Spark Foundation

Spark Foundation is the charitable organisation for Spark New Zealand, supporting causes that New Zealanders and Spark people feel passionate about by tapping into the power of crowdfunding, providing direct financial support and through employee volunteering.

About Spark Foundation



Spark Foundation is the proud owner of Givealittle, New Zealand’s most popular crowdfunding website. It’s fast, safe and easy to create a campaign, share with your networks and receive instant donations.

Givealittle is for:

  • Charities, clubs, schools and not-for profits
  • People with great ideas that make a difference
  • Fundraisers on a mission to help their favourite cause or charity
  • Donors who value a neutral platform to support a variety of causes

Visit Givealittle

Spark Volunteer

Everyone who works at Spark New Zealand receives a paid volunteer day to go out and do good in the community, whether that’s volunteering for a charity, cleaning up a beach or helping a school with their financial strategy, the choice is theirs.

In FY18 participation in the volunteering programme reached 22.2% (from 24% in the previous year) and 1,125 days of employee time were gifted.

Get Registered for Spark Volunteer

Spark Give

This universal payroll giving programme enables Spark people to donate to any New Zealand school and registered charity directly from their pay and Spark Foundation matches on the first $500 of giving each year. Since Spark Give launched in 2011, donations from Spark people and Spark's matching has seen almost $5m go to 959 New Zealand schools and charities.

 In FY18 donations made up of employee giving and matched donations from Spark totalled $840,000, compared to the previous year’s $832,250 and was distributed to 590 organisations. 

Get Registered for Spark Give

Education Trust

Spark Foundation has been a major funding partner of the Manaiakalani Education Trust to bring digital learning to low-income communities.

After a five-year partnership, the Foundation’s investment in the Manaiakalani Education Trust has come to a close.

The Foundation set out to help create the step-change required to scale up the education programme. With the success of Manaiakalani’s growth, we are proud to have been an anchor partner. Our involvement started when the Manaiakalani was a programme operating in a single site in Tamaki, Auckland. With the help of Spark’s resources, Manaiakalani has grown into a fully-formed methodology available to more than 50 schools across New Zealand.

The programme has helped to transform teaching and learning methods, significantly improving educational achievement for the students of participating schools.

During this time Spark people contributed strongly to the friendship with the Manaiakalani schools through activities such as mentoring teachers, becoming buddies to students and providing feedback on their blogs and volunteering at Manaiakalani schools. Over the five years the Spark Foundation’s contribution totalled almost $2.8 million. The Foundation remains proud of its involvement and continues to have a positive relationship with the Trust.

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Meet the Team

Spark Foundation is made up of Spark people with diverse experiences and a shared passion for giving back.

Spark Foundation Ambassadors

The Foundation has a network of Spark people who are so passionate about the Spark Foundation that they are official ambassadors. There are Ambassadors in Spark offices around New Zealand and they help with local generosity campaigns and spread the message to other Spark people.

Spark People

Spark people play an extremely important role and through the Spark Foundation, they can support the charities dear to their hearts via Spark Give (payroll giving), volunteering and Givealittle. The Foundation encourages all Spark people to get involved and have fun doing good!

The Spark Foundation Board

As a registered charity, the Foundation has its own Board of Trustees, including both externally appointed Trustees and Spark employees.

Andrew Pirie, Chair

Andrew joined Spark New Zealand in October 2012. He is responsible for Spark's external communications, engagement with key stakeholders including government (central and local) and community groups and internal employee communications. Andrew is one of New Zealand's most experienced communications professionals with an extensive international background. He returned to New Zealand in 2008 after more than a decade overseas as Asia Pacific head for Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s biggest PR consulting firms. In recent years Andrew has acted as an advisor for significant New Zealand companies including Fonterra and Auckland Airport. His industry experience spans a wide range of sectors including financial services,
aerospace, technology, property, healthcare, energy and tourism.

Caleb Watson, TrusteeA long-time Ambassador of the Spark Foundation, Caleb holds the role of Spark Foundation People’s Champion. The Operations Support Specialist was elected into the role after winning the votes of Spark people. As a trustee, Caleb represents the voice of all Spark people and brings a dynamic perspective to the boardroom. During the next two years of holding the People’s Champion position, Caleb is motivated to drive engagement and champion generosity right across the business.  

Casey Eden, TrusteeCasey is the co-founder and Managing Director of and previously one of the foundation team behind Casey brings considerable experience and insights into the online and start-up world, which adds value as Givealittle continues to grow and evolve. Also as a former national softball representative, Casey is passionate about encouraging all New Zealanders to tackle life head-on. Now with his involvement with Neighbourly he’s enjoying seeing the changes that take place in Kiwi communities throughout the country as neighbours connect.

Matt Crockett, TrusteeMatt Crockett is Chief Executive of Fletcher Building’s Heavy Building Products Division. Prior to this, he successfully led Spark's cost and business improvement programme, and worked as the Chief Development Officer and MD Digital Ventures at APN News and Media (now NZME). Matt’s has extensive governance experience as the Director of multiple technology and media businesses including Orion Health, Southern Cross Cable Networks, and multiple digital media and eCommerce businesses including GrabOne. His understanding of the digital media space enables him to provide valuable assistance with the Foundations online projects, in particular with helping create a successful path forward for Givealittle.

Stacey Morrison, TrusteeA New Zealand media personality for more than 25 years, Stacey is motivated to inspire others, especially in the Māori community, through the platform that her career in radio and broadcasting has provided. She is an advocate for education and has extensive involvement in the charitable sector. Supporting learning is where Stacey's passions and the Spark Foundation's objectives converge. Stacey works to champion Te Reo and active learning inside the home and alongside her husband Scotty, has co-authored a book 'Māori at Home: a guide for everyday families.' Stacey will draw on her extensive experience in the charitable sector as an Ambassador for several organisations including the children's charity Variety, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Water Safety New Zealand and formerly as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

Lisa Paraku, Trustee

Lisa Paraku is the Business Manager, Māori for Spark, based in Wellington.  Lisa hails from Hauraki, and she is a proud wife and mum to six blended kids of Māori, Pākēha, German and Chinese descent.  Her working career has seen roles in hospitality, tertiary education, health as well as ICT.  Lisa has a strong passion for volunteer work, especially in the areas of health, education and the wellbeing of Māori (last year she took a sabbatical from Spark to pursue community work, including promoting Spark Jump among Māori communities).  Lisa serves on multiple committees and trusts, on behalf of government, iwi and community interests.

Lisa Barwell, Trustee

Lisa Barwell is re-joining the Foundation Board of Trustees after previously serving as the employee People’s Champion representative from 2015 – 2017.  In her day job, Lisa leads our Business Contact Centre team based in Christchurch. Outside of work, she is a passionate supporter of the Breast Cancer Foundation and the annual Pink Ribbon Appeal day. 

Kelly Baxter, Trustee

Kelly is Senior Legal Counsel at Spark, based in Auckland.  She has worked on key strategic matters for Spark that have delivered pioneering innovation in the mobile and sports content markets, including advising on Spark’s bid for New Zealand broadcast rights for Rugby World Cup 2019.  Prior to joining Spark in 2017, Kelly worked with global retailer Tesco in the UK, where she also completed post-graduate study at the University of Oxford. Kelly has been active in the pro-bono legal space, including spearheading Tesco’s Community Law Centre partnership.