About Us

Established by the Todd Family in 1972, the Todd Foundation has four part-time staff and two governing boards; the Administration Board (responsible for grant-making) and the Investment Board (responsible for investment management). Find out more about our trustees and staff and about the Todd Family.

See below for a summary of why we fund, what we fund and what we look for – or you can download our one page funding strategy overview or see the full version here.

Our vision:

  • Inclusive communities where all families, children and young people can thrive and contribute

To work towards this vision, we focus on the following key goals:

  • Support families and communities to provide safe and nurturing environments for children
  • Assist children and families to participate actively in learning, particularly in the early years
  • Help young people to develop their potential and to contribute fully in the community
  • Support for selected social, economic, environmental & cultural issues (Canterbury recovery in 2014)

We aim to fund organisations and initiatives which:

  • Focus on people and communities which are excluded or disadvantaged: Although everyone has equal value, not everyone has equal opportunities.  Our funding favours those who need it most. (Note that this does not apply to our tertiary scholarships, which target research excellence.)
  • Create relationships and environments where people help themselves and each other: We understand that people with strong connections are safer and more successful, that approaches which build on existing strengths work well and that opportunities for reciprocity and contribution promote wellbeing.  Our funding aims to support people to be independent – and interdependent.
  • Actively involve the people and communities served: We like the concept of community-led development and the phrase “nothing about us without us”.  Whichever community is served – for example,  Māori, disabilities, youth –  we prefer funding organisations where these voices are integral to decision making at all levels.
  • Build inclusiveness: Addressing exclusion requires understanding, fostering empowerment and participation, building bridges between different communities and addressing attitudes and structures that stand in the way.  Our funding aims to support everyone to participate fully and have their voice heard.
  • Have good leadership and strong teams: The most effective organisations have credible people and good relationships throughout the organisation.  We look for a balance of heart and mind, passion and pragmatism.  We aim to build close and open relationships with the organisations we fund, so openness and the willingness to share and work together is also important to us.
  • Involve approaches that are likely to work deeply and effectively: We understand that complex problems don’t usually have simple solutions.  We look for approaches that are plausible and preferably evidence-based, combined with ongoing review, reflection, and  learning.  We consider a range of models of working, including not only service provision but also advocacy and social enterprise, and we particularly like collaborative or collective responses. 

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