Member FAQs

Does being a CommUnity Member cost me anything extra?


Being a part of CommUnity costs our members nothing extra. CommUnity Merchants agree to pay a fixed percentage of each transaction you make with them to CommUnity for distribution on your behalf to the CommUnity Groups you have chosen. 

How secure is my bank account and payment card information?

CommUnity is thrilled to announce that we have partnered with a New Zealand company, Akahu, who is providing the transactional data that integrates with the CommUnity platform. Akahu is working with CommUnity to provide secure transactional data that relates to your transactions made at any CommUnity Merchant throughout NZ. Akahu complies with all of New Zealand’s security and privacy laws, plus the company has experience in building New Zealand banking apps for some of our major banks.

Akahu, who are based in Auckland, employ local staff and are part-owned by Westpac New Zealand. Akahu allows CommUnity Members to control their personal data which you can do, at any time, by visiting

To link your bank accounts and payment cards, all you need to do is login to your secure CommUnity Member portal where you will be directed to your own banks login, which will allow you to connect your account(s) from there.  By connecting through your own bank, you will be provided with the security of your own bank, along with the additional security that Akahu provides. CommUnity does not store bank and/or card account information and will not access your bank and/or card account numbers or balances, nor do we share personal information with any other organisations.

CommUnity is proud to celebrate New Zealand’s greatest strength – supporting one another and to deliver as much money to Kiwi communities as possible!

Is there a CommUnity App? What does it do?

Yes, you can download the CommUnity App from the App Store or Google Play. This app (along with our website) is the beating heart of the CommUnity program.

The CommUnity app will help you find participating CommUnity Merchants, see exactly where they are, and let you know what sales or promotions they may currently be offering for CommUnity Members.

The CommUnity app will also keep you up to date with news about CommUnity, as well as allowing you to track how much money you’ve raised for your chosen Community Groups in real time. 

There is a lot of other useful information you will have access to on the CommUnity app. 

Am I only limited to CommUnity Merchants in my local area?


It doesn’t matter if a CommUnity Member lives in Invercargill and goes on holiday in Kaitaia. Any time he/she shops in-store or online with a CommUnity Merchant, no matter where they are in New Zealand, he/she will be raising funds for his/her chosen CommUnity Groups, wherever they may be. 

It appears that everyone wins with CommUnity. Is that correct?


As a CommUnity Member, you win by directly supporting the causes that are important to you while you shop. 

CommUnity Groups win by gaining access to an untagged revenue stream that, unlike existing fundraising models and does not divert them from their true purpose as an organisation. 

While funds circulate through CommUnity Merchants, Merchants win by giving customers a powerful incentive to do business with them rather than global online retailers. They also win by having CommUnity handle all the customer loyalty administration for them and by no longer having cumbersome loyalty cards for customers to remember to carry and for their staff to process at the checkout. Plus, they get to show their support for the community that supports them. They fulfil their corporate social responsibility in a way that everyone understands.  

Can I choose fewer than three Community Groups to support?

When you join CommUnity you will be asked to choose up to three Community Groups to support. If you want to give all of the funds you generate to a single group, simply select the CommUnity Group once and your entire allocation will go to that group. You are also able to change which (and how many) Community Groups you support at any time by logging into your CommUnity account using either the website or the CommUnity app. 

How will CommUnity grow?

We anticipate strong natural growth for CommUnity via word-of-mouth as CommUnity registered Community Groups and charities, we believe, will encourage their members to become CommUnity Members and select their own group as one of their three groups. We also hope that CommUnity Merchants will actively encourage their customers to become CommUnity Members in order to retain their future custom. We believe that CommUnity Members will encourage their friends and family to join the movement and help raise money for the causes they care about. 

We know CommUnity has a bright future and that we will grow on the strength of our ideas rather than by aggressive marketing. Our sole focus is on delivering on-going funding to Kiwi communities at the grassroots level, and we know that CommUnity has the potential to become New Zealand’s largest provider of such funding in coming years. 

How will CommUnity support itself?

