This report from JBWere Philanthropic Services looks at the journey of corporates towards purpose and the forces that have driven these changes overtime. It examines the corporate and for-purpose sectors as they stand in New Zealand, with reference to industry, company size and profitability. It looks at some who are active in this area and provides insights on how to enter such partnerships - by way of discussion on the emerging models and through presenting some local voices actively participating in this field.

The report contains profiles of 16 corporates that aim to provide examples across varying industries of the kind of community investment corporates are currently providing in New Zealand. An Australian list of top 20 corporate givers is also provided, alongside a look into the landscape in which they operate.

The report considers corporate support from both sides and offers advice on how to enter a successful partnership.

Key observations in the report include:

  • The emergence of purpose as an overarching guide for corporate actions, while still in its early stages for most, offers a great opportunity for engagement by for-purpose groups who have always been driven by it.
  • Corporate community investment is a part of overall corporate social responsibility and is becoming more integrated into all areas of company operations.
  • There is a rising trend in all forms of company giving in New Zealand, Australia and internationally – although available data has been rare until recently and there is still work to do in reporting under a common community investing reporting framework.
  • The interconnection between business, households, government and the for-purpose sectors is very strong with many under estimating the level of cross reliance each has on the others.
  • Understanding the shape of New Zealand business by industry type, size and profitability and therefore different stakeholder mix, is an important part of the research needed by the community and for-purpose sector when considering engaging with a potential commercial partner.
  • The scale and type of corporate expenditure and their asset base, whether physical or other, is significant and dwarfs the for-purpose sector, which has potential for selective community use.
  • The breakdown in giving between, cash (from either the company or their foundation), volunteering, goods, services, or other in-kind support such as voice varies by industry, country and size of business.
  • Analysis of a selection of New Zealand corporates and businesses offers a view of the link between that company and the causes supported and of the growing diversity of models providing significant support.
  • There needs to be a clear understanding by corporates as to why they are engaging with community, what might be unique in their support, and what causes make sense for their situation and skill set.
  • Considerations for the corporate around issues such as internal structure, reporting lines, corpus, measurement, and spending levels are important to achieve and track high levels of community investing. In addition, the inclusion of volunteering or workplace giving options and the choice of for-purpose partners to add skills needed in certain cause areas can add significantly to overall success. 
  • For community and for-purpose groups, the reasons to engage include the large scale and existing connections to the corporates and the complementary skills between the two sectors. The need to understand this sector to increase chances to successfully partner is very important, research is key.
  • Finally, understanding the potential demands on your organisation from the relationship and having a clear ethical policy for partnerships is vital.

Data sources: Various 2021 company annual reports, ESG supplements, and other information disclosed on company websites, 2021 annual returns of corporate foundations (DIA - Charities Services), Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand Treasury, Strive Philanthropy / Giving Large, Volunteering New Zealand, and leaders of peak bodies and selected charities in the field.

To read the full 2022 New Zealand Corporate Support Report, download here.

To talk further about the New Zealand Corporate Support Reports, or about JBWere’s Philanthropic Services expertise, please contact John Morrow, Head of Philanthropy for JBWere NZ, on 021 441 087 or email him at John.Morrow@jbwere.co.nz.