Donor Confidence

When donating to the Future Fund, donors need confidence that their money is in safe hands. This page shows a little of what your support will enable, that Inspiring Stories has strong integrity, and that we are the right people to steward an endowment fund to back young New Zealanders.

If you’re thinking of donating and have more questions, please contact Inspiring Stories CEO Guy Ryan directly: or 021 243 9869.

+ What is the Future Fund?

There are thousands of young New Zealanders who have the commitment and drive to change our world for the better – but they lack the backing they need to realise their potential. They need better access to expertise, funding and support.

Inspiring Stories – the charity founded by 2015 Young Zealander of the Year, Guy Ryan, is launching the Future Fund to better back young New Zealanders to be and lead the change in their communities.

The Future Fund builds on Inspiring Stories’ track record of programmes and partnerships, and will let us make those programmes much more accessible to young New Zealanders – no matter who they are, where they live, or their financial circumstances. It will enable us to provide more scholarships, as well as seed funding and tailored support for New Zealand’s most promising young social entrepreneurs.

+ Who is behind the Future Fund?

The Future Fund is an initiative of Inspiring Stories Trust – a New Zealand registered charity (CC45932) established in 2011. Inspiring Stories operates nationwide with the vision to see every young New Zealander unleash their potential to change the world.

Since launching, the Trust Inspiring Stories has developed programmes that increase the visibility, capability and confidence of young Kiwis making a difference. These include the flagship national event Festival for the Future; the accelerator programme Live the Dream, which supports young social entrepreneurs to develop their ventures; and the national film competition Making a Difference. We also have a new national programme, Future Leaders, which will be piloted in 2016.

The Founder and CEO of Inspiring Stories, Guy Ryan, is the 2015 Young New Zealander of the Year Award. Also in 2015, the Ministry of Youth Development announced a $500k grant across 2015–17, to further develop Festival for the Future and Live the Dream. Inspiring Stories has a strong Board of Trustees who meet regularly to achieve good outcomes for the Trust.

To learn more about where we’ve come from, please download our 2014 Annual Report.

To learn more about where we’re heading, please download our Strategic Plan, 2015–17.

+ Key partnerships and relationships – who does Inspiring Stories work with?

Inspiring Stories partners with a range of organisations including Kiwibank, KPMG, Kea, Leadership New Zealand, the Tindall Foundation, the Ministry of Youth Development, Akina, and several Councils and Tertiary Institutions. We also have good relationships with a broad range of organisations both internationally and nationally across New Zealand’s youth, community, business, creative, technology, science, and education sectors.

+ Why are we launching the Future Fund?

Over the past five years we’ve worked closely with many young New Zealanders with the courage, creativity and drive to make a difference for their communities, nation, and beyond. We’ve also heard from heaps of young people who want the support they need to help create a better New Zealand. We’ve built Inspiring Stories’ programmes on the smell of an oily rag, experiencing first-hand the challenges for young social entrepreneurs in New Zealand. We’ve had a big impact, but we’re really conscious that there are thousands more young people who’d really benefit from these programmes.

New Zealand has some good support for high growth commercial enterprise, but there are big gaps, particularly for young people, who want to grow their ideas into innovative social enterprises that are driven by a strong sense of purpose to make a difference socially and/or environmentally. They need better access to expertise, seed funding and support that’s specifically tailored to ventures that do social good. We want to provide that.

With our CEO attending the Social Enterprise World Forum, and the Youth Social Enterprise & Philanthropy Summits, it is clear that social entrepreneurship and enterprise can be powerful tools in creating solutions to entrenched social and environmental problems. Young people can, and are playing a critical role in developing, supporting, and leading social enterprises that can make a large, and tangible impact. Compared with the level of support for young social entrepreneurs in leading countries, New Zealand is lagging behind.

We have a good understanding of the gaps and opportunities to better back young New Zealanders, and good relationships with key people, organisations and networks to make it happen. The Future Fund builds strongly on our work to date through Festival for the Future and Live the Dream, and is the next chapter in our story. We’re launching the Future Fund to better support young New Zealanders to unleash their potential to change the world.

+ Who are the young people we work with, and the type of initiatives are they involved in?

So far, the Trust has worked with nearly 5,000 young New Zealanders through its programmes. The work these young people are leading is diverse – from cleaning up beaches to providing hope and inspiration for young people living with cancer; from running for council; to helping kids in low decile schools learn about health exercise – these young people are dreaming big and pushing boundaries to make a difference for their communities, nation and beyond.

Consider Bonnie Howland, the 19-year old who aims to cure 50% of treatable blindness in the Pacific by 2025 through her venture, Mascara for Sight; or Melody Guo, whose pen-pal platform connects children from China and New Zealand to learn together and strengthen cross-country relations; and Nick George’s Evergreen Music, a project that has the potential to redirect $5 million back into the New Zealand economy to support emerging musicians.

