How is my donation used?

This is the sort of giving that gets things done.  Our appeal features five of the 20 partner groups we support overseas. Donations support our partners working in community development programmes and disaster relief.
Our partners are the local groups and organisations we work with and beside,  to help communities out of poverty and toward taking charge of their own lives. Partner groups are driven by the local people, our skills and your support helps them get to where they want to go.

Are donations to the CWS Christmas Appeal tax-deductible?

Yes, donations $5 and over are eligible for a tax credit (formerly rebate) in New Zealand. You will be sent a receipt you can use for tax purposes. CWS is a registered charitable entity and an approved recipient for payroll giving.

Is CWS a recognised charity in New Zealand?

Yes, CWS is a registered charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005. Our registration number is #CC22288

When will I get my receipt?

Donations sent directly to CWS will be processed and receipted within 10 working days. Individual donations made through a church collection may take longer as receipting has to wait until the church treasurer sends the donations to CWS.  If you are waiting for a receipt for a donation that you made via your church, it may pay to check with your parish treasurer first.

If you cannot find your original receipt, please contact CWS during business hours on 03 366 9274, or 0800 74 73 72 for donors outside Christchurch, or email Provide your name and address and we will send you a duplicate copy.

How can I be sure my money gets to those who really need it?

CWS has achieved much in 75 years of working with our skilled overseas partners.  They are part of their communities and have worked with them to tackle the causes of poverty for many years. When disaster strikes CWS sends funds to local partners or to ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), of which we are a member. The New Zealand Government has entrusted us with generous sums from their official development assistance fund over the years. Our partners make sure the most vulnerable people get help first and they support each other through local groups.

Who is ACT Alliance?

CWS is a founding member of this worldwide alliance of more than 140 faith-based organisations. We work together to provide humanitarian assistance, advocacy, and development.  ACT Alliance is a member of the Core Humanitarian Standard and CWS is an associate member – part of our commitment to beneficiary communities.

Other agencies want us to support their appeal. Why should we choose CWS?

CWS is the agency established by New Zealand churches for their development and aid programmes. CWS has a history of working to end poverty and responding to humanitarian crises for the last 75 years on behalf of New Zealand churches and supporters. CWS works from a sound and trusted model of good development practice. Our partner groups address the root causes of poverty and injustice in their local communities and countries. People are not viewed as victims who cannot help themselves but as agents of their own development. CWS has a loud history advocating for change, including through improved NZ Government policy, and educating New Zealanders on current global and human rights issues. CWS networks and liaises across the social justice environment. In the past year, 54%  of CWS’s income went to international partner programmes, making much-needed change in their communities.

Why does the donation form ask for a church name?

Many of our supporters are church members who like to have their individual donations counted in with the total parish contribution to the appeal. You do not have to be a churchgoer to donate and you do not have to name a church.

What about poverty in New Zealand?

CWS acknowledges there is growing poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand and recognises there are many agencies committed to ending it. Our member churches support networks working with those in need domestically. CWS was specifically established as their overseas agency but wherever possible makes links with poverty here.  The causes are often similar.

There is always more need than anyone can respond to which is one reason why it is important to equip the people to advocate for their community. CWS supports community-led development in poorer countries so families can feed themselves, protect their environment and live healthier lives free from violence and harm.  We support self-determination, the place of indigenous peoples and the role of women as central to good development.

We also have a small budget for Aotearoa which has funded visiting speakers and events that help New Zealanders understand what is happening in the world as well as some local groups working on local and international issues.

You are a Christian organisation so do you only help Christians?

No, we support people of all ethnicities, religious beliefs, gender and race. CWS is a faith-based organisation that works with people of all faiths and none. We seek to build greater understanding between people and to eradicate poverty.

I am interested in the work you do. How can I get more involved?

Become a Partner for Life by making a commitment to giving monthly, or quarterly donations; purchase an alternative gift from the Gifted catalogue, volunteer, take part in campaigns or organise a special event in your community. Keep an eye on our main site and sign up for our monthly CWS Update.

I can’t find my answer

If you have more questions about CWS and the Christmas Appeal please email us directly.