Click on any of the below FAQs to expand and read more

+ Can I withdraw my money from a gift account?

No. A donation to the The Gift Trust is non-refundable and cannot be returned as it becomes owned by The Gift Trust (this enables you to access the immediate tax credit). Funds can only be withdrawn from the Gift Account to donate to charitable causes.

+ Who can I donate to?

You can provide donation advice to any New Zealand entity that has a charitable purpose. There are over 27,000 registered charitable trusts in New Zealand (you can search these charities at

You may be able to gift funds to entities that are not registered charitable trusts, but they must have a clear charitable purpose and public benefit. Donations to these entities will require more due diligence (and cost) to process by The Gift Trust.

Please see below for who we cannot make donations to.

+ Who can I not donate to?

The Gift Trust cannot donate to:

  • Political campaigns, candidates, or to support purely lobbying activity.
  • Membership fees, school fees, goods from a charitable auction, admission to charity events or other goods or services.
  • Anything that will result in a private benefit or profit to an individual person.
  • Any recipients that the Trust believes, in its sole discretion, are supporting or engaging in ‘hate speech or hateful activities’, whether online or offline. ‘Hateful activities’ are those that incite or engage in violence, intimidation, harassment, threats or defamation, targeting an individual or group based on their race, colour, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

+ Why would I set up a Gift account rather than my own personal foundation?

Gift Accounts are a flexible giving tool for individuals, families and businesses that wish to actively participate in grant making without the administrative burden of a stand-alone foundation or trust.

A Gift Account is fast to set up. We already have registered charitable status, so you don’t need to go through the expense of writing up trust deeds, talking with lawyers and registering with the Charities Commission. Foundations also often require considerable ongoing costs.

+ How much money do I need to open a Gift Account?

Accounts must reach $5,000 before grant advice can be given. You can start a Gift Account with a minimum $1,000 balance and you can add to the fund and provide further contributions over time to reach this account minimum.

A Gift Account is a viable option for both large and small givers.

+ What are the fees on Gift Accounts?

Gift account fees vary depending on size, but range from 1-2%. Read more about account types and fees here.

+ Can I add money to my Gift Account?

You can choose to fund your Gift Account through one lump sum donation, or a recurring donation. It’s up to you.

+ Who makes the decisions on where to make donations?

As it is donor-advised, you choose the charities you care about most and submit donation recommendations to us. We will follow your recommendations unless there is a specific reason why we can't, such as the organisation not having a charitable purpose. We would then discuss this with you to find a solution.

You can create a long-term giving plan, make one-off donations to things important to you, or contribute to a general gift fund focusing on a specific area. We’re also on hand to offer advice for your gifts.

Our staff and trustees do the “due diligence” research to make sure the cause you choose is registered as a charity and is financially solvent. While legal control of the Gift Account funds is owned by The Gift Trust (and allows you to access a tax credit), as the donor-adviser you provide advice on donations based on your preferences.

+ Do I need to make donations each year?

You are not subject to annual gift spending requirements. We will prompt you to make a donation if we haven't received any advice from you after five years.

If no donations are made from the account after seven years and we are unable to contact you after reasonable attempts, the Trustees will endeavour to donate your funds in line with your areas of interest outlined in your applicaiton form or any other giving strategy we may have developed alongside you.

+ How do I claim my tax credit?

You will receive an annual donation receipt from The Gift Trust for any contributions made to your fund. It is your responsibility to claim the corresponding tax credit from IRD.

+ Who is eligible for donations?

Funds can only be given to charitable purposes – typically to charities. We will check to ensure payments further a charitable purpose. Political candidates or parties are ineligible.

+ Can I make a donation overseas?

We can help make donations to international causes via local Kiwi charities. We can also gift a small proportion of funds internationally each year. Please note, this may incur additional due diligence costs. If you wish to gift internationally, please ring us to discuss.

+ I'm a charity, can your donors fund us?

The Gift Trust supports our donors, who are generally individuals and families, to make funding decisions that fit their philanthropic vision. It is up to each donor to choose which charity to support but we can provide research and due diligence. We don't accept unsolicited applications from charities, but proactively seek organisations that match our donor's strategies.

For alternate funding information, we recommend:

Generosity New Zealand (formerly known as the Funding Information Service) website. This site includes an extensive source of funding information for community groups and organisations. This can often be accessed through local libraries.

Strategic Grants provides free learning resources for grant-seekers and works with non-profit organisations to build capacity to be ready to apply to grants, with grants calendars and GEMS grants management systems.