CommUnity was founded with one singular purpose: to deliver as much money to Kiwi communities as possible. A primarily online company with no physical product to manufacture or sell, CommUnity is focused exclusively on creating and maintaining working relationships between New Zealand merchants, the consumer and their communities. We believe that New Zealand’s future will be determined by the vibrancy of its communities. 

To achieve this, CommUnity has been built from the ground up to be lean and agile, operating with the fewest possible overhead expenses. In fact, once we get established, we aim to operate CommUnity on just 3-8% of generated revenue, witheverything elsegoing back to New Zealand community groups and charities. 

How do community groups and charities raise money now?

Before CommUnity, community groups and charities raised money by applying for grants and sponsorship deals, or from direct fundraising activities such as sausage sizzles, cake stalls, or by simply requesting donations. But these methods have significant drawbacks. 

There are always a far greater number of deserving recipients than there is grant money to go around, the same applies to sponsorship requests. There is little if any untagged money that community groups can spend on whatever they choose. 

Seeking private sponsorship is difficult and time-consuming for both the community group and the merchant. Each approach requires a great deal of time and effort to prepare, meaning that any one community group or merchant can only realistically sustain a few such arrangements. For the community group, the hope is that by offering naming rights or advertising space, they can generate funding for their activities. But there is only so much advertising space they can offer and only so many things they can name. For the merchant, the hope is that their endorsement of a community group or charity will bring customers to their business. But few have methods of accurately measuring whether this is being achieved. Nor can even the most generous of merchants afford to directly sponsoreveryonewho asks. 

Direct fundraising is similarly problematic. Fundraising drives are often time-consuming to the point where they overshadow the primary purpose of the organisation and diminish the satisfaction of participation. Because of this, funding methods are difficult to sustain for long periods. Fundraising often has costs which diminishes the funds that can be raised for the organisation’s activities. Unfortunately, the result often means community groups and charities are either chronically underfunded or must focus relentlessly on money to the detriment of their work. CommUnity will significantly help with these funding issues. 

How often are local businesses approached for sponsorship?

Businesses, both large and small, are regularly approached for sponsorship by a far greater number of community groups than even the most prosperous and generous merchant could possibly say ‘yes’ to. 

This presents an ongoing problem for merchants. If they sponsor one community group, another group who was unsuccessful in gaining their sponsorship may take offence and boycott their business. In addition, sponsorship agreements are difficult and time-consuming to negotiate, and there is often no way for a business owner to tell whether these agreements are succeeding in bringing additional customers to their business. 

CommUnity finally gives merchants a positive answer to the requests for sponsorship from community groups and charities that they would otherwise have had to refuse. By becoming a CommUnity Merchant and encouraging those community groups and their members to also join CommUnity, the Merchant will be supporting those groups that are the most important to their customers. They will be able to give back to the communities that support them while no longer having to play favourites and run the risk of upsetting sections of their community. With CommUnity, CommUnity Merchants only pay when a CommUnity Member makes a purchase with them. For a CommUnity Merchant, there is no more paying money out before money comes in. Everyone wins! 

Do the benefits of CommUnity go beyond helping grassroots communities?

CommUnity not only aims to generate and deliver funds to the grassroots of kiwi communities, but it also aims to benefit New Zealand as a whole, by providing a powerful incentive for New Zealanders to be more active in community groups and to shop with New Zealand companies rather than global online retailers. Money must circulate around New Zealand. It is our hope that CommUnity will not only deliver a new revenue stream for Kiwi community groups and charities, but CommUnity will help keep New Zealand businesses competitive and healthy.  

It’s no secret that retail is going global. Overseas manufacturing and the internet have made it possible for a handful of large companies to reach customers anywhere in the world. While this has brought many benefits for consumers, it has also come with a cost. All around New Zealand, local merchants have struggled to retain customers in the face of well-resourced global competitors who benefit from vast economies of scale and fewer business overheads, and who have far fewer incentives to return anything to the communities of the individuals who shop with them. This not only damages local communities by depriving them of necessary businesses and job opportunities, but it also damages the entire country by removing potential profits from the economy. Unless consumers are given reasons to support local merchants, this harm will only grow. 

