How we fund

We are a proactive grant-maker – 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.

We do not run open grant application rounds. We have an invitation-only application process and we review grants all year-round.

Although we have an invitation-only process, we do want to hear from people who have ideas that fit with our vision. Therefore, if you believe your idea fits with our Guiding Principles and Eligibility, you can contact us to consider your idea. We may ask you to submit a brief written summary of no more than 1 page. If we find the idea fits with our funding focus, we will then invite you to submit a proposal.

We also occasionally invite researchers, policymakers and practitioners to explore solutions to critical issues, which may result in a grant proposal.

When considering ideas for project funding we take into account our Trust Deed, Eligibility, Guiding Principles and Exclusions.

The amount available for funding each year will vary. We typically award around $1 to $1.5 million in total each year.

To understand the thinking behind our grant-making read Our approach to philanthropy.

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 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.

Current strategic focus areas

Our current strategic focus areas are criminal justice, family law and access to civil justice. These were also areas of deep concern to our founder, the late Judge Ian Borrin.

While these are the current strategic focus areas, they aren’t the only areas we are interested in. We also want to hear about ideas and initiatives that align with our vision, mission and guiding principles.

Borrin Foundation-New Zealand Law Foundation Collaborative Relationship

The Borrin Foundation and the New Zealand Law Foundation had a collaborative relationship. The Borrin Foundation contributed up to $150,000 annually to co-fund projects with the New Zealand Law Foundation. The New Zealand Law Foundation is now in recess to rebuild its funding base to be able to further support legal research. The NZ Law Foundation’s last funding round closed in July 2020. For more information see the Law Foundation website.