+ What is an endowment, and who else has one?

An endowment is a chunk of money where you never touch the principal amount, just the interest, and the interest from that principal ‘keeps giving’ forever. It allows donations to have a bigger impact over a longer period of time. For example, The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) has a $50million endowment fund. At an interest rate of, for example, 5% returned on the principal amount, the FYA gets about $2.5million every year, to grow their impact and create better outcomes for young Australians.

+ Why are we setting the Future Fund up as an endowment?

Building an endowment ensures long-term financial sustainability, ensuring a strong foundation dedicated to backing the potential of young New Zealanders. Whilst Inspiring Stories has built a strong track record in attracting financial support from corporate partners, the government, and other funders, an endowment provides a more resilient financial base to operate from. It means that if the government or corporate partners change their agendas, we can continue to deliver great outcomes for young New Zealanders. Even if the government or corporate partners don’t change their agendas, returns from an endowment would increase our capacity significantly, whilst ensuring we put our energy where it can have the greatest impact rather than always chasing money.

+ What is a tax deductible donation?

Inspiring Stories Trust is a registered New Zealand charity (CC45932), which means that all donations, including those towards the Future Fund campaign, are tax deductible. This means that you can claim a third (33.33%) of your total donation back at the end of the personal tax year (March 31) when you file your personal tax return.

+ Major gifts

Due acknowledgement for major gifts can be given where appropriate. Please contact Guy Ryan, CEO & Founder of Inspiring Stories, to discuss:, or 021 243 9869.

+ Where will the money be kept?

During the initial fundraising campaign from 1–30 September 2015, all donations are held by GiveALittle until the campaign ends. After the campaign has finished, all donations will be transferred to Inspiring Stories Trust, before being transferred deposited into a professionally managed fund by Gareth Morgan Investments (GMI).

+ How will the Future Fund be governed?

The fund will be initially governed by the Board of Inspiring Stories. The Board recognise that as the size of the fund grows, it may make sense to establish the Future Fund as an independent legal entity.

+ Who are the advisors to the board?

Phil Veal: Chair of Kea, and CEO of Rangitira Investments

Steve Ferguson: Strategy & Transformation at Kiwibank

+ How will the returns be distributed?

While we need to build in some flexibility to allow us learn and adjust for the Future Fund to have the greatest impact for young New Zealanders in the mid-to-long term, the returns after the first 12 months will be distributed into four key areas as follows:

30% – towards making the core programmes of Inspiring Stories more accessible to more young New Zealanders for whom cost is a barrier, particularly for young people from marginalised and vulnerable communities. This scholarship support will be focused particularly on helping young people to participate in Festival for the Future, Live the Dream, and the Future Leaders programmes.

30% – seed funding grants of $1,000–$50,000 depending on the size of the fund.

30% – non-financial support for New Zealand’s most promising young social entrepreneurs including further professional development opportunities, space to work from, tailored professional services and advisory.

10% – towards the core operations of Inspiring Stories to assist with the costs of administering the Future Fund and providing these opportunities.

+ How do we define young New Zealanders?

Inspiring Stories works with a diverse range of young New Zealanders, as well many other organisations that work with young people, and a range of funders and partners. There are varying definitions of ‘young people’. For example, the Ministry of Youth Development refer to young people as those aged 12–24; whereas the Young New Zealander of the Year Awards term this 13–30. Whilst we work with predominantly 18–25 year olds, we take an inclusive approach to our work, and value diversity. For the purposes of the Future Fund, we will be focusing the majority of our efforts on supporting 18–25 year olds as we believe there are significant support gaps for this demographic, who are well suited for the challenges of social entrepreneurship. They are at a time in their lives where their ability to take risk is unique, and they have time on their hands, optimism, energy and drive.

+ What will success look like for young New Zealanders look like?

Inspiring Stories has worked with a number of key stakeholders to develop its impact and evaluation framework, with our interim outputs and outcomes available for review in our 2015–17 Strategic Plan. Inspiring Stories takes pride in it’s reporting, and for both the Trust and the Future Fund, we would be publishing an outcomes report every 6–12 months online. At a high-level, we would expect to be evaluating and reporting on:

  • Clear pathways and support for young social entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and skills.
  • Number and diversity of young people who participate, are engaged and supported.
  • Capability increase, as a percentage (across key areas for social entrepreneurship and enterprises).
  • Updates on youth-led initiatives and venture.
  • Compelling case studies and inspiring stories of young people pioneering new ventures as they grow to actually deliver real value – social, environmental, economic.

+ What will happen if we don’t reach the $1 million fundraising goal?

The amount raised directly affects our capacity to better back young New Zealanders. If our $1m goal is not reached, we will use whatever the amount raised and continue as planned with the stated purposes of the Fund.