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Catalytic Philanthrophy - Hearts@Work

The Catalytic Foundation Hearts@Work programme provides mentoring and capacity building support for community charities in specialist areas of need. 

For the last 46 years, charities throughout New Zealand have applied to us for grant funding. Through this process we have identified key stresses on community organisations that can prevent or take them away from their core community work. We are often told about the need for mentoring and specialist fundraising services, so we have decided to help through our skilled staff and Hearts@Work programme. 

We are grateful to the charities we support, who put their hearts on the line for their local communities. The collective effort of volunteering, donating and giving back time and resources is vital for our communities wellbeing. We are keen to facilitate this support. 

We are currently looking for sponsors for Hearts@Work projects in 2024.  

Please contact me for further information. 

Teresa Moore
Catalytic Foundation - CEO

Sustainable philanthropy as a core value

Spotlight on Teresa Moore, CEO of the Catalytic Foundation

Teresa Moore has been at the helm of the Catalytic Foundation since 2018. During this time, she has used her compassionate nature, business acumen, financial savviness, and people skills to drive social change throughout Aotearoa. However, going forward, she sees the need to strengthen the connection between young people and the natural environment.

Through her work with over 200 charities nationwide, Teresa has identified that building the connection between young people and the natural environment is highly beneficial for the environment and those youths who connect with charities throughout Aotearoa because of their personal challenges. This also reflects a step toward achieving the United Nation’s sustainable development goal relating to education that focusses on ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning.

She said, “I believe our young people can really benefit from learning in and about the natural environment. Through the charities we work with, I can see that many of our young people are struggling because they don’t feel like they have a direction or purpose in life. Once the charities we work alongside help these young people establish a sense of purpose, their lives turn around for the better. For me, I can see the dual benefit of supporting charities that encourage these young people to build a passion for the environment.”

Teresa understands the sense of responsibility and benefits a connection with the environment brings because of her foundations in marine biology and sustainability. Teresa has a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and earned a Master of Management with her thesis on renewable energy. This passion and experience has well-equipped her to identify the benefits and challenges of supporting community projects with an environmental focus.

Teresa said, “It is my lifelong ambition to care for the environment and to pass on an appreciation for the environment to future generations. Planting the seeds of environmental awareness in the fertile minds of the young is like planting a tree. With time and nurturing, this seed grows into a steadfast force, shaping individual actions and influencing future choices. Early environmental education helps children and young people develop the roots that ground their values, the branches that reach towards sustainable choices, and the leaves that reflect green initiatives in every aspect of life. Learning about the environment at a young age is not merely an act of planting a tree; it is about growing a forest of guardians for our planet's future."

Teresa has had the opportunity to witness first-hand the benefits of getting youths involved in caring for our environment by leveraging the Catalytic Foundation work with Sustainable Coastlines (volunteering and STEM education activities) and as an umbrella charity for Within Nature. The Northland charity WithinNature helps youth face their challenges by refocusing them on whakapakari whenua (regenerating the land). The youth, who are directed to the programme through youth providers and marae, work on restoring degraded ecosystems and revitalising the land while strengthening their cultural identity, learning leadership skills, and understanding the need to care for, and not exploit, the land.  

Explaining how she fell in love with nature, Teresa said, “I was born in Whangārei and while visiting my grandfather, I would sit on the wharf at Port Albert, and listen to him talk about the ecosystem around us. I fell in love with the ocean because of its life force. That passion has helped me pursue opportunities I would never have thought possible.”

For example, Teresa went on to work as a scientist aboard deep-sea trawlers and has sailed in every major ocean around the world. She established a sailing boat charter company in NZ and Tonga and has also served as CEO for the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education Centre. She accredits the inspiration for this work to those earlier days with her grandfather, her mentor, who took the time to show her the environment around her. 

Teresa’s current work with the Catalytic Foundation sees her supporting youth charities and social based services from Northland to Invercargill. She plays an active role in obtaining and managing large donations to ensure smaller charities, who may not have the capacity or skills to access larger grants, are given financial support, mentoring, and any other help they may need.

