Starting up

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

English [PDF, 151 KB]

Te Reo Māori [PDF, 90 KB]
Cook Islands Māori [PDF, 93 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
  • Planning
  • Organisational Structures
  • Governance
  • Policies
  • Meetings
  • Financial Management
  • Record Keeping
  • Raising Funds
  • Employment
  • Communications

Click here to view the Community Resource Kit(external link)

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:

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)

NZ Navigator

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.

Click here to visit NZ Navigator(external link)

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