Is registration complicated?

We have tried to keep registration as simple as possible, however there is information we need to be able to keep merchants, community groups and shoppers supporting each other.

There is no way around registration, and we hope you can put up with the process as we know the outcomes will be well worth your time and you can be assured, we have kept the registration process as simple as possible and very confidential.  

Do I need to update my bank accounts, eftpos, debit or credit card details?

No, as we capture your purchasing transactional data at ‘bank account level’  there is no need to update any card details on our platform as long as you have linked your account/s that have your debit/credit card attached to them. If you set up a new bank account for your everyday purchasing or change banks or passwords, you would need to ‘link’ your new account/s or ‘re-link’ existing accounts through your CommUnity Member portal.

However it would be of great help if you kept all your details about your account/registration updated as this will ensure that the funds generated from your purchases at CommUnity Merchants keep flowing through to your chosen CommUnity Groups. 

Will the purchases I make that do not involve credit/debit cards contribute to my chosen three groups?

Yes absolutely! Our platform allows us to calculate funding for your chosen community groups for all transactions (purchases) made by CommUnity members at any CommUnity merchant regardless of the payment method (except cash purchases). Payments made by members can include direct credits, automatic payments, smartphone banking apps, direct debits, Apple & Google Pay plus everyday payment cards like eftpos, debit and credit cards.

CommUnity is all about generating as much on-going funding for your chosen community groups as possible and by being able to capture all payment methods except purchases using cash, we can meet this goal to help make NZ communities stronger and more prosperous.

Will I have a record of the funds I have generated and to whom?

All registered MembersMerchants and Community Groups will have a secure account that is username and password protected, where once logged in to your member portal you will see a range of very useful information. This dashboard includes funds generated, totals received by each group you have chosen (historically as well), a ‘Daily Deals’ component to seek out latest merchant promotions and the ability to view each merchant listing directing you to CommUnity Merchants, an ability to invite your friends to be part of CommUnity and the ability to update your personal information. This secure information is yours, that only you can share with people you choose. 

Can I change who I support?

You can change who you support anytime you like.

The CommUnity App and website will keep a historical record of everything you have generated in CommUnity no matter how many times you change who you support. 

What is a community group?

A community group is a registered group that is recognised by the Companies Office. 

It is possible to have a group that is not recognised by the Companies office but that group or the people running that group would have to convince CommUnity that they are responsible and could and would abide with the requirements of CommUnity. These groups will come under headings such as health, welfare, sport, arts, music, religion, education, sustainability, recreation and cultural groups. 

Could a Bogus company make money from CommUnity?

We believe it would be very difficult for a community group that has improper purposes and that’s not legal or appropriately managed, to gain significant benefit from CommUnity. The group involved would have to convince people to contribute to the group that few would be aware ofand therefore would have few followers.  The bogus groups are unlikely to gain funds from The CommUnity Fund as our people will check out every application separately. CommUnity will be constantly checking on the authenticity of our CommUnity Groups.  

How can I get my friends involved?

There is a Send an Invite tab in your account (enter through the login section on the top right of the Home Page) where you can send invites to your friends to be a CommUnity Member, Merchant or a recipient Community Group. 

It is possible for spreadsheet databases to be included in the Send an Invite process.

Remember, the more people involved, the more the Community Groups benefit. 

What effect has COVID-19 had on CommUnity?

We have learnt many things through the COVID-19 process with the main one being that we must work together to help each other.  We must be kind to each other and care for people around us.  

With CommUnity, the whole focus is on working together so everyone wins.  

For Merchants (retailers) to stay in business they need shoppers they can rely on and for shoppers to maintain their mental and social health, they need to participate in challenging activities (community groups) outside of work hours. A lot of these activities (community groups) that CommUnity will support, care for each other and/or the environment as well as develop skills that will have a positive impact on others, in all sorts of areas such as sport, music, recreation, cultural, art, education and health.  All of these areas plus religion and social welfare involve people interacting with others and virtually all of these people are shoppers. 