In addition to this, as CEO of the Catalytic Foundation, Teresa works closely with companies to help them meet their sustainable development goals and attract and retain the best staff by involving them in bespoke volunteering opportunities, as part of the quarterly Catalytic community support campaigns.

Teresa believes mighty trees grow from small seeds! If you too would like to support our environment, our youth and their mentors, please consider becoming a regular donor to the Catalytic Foundation. For further details please click here. 

Backpacks4Education campaign now on!

This week, the majority of children in New Zealand will be expected to return to school, however, for many families, sending children back to school is unaffordable.

Recent data on attendance rates in New Zealand paints a bleak picture. In term 3 of 2023, the Ministry of Education reported that only 45.9% of kiwi kids attended school or kura regularly. Recent data from the United States shows around 70% of children in the United States attend school regularly, even in the tail of COVID-19 and the face of the cost-of-living crisis. Given this comparison, it is clear that New Zealand is falling behind.

Poverty plays a large factor in attendance. Children are often kept at home because they are sharing uniforms or shoes, do not have food for lunch, or do not have the correct school supplies. Older children are often required to work to help support the family too. Tamaki College in Auckland reported that students were working up to 47 hours a week to help support their families.

Giving children the education they both need and deserve is a top priority of the Catalytic Foundation and its donors. We know that education is key to breaking the poverty cycle. We know that New Zealand needs a well-educated workforce to advance as participants on the world stage and to be able to provide better living conditions for future generations. We know that by working together, we can remove the barriers to education that children, particularly those living in poverty, face.

To address this issue, we support many grassroots charities throughout Aotearoa who help families and children deal with hardship and embrace education. We also support the charities we work alongside, schools, and other institutions with our Backpacks4Education campaign, which runs in the first quarter of each year.

The Backpacks4Education campaign ensures children have the essential equipment they need to go to school: a backpack, lunch box, drink bottle, pencil case and stationery, and workbooks.

We need your help, please consider getting your workplace involved and/or individually contribute to this campaign. We have opened up our giving platform for this campaign and also encourage people to sign up for regular payday giving. You will receive a tax invoice for the donations you make throughout the year.

Your generosity will not only help children living in hardship, but by having classes regularly attended by all students, every student in that class benefits because there are fewer disruptions with all children learning content at the same time. 

Community Needs are rising

Every year, the Catalytic Foundation conducts a Community Needs Survey to help us better understand what charities need, how people are using their service, and, most importantly, how we can help.
This year, the survey results have been eye-opening, with a massive 98% of charities saying they are seeing an increase in demand for their services. This is a big jump on previous years and shows the community-level impact of the cost-of-living crisis.
Our survey reflects 208 responses from 199 individual community organisations based across New Zealand.
A Christchurch medical support charity said, "We have noted over the past 8-12 months that families need greater support with food items. As such, we now have two family pantries and run a weekly dinner programme to help families out.​"
A nationwide charity supporting parents said, "Demand growth this year has exceeded all expectations. Our volunteers remain under pressure, with rising costs making our mahi more difficult.”​
We know that not everyone has the capacity to financially help others, particularly in these difficult times, but if you would like to pay it forward and help out those in need either on a regular basis or with Christmas gifts, please click here for further information. 
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Success by Te Hou Ora's Youth Justice programme

We are proud to have supported Te Hou Ora's successful Youth Justice programme in the Otago region in 2023. They shared this heartwarming story with us that demonstrates the level of impact they have on the lives of youth in their community. Thank you for helping this rangatahi, and many others, onto a prosperous path.

"We had a rangatahi move onto a Youth Development Plan from Supported Bail. At the time of this change the rangatahi was living in a residential house, with the intention of moving home with their family within the 6 months following their referral.

