17 Mar 2014

New philanthropic fund launched

11:33 am on 17 March 2014

A new philanthropic fund is calling on organisations working on social and environmental projects to apply for funding.

The Next Foundation has been created thanks to a $100 million donation by Neal and Annette Plowman, who made their fortune in the laundry and cleaning business.

The Plowmans have already donated $60 million to a range of projects over the last decade, including funding Department of Conservation work in Abel Tasman National Park.

The foundation is chaired by Chris Liddell, who is also the chairman of Xero, and a former executive at General Motors and Microsoft.

Mr Liddell says he hopes the foundation can have a real impact on the environment and education sectors.

Prime Minister John Key, who also spoke at the launch in Auckland, said the Government needs philanthropists to fill the funding gap and he believes social organisations can often do a better than job than the Government in these areas.

The Next Foundation will commit between $5 million and $15 million to three projects each year.

Organisations seeking funding can download an application from the foundation's website with the first funding round kicking off in June.