Merchants working with community groups and shoppers supporting merchants is very promotable as CommUnity will do, and this good news can be relayed across the country and will only generate more and more positive interactions. 

At present, merchants generally have their own individual loyalty programs that are focused on savings for individuals who then have to choose to be part of community groups where the focus mainly is one of existence (money) rather than the specific activity for which the community groups were started.  This support to individual New Zealanders is difficult for merchants to turn into positive promotions that might generate more and more positivity, due to personal information, privacy and such things. 

The present loyalty options are both multi-layered and confusing. 

CommUnity can operate alongside existing loyalty programs however COVID-19 has presented an opportunity for merchants to start again and be part of a program that is a level playing field for everyone and where money is generated rather than given.  Mental and social health is catered for and shoppers save money and time as their community groups have untagged money and shoppers have more time to be involved in the activities of each community group. 

Out of this crisis will come a positive, easy to understand the opportunity where our communities can work together so that everyone wins. Support of each other is a major component of what has made New Zealand a very special place and CommUnity will help ensure this can continue. It has real potential to play a major role in keeping New Zealand’s population engaged and aware. 


 CommUnity – Turning Commerce into Community

What is a CommUnity Member?

A CommUnity Member is a consumer/shopper who has registered with CommUnity as a CommUnity Member

How does CommUnity track my spending at CommUnity Merchants?

The CommUnity program simply tracks all your transactions made at any of our CommUnity Merchants throughout NZ and allows us to calculate and pass on the funds raised through your purchases to your one, two or three chosen community groups, schools, charities, sports clubs, religious and cultural groups as examples that you selected upon CommUnity registration.

To ensure all your data is safe, we use a NZ company that is part owned by Westpac called Akahu who adheres to rigorous industry standards for transmitting sensitive financial information. All data is secure using advanced 256-bit encryption, equivalent to that used by banks. We do not store any of your bank login details on our server as the ‘linking account’ process is handled and securely protected by Akahu.

Akau is a banking service that gives CommUnity a way to capture your transactional data from purchases you make at CommUnity Merchants (retailers) both online and in-store and manage it through innovative tools so CommUnity can pass on the funds raised through these transactions to your chosen CommUnity groups. No one (not even you) can view your bank balances, account/card numbers, transfers or withdraw money from your financial accounts via our CommUnity platform.

How do we access your transactional information? CommUnity connections our backend (via the Akahu platform) to your bank account(s) that you use to purchase goods & services including eftpos, debit and credit card accounts. It does this by asking you to link your account(s) through the secure Akahu bank selector portal using your banking credentials for that particular bank. Our platform processes the transactional data from purchases made at any of our nationwide CommUnity Merchants to enable us to calculate the % of funds to be distributed to your chosen community groups.

Is CommUnity a registered charity?

Yes absolutely! Community Funds Limited trading as CommUnity is a registered New Zealand charity –  charity number CC59084

What does it mean when I get an email or txt message from Akahu or my bank when linking accounts?

This is a standard security measure provided by Akahu and your bank. If you receive a code, you will need to enter this code in the required field in the Akahu bank selector to complete the linking process. If you receive a message relating to an iPhone OS is registered for your banking app the following process has occurred. When a CommUnity Member authenticates access with their bank via Akahu, the secure portal creates a new “mobile device” which enables ongoing access. This isn’t a real device – it is just Akahu’s server. But ASB (and every bank) will record details about that “device, and will sometimes trigger a notification to the user. Connecting an account via Akahu may trigger an automatic message from your bank that you may receive as a txt or email. There is nothing to worry about as it is just your bank acknowledging that your selected accounts have been accessed via the secure Akahu portal and ‘linked’ to your CommUnity Member account as part of the linking process.

Can I link any bank account/payment cards to my CommUnity Member account to capture purchases I make at CommUnity Merchants?

