NEXT Foundation is pleased to be supporting eight New Zealand environment and education organisations, in addition to the five Foundation initiatives that the trustees had committed to before NEXT’s 2014 launch. 

We have clarified our focus within environment on a predator-free New Zealand, healthy rivers, and environmental education; and in education on principal and teacher excellence, digital and collaborative learning, and 0-3yrs education. The number and the quality of the projects we have supported have been better than we expected, and we are conscious that there are further ways, many non-financial, we can support system change in those areas. 

We have therefore decided to focus our resource in 2017 again on doing that, and will not run an EOI process this year. While NEXT funding in 2017 will therefore be primarily directed towards our existing projects and opportunities that are adjacent and/or directly related to those projects, we remain interested in any opportunity that can play a part in system change in our areas of interest.  Projects that might achieve that will be transformational in nature, be of large scale or show potential to be effectively scaled and are likely to represent some kind of breakthrough or have the potential to do so in the areas they are going at.

The NEXT Foundation application process

We use a two-step process where applicants first submit a brief Expression of Interest (EOI).  After short-listing, a smaller number of applicants are invited to provide a Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP is a significant expansion on your EOI application where you will provide more details about your project idea.  At this stage, we will also visit your organisation to get to know more about your ideas and business.

Once submitted, the RFPs are reviewed by our CEO and Advisory Panel.  Final decisions regarding NEXT Foundation investment rest with the Board of Directors.

This stepped process is designed to be as simple as possible, and to reduce the substantial burden of a full application process at the EOI stage. We seek to reduce the obvious disappointment of sponsors who would have otherwise developed substantial and detailed proposals, without knowing where they stood in terms of initial evaluation.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

Before submitting your EOI…

Before you fill in the EOI, please take a minute to ensure your organisation is eligible by checking it against what types of projects we fund, and our eligibility and assessment criteria.

What we fund

The projects funded must focus on making New Zealand a significantly better place and impact a broad number of New Zealanders.  It may be pioneering, innovative, and challenging to the status quo. With the benefit of a strong research base in support, such projects are welcome. Our Board has shown the scale of the challenges it will embrace in the projects described on the website.

Size of Grants

The NEXT Foundation administers an up-to-10 year, $100 million programme of strategic philanthropy.  We have no specified minimum or maximum limits on project funding.  However, we are likely to make investments of approximately $3-$15 million to be distributed over the life of a project.   We will consider projects with significant scale and impact that require greater than the indicative range – we have already chosen to commit that level of funding into Rotoroa and Project Janzoon over 8 years.

Multi-year applications

We expect that most of the projects we enter into funding agreements with will be multi-year. This may be structured as an in principle multi-year commitment subject to achievement of annual (or other period) milestones.

If awarded, on-going funding will continue to be provided for in tranches aligned with appropriate matching milestone events in the work programme.

Eligibility Criteria

Who can apply

Funding will not be awarded to individuals, but will be awarded to the following applicants where charitable purposes can be demonstrated (through a deed or governing rules). We will fund:

  • Registered charities
  • Incorporated societies
  • Universities
  • Social enterprises
  • Special purpose entities verified for the project e.g. Rotoroa and Janszoon

All organisations must be New Zealand registered. The Board of Directors reserves the right to require additional legal or financial information about the project or about your organisation and/or your contracted provider from third parties. If the project you sponsor is not yet registered, this will not disqualify it. However, the approval by the Board will be made conditional upon compliance with the Charities Act where that is applicable.

Multiple EOI submissions from a single organisation

A single organisation can submit a maximum of three EOI’s in any given year. Through the Chief Executive, an organisation should select what it considers to be the priority projects, up to a maximum of three. Through a letter of endorsement, an organisation’s Chief Executive will need to sign the EOI for each project, certifying that it is a priority of that year.

Eligible Expenditure

There is a very wide range of costs which we may fund; each part will depend entirely on what the project actually needs in order to be successful. We seek the best value for money. We will pay for all operating costs of a funded project that are reasonably necessary, in order to make it work successfully, on time, to achieve the desired outcomes.

However, all costs and expenses must be subject to a test of being at or below market rates and no profit at all should accrue to the project sponsor or any entity associated with him/her. Any funds not applied to the specific project or programme will be required to be returned to the Foundation.

Applications will be considered for the following funding:

  • operating costs;
  • programme costs, including salaries directly applicable to programme delivery;
  • capital expenditure;
  • capacity and capability building;
  • leadership development;
  • resources and equipment; and
  • new and existing projects.


The project funding is likely to attract GST for your organisation's expenditure on goods and services. The funding will cover the GST component of any purchase of goods or services if required.  Applicants are requested to include GST in the budget, if appropriate, when completing the application form.

Funding restrictions

We do not fund projects with limited scope, application and/or impact.  We do not provide support to individuals.  We do not fund religious organisations for overseas aid.

Criteria for assessing projects

Projects will need to demonstrate that they:

  • are focused on the NEXT Foundation priority areas, education and environment;
  • are significant in scale and impact;
  • overcome a specific problem, address a current need, or create a future opportunity;
  • are well supported by research and analysis;
  • have good management and governance; and
  • have measurable outcomes at various stages of the project.