"The rangatahi had a lot going on in terms of family and mental health and was grateful for the supports that had been put in place to help them. We found that working alongside other professionals and building a good rapport with this individual would be key in ensuring their needs are able to be met. The rangatahi was willing to engage in activities, whether it be bike riding, walks along the beach, sports, even finding that pulling thread out of flax was a therapeutic activity. The rangatahi was tested in a group environment, there was a bit of hesitancy at first but got involved amongst their peers. Contact time with the rangatahi varied as they were enrolled in school where the rangatahi engaged well, and we were able to use some of our contact time to help with homework. Though there were times where incidents did happen within school, an instance resulting in suspension, the rangatahi got back into work as soon as they were allowed back. Whilst with us the rangatahi got on well with staff and enjoyed the chat provided both ways. The rangatahi was invested in current events and talked about what was going on in the world as well as how it was affecting them. The rangatahi often went on strike to show support for people struggling within New Zealand especially with job security and vaccine mandates.

"Being able to discuss these issues with the rangatahi and look at the possible pathways he would like to take in the future, it made sense that in the long term they were wanting to study Law in the hope of becoming a Youth Advocate. Being involved in pro social activities as well as having a good rapport with staff, engaging well with school, enabling the rangatahi the safe space to talk, coinciding with the support of other professionals, the rangatahi was equipped with the tools to complete their Youth Development Plan. The rangatahi was later placed onto mentoring with us and during this time they made the successful transition home with family."

Fund supports single parent/caregiver families

Isolation is very much a reality for sole parent/caregiver families, having limited support from other family members and friends. Birthright has regional branches that keep in regular contact to support families and their individual family needs. 

Families have shared their feelings of not being able to have any respite, as having to be available for their children 24/7. This can take a toll on mental health and well-being, as they are the only adult in the household. Basic needs such as food, heating, clothing and bedding have also increased during this time, making stress levels even higher.

Donations to the Catalytic Community Fund help to ensure sole parents/caregivers and their children are supported and getting what they need. 

Birthright supports families to be nurtured, inspired and resilient, and is the only organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand that specialises in working with families led by one person. This support is vital now more than ever before because of the cost-of-living crisis. Sole parent families can be a mother, father, grandmother, other whanau member or adult. They are some of the most vulnerable groups in our society, and we can assist them in their time of need. 

All DONATIONS to the Catalytic Foundation Community Grants are tax deductible and 100% (less credit card fee) and you can nominate charities in your region to get the support. 

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ



As we enter 2024, we would like to take some time to shine a spotlight on some of the charities we supported with grants and other initiatives in 2023. One of the organisations that really stood out to us was Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ ( (GRG), who operate throughout the country including in Southland, Whanganui, Canterbury, and Otago.

This amazing organisation supported 796 caregiver families, 1356 grandparent and whānau/kin caregivers, and 2573 tamariki and rangatahi last year. What a monumental effort!

GRG shared with us the impact their support and advocacy had for a grandmother who was facing challenges obtaining the unsupported child benefit. They told us that GRG played a crucial role in helping the grandmother file a court application and obtain interim custody of her grandchildren. Regarding obtaining financial assistance for the family in the form of the unsupported child benefit, GRG said:

"The journey to secure UCB was marked by declined applications, rejections, and missed hearings due to communication gaps. However, her determination, combined with GRG’s steadfast backing, proved unstoppable. Through GRG’s support, she reapplied, advocating for retroactive payments, resulting in an astounding $10,571.22 in UCB arrears payments."

GRG's support extends beyond advocacy services. GRG explained further, "Beyond financial advocacy, GRG provided crucial emotional support and guidance, becoming an unwavering source of strength. In the face of adversity, GRG emerged as a reliable pillar, ensuring that grandparents raising grandchildren and whanau/kin carers not only receive essential resources but also the encouragement needed for their journey."

It is clear how necessary GRG's services are within our communities to improve the lives of children being raised by their grandparents and whānau/kin caregivers. Thank you for your hard work and dedication! We appreciate everything you do.

Thank you for supporting the 2023 Christmas Shoebox Project

We are incredibly grateful to have experienced such heartwarming support for the 2023 Christmas Shoebox Project!

Here are the highlights of the campaign which provided over 2905 Christmas boxes for kiwi kids around Aotearoa.


In Auckland we are thankful for the gracious support of SkyCity, who opened the doors of Federal House to us so we could set up Santa's Grotto - a bustling hub for packing and distribution in the heart of the Auckland CBD. 