The current list of banks that CommUnity members can link accounts with are:







The Co-operative Bank

Latitude Financial Services (GEM Visa)

Rabobank Agri


Note: We are looking to add BNZ to the above list shortly once Akahu has an agreement in place.

For more information on linking accounts, visit Akahu & CommUnity under the ‘About’ tab in the main menu.

Why can’t I see any CommUnity Merchants or Groups that have joined CommUnity on the main website?

Once you have registered as a CommUnity Member, you are given access to your secure member portal where you can (once logged in) view and search for CommUnity Merchants, access CommUnity Merchant promotions, search/add/remove groups to support, view funds raised, manage your linked bank accounts, update your profile settings and send invite to non members, groups and merchants to join CommUnity. The easiest way to access your member portal is through the CommUnity App. You can download this by clicking on the App Store (Apple & Google Play) links in the footer of the CommUnity website and login using your email and password you used when you registered.

What people are saying about us

Sunny Nelson Real Fruit Ice Cream Josh

"I can see the vision of what CommUnity could be and I’m excited. A place where Kiwis back their neighbor to nourish their community.” – Josh, Sunny Nelson Real Fruit Ice Cream

The Incubator Creative Hub Simone Andersen and team

"The arts is often seen as a bit of an indulgence which we know is not true. It’s actually a massive necessity for wellness in society and personal wellness so we’re really excited that people get the opportunity to share some of their goodwill and see it distributed amongst the community," Simone Andersen, The Incubator Creative Hub

Hoppers Garden Bar Jessica and Brownyn Payne, Owners

“Living and working in a community, it’s been really important to find new and powerful ways to connect to our customers. Giving back to the community who support us everyday is really important to us and CommUnity allows us to do that in a really seamless way.” - Jessica and Brownyn Payne, Owners

Everlasting Anna Paterson – Founder / CEO

"We are so excited to be part of the CommUnity group. Through coming on board, it is going to allow us to do greater. Whether  this is by assisting women and families, in New Zealand, with finance or clothing - whatever the need, we love to give and the greater we can give the more impact we can have." - Anna Paterson – Founder / CEO, Everlasting

Fourviere New Zealand Michael Loretz, Fourviere NZ

“Together with CommUnity, local businesses and the families in our community, we can all take a confident stride towards heaven - right here, today!” - Michael Loretz, Director, Fourviere NZ

World Wildlife Fund NZ Livia Esterhazy, World Wildlife Fund

"We’re so excited to be on the CommUnity platform because it allows us to get on with our work and be part of communities and help them." - Livia Esterhazy, CEO, World Wildlife Fund

Ocean Beach Kiwi Surf Life Saving Club

As a group that relies on donations, Ocean Beach Kiwi Surf Life Saving Club is thrilled to have another platform to fundraise.

Rowing New Zealand Simon Peterson

"As a national sporting organisation we're constantly looking regionally and locally to support our members. CommUnity is a way of us supporting commercially, at a local level, and our volunteers, at a local level. For a national body to have that umbrella outlook is very exciting" said Rowing New Zealand's Simon Peterson.

Koha Apparel Phil Goff and Chlöe Swarbrick.

Providing clothing for New Zealanders doing it tough. In 2020 alone this not-for-profit kept close to 4,000 clothing items out of landfill by giving them a new life with those in need.

The Nest – Greymouth Tania Gibson - Grey District Mayor

"A way for businesses and community groups to fundraise in the new technology era. It will raise money for causes you care about while you shop. So watch this space, you will be hearing more about it in the coming months!" - Tania Gibson, Greg District Mayor.

Alpha Sports

“When we opened Alpha Sports we knew we wanted to give something back to local charities, community groups & organisations... for Alpha Sports, this was really important. CommUnity gives us the platform to be able to do that, and more. How could you say no to giving back to your local Community... the same people that support us every day? Let’s do this!” - Mike and Dean, Alpha Sports

New Zealand Alopecia

These incredible ladies are here to support people with Alopecia. NZ Alopecia is a place for Alopecia sufferers to learn more about their condition, to view new developments and to reach out and connect with others.

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