What does it mean for young people to live lives they value?

The Vodafone NZ Foundation believes young people are incredible. Our goal is to enable them to channel their energy and creativity towards living lives they value. That means funding projects that encourage and empower vulnerable young Kiwis to achieve the future they aspire to – not the life that others expect them to live.

What does vulnerable mean?

Young people may be vulnerable as a result of the social, economic or emotional situation they are in and might not have been able to access the support that they need. We recognise that holistic wellbeing is essential to their engagement – that’s why we take a rounded approach to support, known as capacity building.

What is capacity building?

Capacity building focuses on understanding the barriers to young people reaching their goals, while enhancing the abilities that enable them to achieve. For our youth leaders it means supporting organisations to develop and strengthen their systems, resources (including people) and knowledge to increase their ability to fulfil their mission. It’s about aiming for the best possible outcomes by continuous improvement and forward motion.

Examples of capacity building:

  • Growing leadership
  • Planning (eg. strategic, fundraising, marketing)
  • Research and evaluation
  • Reviewing structure and processes (eg. governance, management, financial)
  • System improvement (eg. IT, operational)
  • Piloting of new projects (including evaluating success and areas for improvement)
  • Team training and development
What’s the difference between World of Difference Programme and Fellowship?

The World of Difference Programme is for up to six individuals per year who typically focus on programme-based work for one year, while the World of Difference Fellowship is aimed at experienced youth sector professionals looking to increase their leadership skills and create positive change for the sector at a policy, strategic and/or systematic level.

Do I need to be an individual to apply?

Yes. We only accept applications made by individuals who have the support of a charitable or community organisation.

Does Vodafone NZ Foundation provide sponsorship?

I have a specific question about my application – what do I do? Email us at the Vodafone Foundation

Do I need to be working with a charitable organisation to apply for funding?

Yes. For World of Difference programme you must be working closely with an organisation for the year of your grant. For World of Difference Fellowship you must have the backing of an organisation that can support you in whichever way you will need. We encourage our recipients to have access to mentoring and supervision.

Does my focus have to be on the youth sector?

Yes. We will only accept proposals that will ultimately support vulnerable young people in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We are looking for applicants who are passionate about the wellbeing of young people.

My project works with families, not just young people. What if I am working with the community in other ways?

We have a clear strategy to support organisations and individuals that enable vulnerable youth to live lives that are meaningful to them. If your project ultimately improves the lives of young people then you are eligible to apply, however we will always fund projects which have the strongest outcomes for people aged 12-24.

Does my work have to be based in NZ?

Yes. You must be working in the youth sector in New Zealand.

Can I work anywhere in NZ?

Yes, we love supporting initiatives from all over New Zealand.

When do I start? Is the start date flexible?

Yes, please visit individual pages for World of Difference funding programmes.

Can I apply more than once?

You are welcome to re-apply if you were unsuccessful. In fact, many people have been unsuccessful for one or two years, and are then supported via World of Difference programme and World of Difference Fellowship.

If you have been funded through either the World of Difference Programme or Fellowship, you cannot re-apply for that grant.

How long does the funding last?

One year from your start date, with ongoing support in terms of connections with the Foundation and other alumni.

Do I have to attend the hui?

During your funded year you must attend all hui. You must use part of your funding to travel to hui. After your World of Difference Programme of Fellowship year, hui attendance is optional.

What is the relationship like between funding recipients and the Foundation staff?

We have an Engagement Lead who will be supporting you through your funded year. They will be in touch with you regularly and are there if you need any support connecting to your mentor.

What is the mentor relationship like?

You and your business mentor choose how your relationship works. However, to get the most out of the support we encourage regular mentor/mentee engagement.

Do I get to choose my mentor?

We will introduce you to a number of business mentors and you will be able to choose your preferred mentors. We then match you up with one of your chosen mentors that is available.

What do I need to apply for a grant?

World of Difference Programme: You will need a written reference as well as two referees who will be available to speak to us. You will fill in a police check and need to commit to the three-step process if you are successful – written application form, phone interview and site visit.

World of Difference Fellowship: You will need a written reference as well as two referees who will be available to speak to us. You will fill in police check and need to commit to the four-step process if you are successful – written application form, phone interview, full proposal and panel interview.

What if my application is late?

We are unable to accept late applications. Please ensure you have enough time to prepare for and submit your application.

How and when will I know if I am successful?

Step one: Regardless of the outcome, we endeavour to get back to all applicants eight weeks after initial application by email.

Step two: If you have been interviewed over the phone, we will call you the day after the phone interview to let you know the outcome.

Step three: If you have been visited by our staff and board members for World of Difference Programme, we will call you the following day to let you know the outcome.

Step four: If you have presented at panel interview for World of Difference Fellowship we will call you the following day to let you know the outcome.

Who will be on the panel interview for World of Difference Fellowship?

Five panellists made up of Vodafone Foundation board, staff, sector leaders and past Fellows.

Who will visit my organisation and me if I make it to step three of the World of Difference Programme?

Five individuals made up of Vodafone Foundation board and staff.

Do I need to be available for the dates stated on the website?

Yes. As we have a strict timeframe, it is important that all applicants are free for dates listed on our World of Difference Programme and World of Difference Fellowship pages. It is also essential that successful applicants are available for hui and announcement events.