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May 2024

The Importance of Charities in New Zealand, a Call for Sustainable Growth

In the landscape of social welfare and community support, charities stand as the unsung heroes, bridging gaps, and providing essential services where they’re most needed.

However, despite their crucial role, New Zealand often finds themselves underrepresented in the charity sector when compared to other OECD countries.

The Charities Amendment Act 2023 amended the Charities Act 2005 and came into effect in July 2023. The changes were primarily to regulate transparency of registered charities and the regulatory agency responsible for managing charitable organisations in New Zealand. These changes have a significant impact on the charitable sector.

With statutory duty on the governance body of registered charities to review its governance procedures every three years, now is a great opportunity for charities to assess whether their procedures are: fit for purpose, assist the charity in achieving its purposes and ensure compliance with the requirements under the Act.

Understanding Your Charity’s DNA. Is it Fit for Purpose?

As a charity it’s important to evaluate your DNA, ensuring alignment with your mission, values and needs of the communities you serve. When values are not articulated clearly, the actions of the governance board may not be consistent.

Activity based approaches need to become outcome focused strategies. Potential donors are more likely to contribute when there are measurable results and they are able to quantify their contributions where helping communities, creating a culture of sustainable giving.

Evaluating the DNA

  • Mission Alignment: Does the charity’s mission statement accurately reflect its activities and goals, and is it still relevant?
  • Operational Efficiency: Are the operational structures and process effective in achieving the goals of the charity? Are we measure and monitoring the right things?

The Future of Charities

Engaging the younger demographic isn’t just about recruitment but creating environments where their voices are heard and valued is key to designing a sustainable culture. Understand their motivations, values and interests in a strategic way:

  • Digital Presence: Make use of social platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to reach young people where they spend a large amount of time online. Gen Z are change makers and want to make a difference in society by standing up for what they believe is right. Create engaging content that highlights the meaningful impact your charity’s work has in communities.
  • Youth Leadership: Encourage and mould young people to take on leadership roles within your charity, giving them the opportunity to spearhead their own initiatives.
  • Feedback and Involvement: Seek out input from your young volunteers on ways to improve and innovate your charity’s activities. Empower them through open communication and by involving them in decision making processes.

How We can Help

Grayson Clements supports and advises clients within the charitable sector across a range of issues including design, review, compliance, transaction, and in some cases, winding up of charitable organisations. Grayson Clements had the opportunity to write and present an oral submission to the Select Committee during the consultation process of the Charities Amendment Act.

Our team can assist your governance board with reviewing and updating your governance documents, advise on officer compliance, and provide any other assistance to fulfil the organisation’s purposes. 

For further information, please get in touch with us.