Who funds us

The short answer is: you do.

When we say ActionStation is people-powered, this includes our funding.

We have a strong commitment to being a movement funded by our members and we’ve been on a positive trajectory since our founding in which the percentage of our budget funded by member donations has increased every year.

Financial year Member donations Major donations Grants
2014/15 22% 0% 78%
2015/16 62% 0% 38%
2016/17 66% 6% 28%
2017/18 41% 2% 57%

Being funded by our members, and independent of government, lottery or political party funding, is essential to our ability to campaign on the issues you care about, whether or not the powers-that-be are happy about it.

As individuals, there’s a limit to what we can achieve. Especially if we don’t happen to be billionaires. But when we act together, we prove time and again that we can achieve amazing things.

Lots of our members like chipping in for specific tactics and actions (e.g billboards, street posters, a skyplane, a theatrical stunt, a piece of research) within campaigns. We love that, and our model is perfectly suited for people who want more transparency and participation with their donations.

At the same time, there are some regular, ongoing costs involved in building and maintaining the machinery needed to be able to deploy campaigns in critical moments. Every month, for example, we have to pay rent on the desks we hire for our staff and volunteers in Wellington and Auckland, we pay for phones and internet, and for the ongoing costs of hosting and maintaining our website. For these ongoing costs, we depend on members who make regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly contributions. Regular gifts ensure we can be bold and move quickly, as well as plan and budget ahead with confidence.

ActionStation isn’t like many other NGOs. We don’t run on a team of 20 or 30 people who spend most of their time fundraising so that a small group of professional campaigners and advocates can do the work of lobbying the government for change.

Our movement is funded in the simplest and most lean way possible and our tiny team is here to support the work of the real campaigners and changemakers in our community: you!

Our job is to devote our limited resources to ensuring your efforts, your stories, your contributions, your ideas and your voices have the most impact possible.

In the interest of transparency, here are our annual financial reports:

Declaration of donations over $5,000

We would like to give a special acknowledgement for the huge support from Phillip Mills of Les Mills.com, who have been by our side since the beginning, initially providing some start-up funds and then supporting us with a monthly donation of $1,000. This long-term support has been invaluable and we are immensely grateful.

We have a policy of publishing details of donations over $5,000. Since 2014, we have received donations or grants of over $5,000 from:

  • Tai Shan Foundation, a philanthropic trust who's aim is to encourage social equity by providing the under privileged with opportunities to learn skills and develop motivation;
  • JR McKenzie Trust, a philanthropic family trust committed to a just and socially inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand;
  • Te Rau Ora is New Zealand’s indigenous Māori organisation providing a range of local and national programmes to improve Māori Health;
  • Te Muka Rau, a small philanthropic trust, whose aim is to contribute to “a socially cohesive Aotearoa New Zealand where Te Ao Māori is strong and vibrant”;
  • LUSH for the purposes of creating a more welcoming Aotearoa for people granted refuge and getting more young people out to vote;
  • Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm committed to advancing social good at the pace and scale the world needs today;
  • Netsafe and the Royal Society of New Zealand (Marsden Fund Fast-Start grant MAU1607) via Dr Emily Beausoleil for our Tauiwi Tautoko project;
  • Quatro Trust, for the purpose of promoting progressive values in politics;
  • OPEN, an international sisterhood of organisations similar to ActionStation working to enable citizens to take action on and offline;
  • Campact, our sister organisation in German, for the purposes of civic education;
  • The Next Step Trust to support the set up of OurActionStation;
  • Namaste Foundation to support the creation of Te Ira Tāngata: a People’s Agenda for Aotearoa;
  • Mills Family Trust;
  • Lloyd Morris for the purposes of ending whānau and child poverty;
  • Our start up capital was generously donated to us from Global Green Grants.

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