have sections highlighted based on whether a particular section is mandatory, recommended, or optional.
The New Zealand Companies Office have also created a do-it-yourself Constitution Builder(external link), an online tool for writing or revising rules for Incorporated Societies. This tool will be very helpful for those organisations considering becoming incorporated now or in the future. For more information please head to the Companies Office website.(external link)
Developed for New Zealand organisations, NZ Navigator is a free online self-assessment tool that has been developed for New Zealand community organisations by Platform Trust and Bishop's Action Foundation and is supported by the Department of Internal Affairs.
The focus of NZ Navigator
NZ Navigator is focussed on building strong and effective organisations and communities, enabling users to assess the performance of their organisation by rating all the important areas of the organisation’s operation – direction, governance, leadership, people, administration, finances, communication, evaluation, and relationships.
What are the benefits for my organisation?
Once you complete an assessment, you will have immediate access to a report with charts, scores, feedback and resources (including an action plan) to assist you to further develop your organisation. Although not linked to any funding requirements, you can use the results of the tool when you talk with your funders, to demonstrate the work that you are doing and to highlight those areas where some organisational development activity can be supported.
Because the tool is self-administered, it presents an opportunity for groups to be open and honest about key aspects of their organisation. It also provides a benchmark for future evaluation and you can compare any two assessments to see the progress you have made.
Once you have formed your organisation you may want to think about registering with Charities Services. To find out more about the benefits and obligations of being a registered charity click here.
Further links and resources
Sport New Zealand(external link) offers a number of excellent governance resources that are helpful for all kinds of organsations and their free online governance course(external link) is available to all to access.
- SociaLink(external link), based in Tauranga, has many excellent resources that are free and available to download. They cover topics such as strategic planning(external link), financial management(external link), governance (external link)and health and safety.(external link)
- The Wheelhouse(external link) was developed by a partnership of nine Taranaki capacity building organisations and has great resources for trusts, clubs, societies and groups to be more sustainable.
- Creative New Zealand(external link) is your one stop shop if you are an arts organisations with toolkits, workshops, webinars and training available.
- Inland Revenue: Information for not-for-profits organisations.(external link)
- Community Law New Zealand has excellent information around community organisations and the law(external link) and choosing the right legal structure for your organisation(external link).
- New Zealand Companies Office provides a 'do-it-yourself' online tool for writing or revising your charity's rules. This tool is suitable for charities that are incorporated societies (or thinking of becoming one): Constitution Builder(external link)