Our vision lies at the heart of our grant-making. We will focus on areas where the law is not serving New Zealanders well. Our initial (but not exclusive) strategic focus areas are the criminal justice system and family law. Whether we are doing proactive or reactive grant-making, we will consider the same three elements: eligibility, our guiding principles and exclusions.
Our approach to grant-making goes beyond transactional grant-making. As an independent philanthropic organisation, we do a mix of both ‘proactive grant-making’ as well as openly solicited grant applications.
We actively seek out, and are open to approaches from, high-performing individuals and organisations with ideas and initiatives that can contribute to our vision. From time to time we may also run an Expressions of Interest process for grants.
Whether ‘proactive’ or ‘reactive’ grant-making, we consider the same elements when deciding who and what to fund. Read these sections carefully:
To understand the thinking behind how we do ‘grant-making’ read ‘Our approach to philanthropy' and check out who we’ve been inspired by.
If we fund your project, expect us to remain interested and engaged – in a helpful way. Our approach is to do more than give. We will meet with you as regularly as is appropriate, depending on the size and complexity of the grant. This ensures open communication on progress and any issues that you might want to raise with us. We will contribute where we have value to add. Where we don’t have value to add, we will stay out of the way so you can focus on the work.
We also aim to minimise bureaucracy or paperwork. We fund on the basis of agreed milestones, not on the production of receipts.
We view grant-making as a partnership between us as the ‘Grantor’ and you as the ‘doer’. The Borrin Foundation needs talented, high-performing people as much as you may need us. We both contribute to the vision of Aotearoa New Zealand in different ways. Our relationship with you is key to the achievement of our shared goals.
The Borrin Foundation’s trust deed governs our grant-making. Our grants can fund work in the following areas:
To be eligible for grant funding your proposal must:
Note: We will have separate eligibility and guiding principles for our scholarships funding.
Our guiding principles for grant funding help the Grants and Scholarships Committee to make decisions about which projects should receive funding. Make sure you understand the guiding principles when considering whether your project idea is a good fit for Borrin Foundation funding.
We aim to fund high-performing people and organisations whose knowledge, skills, commitment and passion will contribute long-term to the achievement of our vision.
Our funding, through grants, will take into account the potential of a proposal to:
Generally we do not fund:
A grant from the Borrin Foundation is a donation/gift, but it does come with terms and conditions. Click the link below to read our standard grant letter and grant agreement, which outlines our standard conditions for Borrin Foundation grants. Make sure you understand these terms and conditions before submitting an Expression of Interest or progressing your proposal.
A Borrin Foundation grant is regarded as an 'unconditional gift' for tax purposes. There is no contract between the Borrin Foundation and the grantee partner for any exchange of goods or services. The grant payments are not payments in return for services and you will not be issuing invoices to us.
Therefore, you should not add GST to your estimation of required funds in your grant proposal.
Your proposed or estimated budget for grant funding must list the ‘real costs’ only.
Either way, do not add GST costs on top of your estimated ‘real costs’.
Please state in your grant proposal whether you/your organisation is GST-registered or not and make clear which of the above options apply.
We are committed to maximising the impact of the work we fund. We will share and build upon the work we support to advance collective knowledge.
The Borrin Foundation does not become the owner of any intellectual property created through grant projects. However, we do ask our grantees to commit to making some form of the work freely and publicly available for the ‘public good’. This is discussed with each grantee and varies with each grant project.
Making important work freely and publicly available adds to the 'Global Commons'. We encourage the use, where practicable, of Creative Commons Licenses.
We acknowledge and accept that many grantees, in particular academics, will also wish to publish a different form of the funded work in peer-reviewed journals or other copyright-restricted forms.
As a small not-for-profit organisation, our grants do not cover ‘university overheads’. We apply this consistently across all universities. However, our grants will cover university staff salaries and teaching 'buy-outs'.
As they say, ‘knowledge is the only resource that increases with use’. We want to see the work we fund used by as many people as possible.
The criminal justice system and family law are the Borrin Foundation’s initial strategic focus areas. Our 2018 inaugural grant projects reflect these areas of focus. These were also areas of deep concern to our founder, the late Judge Ian Borrin.
While these are our initial strategic focus areas, they aren't the only areas we are interested in.
We aim to cast our net wide and wanted to hear about any ideas and initiatives that align with our vision, mission and guiding principles.
New Zealand’s criminal justice system is clearly an area of ‘profound concern’ where transformative change is needed.
Family law touches many aspects of New Zealanders’ lives, often when they are at their most vulnerable. Current family law issues include access to law, timeliness and affordability, and fairness of outcomes.
We are likely to receive many more expressions of interest for funding than we can possibly grant. The hard part for foundations like ours is that we cannot fund everything we want to fund.
Your EOI or proposal may not be accepted for all sorts of reasons. If you are not shortlisted, it is not a reflection of the quality or the effectiveness of what you do. Please bear in mind that the need for funding will always far outweigh the available grant funds.
The amount available for funding each year will vary according to the performance of our investments. At this stage, we envisage around $1 million to $1.5 million will be available each year.
The Borrin Foundation and the New Zealand Law Foundation (NZLF) have a collaborative relationship. This includes a commitment from the Borrin Foundation to annually contribute up to $150,000 to co-funded projects with the New Zealand Law Foundation. We encourage academics and researchers to continue to apply for NZLF funding. If you believe your application to the Law Foundation is suitable for NZLF-Borrin co-funding, you should note that in your application to the NZLF.
NZLF is a registered charity that also provides grants for legal research, public education on legal matters and legal training. It supports a wide variety of research in law and has several openly contestable grant rounds each year. In 2019 the deadlines for applications to the New Zealand Law Foundation are:
We aim to be complementary to the Law Foundation so please continue to apply to the NZLF for projects that you would normally apply to the NZLF for. Please visit the Law Foundation.