We advocate for the interests, rights and wellbeing of children and young people

The ideas for investing in children have been grouped into six interrelated areas of children's lives.  Children have needs across all of these six areas, and we know that supporting any of them will make a difference for children.

Do your homework first, by following the six basics of wise giving to ensure you are not duplicating, but supporting areas of greatest need in your community.

If you need more one-on-one advice then Philanthropy New Zealand may be able to work with you to create a plan.

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1. Families

Ideas for supporting stable, nurturing familes

All parents benefit from more knowledge and help with their parenting skills. Good, nurturing parenting can help mitigate some of the impacts of poverty on a child.

These ideas for investment suggest ways to support, improve or establish things that help parents be better parents.

Download (pdf 179 KB)

2. Health

Ideas for improving accessibilty to health services

There is a strong relationship between poverty and poor health. For example, a lack of information during pregnancy, poor quality nutrition, and overcrowded homes can affect children's health.

These ideas suggest ways your investment could improve the health of children - through education, nutrition programmes and direct community support.

Download (pdf 175 KB)

3. Education

Ideas to help kids get the most out of education

Education is fundamental to good outcomes and for children to reach their potential. Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to do badly at school, to go to school hungry, be sick, move a lot and live in houses with no place to study. They miss out on many extra-curricular activities.

These ideas suggest ways your investment could help children attend school ready to learn, be part of school activities and achieve their potential.

Download (pdf 173 KB)

4. Housing

Ideas for making homes healthy and safe

Housing quality and affordability are big issues facing New Zealanders, and are particularly critical for children in poverty. Some low income families pay more than half their income on rent. Many cannot afford to heat their homes which contributes to dampness and mould. Poor quality, unsafe housing and over-crowding are causes of injuries and many health issues for children.

These ideas aim to make homes healthier and safer for children.

Download (pdf 156 KB)

5. Community

Ideas to help build supportive communities

Children living in the poorest areas are less likely to be able to take part in activities (such as sports clubs, kohanga reo, community centres) because of the limited resources in the community. Yet volunteer-based, local organisations with strong roots in their communities provide direct support to families and children.

These ideas include ways you could advocate for the needs of children in their communities, support local organisations to do even more, and invest in communities so children have the option to take part.

Download (pdf 219 KB)

6. Basic needs

Ideas for ensuring children have their basic needs met

Children regularly miss out on things they need because family income is low. Providing practical goods and items children need can make a difference. There is also a place to advocate for better incomes, and to help young people and parents into work or higher paid work.

These ideas suggest ways you could provide in-kind support of goods and services to children who are missing out.

Download (pdf 194 KB)

More information

The needs and gaps in your community you identified in the 'six steps to wise giving' checklist will help you decide which ideas might work for the children in your area.

Most ideas are targeted towards the four priority groups of kids who most need your support: very young children, those in sole parent families, Maori and Pasifika children, and those in severe and persistent poverty.  Some ideas can be expanded to help all children.

They are grouped into the six areas of a child's life and needs that can be affected by poverty -

  • stable, nurturing families
  • accessible health services
  • an education
  • healthy, safe and affordable homes
  • supportive communities
  • having basic needs met

The ideas also cover the five stages of child development - from before birth to becoming an adult.

Note: In the future, we hope to extend this list of ideas, and make it available in a searchable database.

I'm an individual - what can I do?

Giving2Kids is a guide for philanthropic and iwi organisations and businesses. However, if you're an individual and want to do something to support children here are some tips:

  • find out what the needs are in your community. Ask around local schools, community groups and charities and see where the needs are 
  • you can volunteer your skills whether financial, management, grant-writing, supporting frontline staff - ask your preferred charitable organisation what you can do.  Be prepared to commit for a long period so that any investment in your training, or your ‘learning curve’, will be put to best use, and to protect the trust of children who may come to rely on you
  • if you want to donate money, check if the charity is registered with the Charities Commission. This means there is strong accountability for the use of funds 
  • small organisations not yet registered with the Charities Commission may also be doing great things in the community. Just do your own research to check they are making a positive difference 
  • there are many charities and services focused on children that welcome volunteers. Check out www.volunteeringnz.org.nz 
  • if you want to leave money in your will, speak to your lawyer 
  • A Memory Tree has a list of charities, some of which support children.