The Wilberforce Foundation was established to support faith-based organisations who are reaching out to communities and making a difference in the lives of others within New Zealand.
The Foundation was founded by Ian and Wendy Kuperus in 2008 as a vehicle to distribute funds made available from their commercial interests, including Tax Management New Zealand (TMNZ).
The name Wilberforce Foundation was inspired by the work and life of William Wilberforce (1759–1833). Wilberforce was motivated to make a difference in his world as a response to his Christian faith — most notably playing a key role in the enactment of laws to abolish slavery.
The funding activities of the Foundation have grown to include a number of focus areas such as:
- Supporting the growth and national development of organisations
- Leadership development
- Organisational capability development
- Social investments and government partnerships
Grant making activity by Wilberforce includes a mix of direct financial support, capital loans and specialist consulting input and capability support.