In Wellington we are thankful for the help from Wellington Helicopters and East by West Ferries, who helped out in so many ways to get the boxes in, sorted and distributed to charity partners.

In Christchurch, thank you to Mike and the team at Christchurch Community House, always a pleasure to work with you. 

In Dunedin, Thank you to Steve and Sue at Volunteer South and the Dunedin Community House. 

Also, in Dunedin thank you to Laura and the team at Forsyth Barr who opened their doors for over 20 volunteers to sort and wrap boxes. 


The true stars of the Christmas Shoebox Project? 171 volunteers from Auckland, Wellington, Whanganui, Canterbury, and Otago. We're immensely grateful to SkyCity, Hays Recruitment, Grant Thornton, Rockwell Automation, JETNZ, NZ Post, Spark, Cavell Leitch, Forsyth Barr, Chorus and Volunteer South for their invaluable help in organising gifts, volunteers and the assembling many of the boxes.


A special acknowledgement goes to those who generously provided incredible products for the boxes — Deloitte, Dow (Mike and Mel Robb), Pitney Bowes, the NZ Dental Association, NZ Olympic Committee, PlaceMakers, Scholastic Books, Author Karen McMillian, Arvida, Kohler, and The Soap Factory. whose contributions made these Christmas boxes extra special.


This year marked an extraordinary milestone for us as we collaborated with the NZ Team and PlaceMakers on the 'Give the Gift of Play' campaign. A heartfelt thank you to the NZ Olympic Committee and athletes for contributing sports gear, and to PlaceMakers for hosting collection boxes. Together, we amassed 143 items that will bring joy to kids all over the country.

In the South Island, Dunedin's Golden Centre Mall hosted a special display to help people donate gifts resulting in an array of lovely gifts. 


We could not run this campaign without the charity relationships we have, and their reach into the community. Thank you for supporting whānau throughout Aotearoa, from Invercargill to Kaitaia.

Special thanks to Lyttleton Community House, Corstorphine Community Hub in Dunedin and Hakeke St Community Centre in Whanganui, who got their communities involved in the Christmas Shoebox Project and community Christmas events.


As we turn our eyes to 2024, we're excited to announce our next campaign. In the lead up to the new school year, we'll be seeking monetary support and donations of school supplies and devices for children in need. We'll also be looking for teams of volunteers to help put backpacks together. If you or your team would like to contribute, please reach out to us now. Let's keep the spirit of giving alive. 

Thank you once again to everybody involved for your incredible support.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to making a difference together in 2024.

Corporate Volunteering

Thank you to Rockwell Automation for volunteering with the  Christmas Shoebox Project and Backpacks4Education campaigns.

We had fun putting together over 200 Christmas boxes and backpacks filled with lovely gifts and items for School.

These items will be distributed to families, nominated by our community partners, in time for Christmas.

Thank you also to SkyCity Entertainment Group for hosting our Santa's Grotto in Auckland.

This is where our volunteers will be busy making up the special boxes of gifts until Christmas🎄 👍


I AM HOPE walk for hope fundraiser

Chubb Insurance Team supports I AM HOPE 

Why are the team at CHUBB Insurance doing this WALK FOR HOPE fundraiser on Friday, October 13th?

Last year 3500 young people tried to take their lives. To honour these young people, we are doing a 3.5km WALK FOR HOPE with Gumboots, that's a minimum of 3500 steps per person!

The WALK FOR HOPE starts at the CHUBB Insurance office, Princes Wharf and follows a trail around Auckland's Viaduct with fun activities on the way.

To follow the activities on social media #IAMHOPE #Youthmentalhealth #catalyticfoundation

Please support our WALK FOR HOPE by donating here and help us raise $3,500 in donations for I AM HOPE and youth counselling services.

When you donate you will receive a tax-deductible receipt from the Catalytic Foundation. All donations will go to I AM HOPE and Youth Counselling services.

Please cheer our teams on and consider donating to this important cause.

Donate Here 

*Walk For Hope has been organised by the CATALYTIC FOUNDATION as part of our Youth Mental Health Campaign