Responding to Covid-19 Pandemic

Endorsed by Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult, the Wakatipu Community Foundation (WCF) has established the Greatest Needs Fund to help address gaps in central Government assistance to the most vulnerable or worst affected by Covid-19 in our community. ​


These are unprecedented times:


  • 6,500 people have registered for welfare support via the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s Emergency Operations Centre, due to extreme economic hardship

  • New figures show that 75% are migrant workers and 25% are Kiwis

  • The Wakatipu Community Foundation has responded by establishing the Greatest Needs Fund

  • Its vision is to help address gaps in central Government assistance to the most vulnerable or worst affected by Covid-19  in our community 

  • A specially formed committee, led by well-known fundraiser Kaye Parker, has been working behind the scenes raising money from private donors to reduce the fundraising stress on the front-line charities and agencies such as The Salvation Army, Happiness House and Central Lakes Family Service

We are seeking further donations but understand many of you, your families and your businesses are struggling with the fallout from Covid-19 and are not in a position to donate. 

P52076 CFNZ Pattern_Subdue.jpg
P52076 CFNZ Pattern_Subdue.jpg
P52076 CFNZ Pattern_Subdue.jpg



Greatest Needs Fund


Update for our Donors

GNF Update from Queenstown Medical Centr
GNF Donor Brief cover image.jpg

Letter of Support from Mayor Jim Boult

Letter of support for Greatest Needs 1 A

Who is heading the Greatest Needs Granting Fund?

The Wakatipu Community Foundation Greatest Needs Granting committee is a group of committed Queenstown people with a wealth of combined experience in governance, fundraising and grant giving. They are: WCF chairman Ray Key, WCF CEO Jennifer Belmont, WCF ambassadors Kaye Parker & Sir Eion Edgar, Tony McQuilkin, Bill Moran, and Aoibheann Monaghan.

I’m an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me?

We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. While the Greatest Needs Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, we will be funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. As we begin to award grants, we will post them on this page. Please check back for a list of the organizations that may be able to assist you. If you are looking for resources now, please consider links to QLDC

My organisation is interested in resources from this Fund. Can we be considered?

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting charities in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. We are working closely with QLDC and the Council's Pandemic Community Advisory Group to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs of those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal grant application process for the Fund at this time and will consider each application on a rolling basis.

I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?

To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The Wakatipu Greatest Needs Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible. More significantly, it gives people a very real opportunity to “give back” to their community without any cost to them, and only an opportunity cost to the other beneficiaries of their Wills.

Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?

This Wakatipu Greatest Needs Fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. Rather it is working to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where it’s needed most. If the Greatest Needs Fund priorities align with your values, please consider making a donation. However, this is a critical time for so many, including the charities who’ve benefited from your giving in the past, as well as those who’ve had to cancel their annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community as we gain greater awareness of the depth and scale of the long-term ramifications of the outbreak.

What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?

We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address the both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving communities and individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. In this first round, we are not able to prioritize organisations who have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services. We recognize these challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will continue to work with the Council to assess and evolve our funding strategies. Based upon the charitable structure of the Wakatipu Greatest Needs Fund through the Wakatipu Community Foundation, our grants are limited to registered charities, groups fiscally sponsored by a registered charitiy, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly.

Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?

The Wakatipu Greatest Needs Fund will grant to community-based organizations serving the greater Wakatipu region. We are doing this with a recognition that many Wakatipu charities serve workers and residents in our area.

When will you share who you fund?

We anticipate making a first round of investments in the coming weeks, and will publish the list of selected grantees on the Wakatipu Community Foundation website, along with short descriptions of the services and support they are providing. We hope that this will help the community navigate available resources.

Is there a fee to contribute?

With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the Fund. 100% of donations will go to community groups and leaders on the ground, except for a credit card fee for online donations, which is 100% of donations will go to community groups and leaders on the ground, except for a credit card fee for online donations, which is 3% per transaction. The Wakatipu Community Foundation is covering the cost of staff leading this effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

facebook post happiness house.jpg