Fundraising at COVID-19 Alert Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4

Updated 27 August 2021

Fundraising is an important part of charities flourishing in Aotearoa New Zealand. Under the Alert Levels many charities were unable to carry out traditional fundraising activities. New Zealand is at risk of further outbreaks until COVID-19 is eliminated worldwide.

In light of the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in New Zealand, a new COVID-19 Public Health Response Act order has been released. it details the specific requirements related to the country’s latest shift to Alert Level 4, and provides guidance on the types of social and community-based services that can continue under Alert Level 4. You can read the Government’s Health Order here(external link) and the key requirements here(external link)

Please note that we will update the information on this page with the relevant changes as quickly as possible. However, as information can change rapidly, we recommend that you check for the latest COVID-19 updates by visiting the COVID-19 website(external link) links on this page. 


To ensure you have the information you need, we’ve worked with the COVID-19 National Crisis Management Centre to create this simple guidance for charities at level 1, 2, 3 and 4. 

The Golden Rules 

No matter the Alert Level, the Golden rules of COVID-19 apply:

  1. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline.
  3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  4. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  5. Follow the Government's recommendation to wear masks - under Alert Level 4, you legally must wear a face covering if you are a customer or an employee involving public contact at a business or service. View exemptions here. (external link)
  6. Follow the Government’s recommendations on social distancing under Alert Levels.
  7. If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  8. If you’re concerned about your wellbeing or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  9. Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing. Charities should display the Ministry of Health QR Code at their business locations. 
  10. Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  11. People will have different experiences. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

For more information about the Alert Levels, QR Codes, and the economic recovery, please visit the COVID-19 website(external link).

If you are holding a pōwhiri please check with kaumātua at your local marae for advice on how to ensure tikanga is applied appropriately e.g. suspending hongi and harirū at pōwhiri.

Fundraising at different Alert Levels

Level 1 

At level 1, all fundraising activity can continue as usual. The Golden Rules still apply.

If you are running fundraising events, you should help attendees keep track of their movements by displaying Ministry of Health QR codes.

If you are running a street appeal, it will not be practical to carry out contact tracing. You should continue these events as you usually would.

Visit this link(external link) to find out about contact tracing, the NZ COVID Tracer app and how to get QR posters for your charity.

Level 2

At level 2, you are more limited in your fundraising activity. The Golden Rules still apply.

If you are running a street appeal, this can still continue with restrictions:

  • Maintain physical distance (i.e. buckets are held at arm’s length or a minimum of 1 to 2 meters apart).
  • Face coverings are encouraged, consider wearing a mask or bandana.
  • Try to offer contactless donation options (i.e. payWave, QR codes or fundraising apps).
  • Handle cash in a hygienic way (i.e. everyone involved should wash their hands before and after handling all donations).
  • Everyone should wash their hands before and after a shift.
  • Everyone should use appropriate hand sanitiser (i.e. alcohol content of 60% or more).
  • You must maintain a detailed roster of everyone involved.
  • You must be able to contact everyone rapidly in the case of an alert level change and for contact tracing purposes.

If you are running an in-person fundraising event, this can still continue with restrictions:

  • Maintain physical distance (i.e. a minimum of 1 to 2 meters apart)
  • Face coverings are encouraged, consider wearing a mask or bandana.
  • Keep attendee numbers within government mandated limits.
  • You must display Ministry of Health QR codes for contact tracing at your business locations.
  • Ensure there is either hand sanitiser or hand washing facilities.

Level 3

At level 3, you are very limited in your fundraising activity. The Golden Rules still apply.

Street collections, face-to-face fundraising and in-person fundraising events cannot take place.

Work can continue on remote fundraising for all charities (mail-out campaigns, internet based, fundraising apps etc.).

Level 4

At level 4, you cannot do any in-person fundraising. The Golden Rules still apply.

If you are fundraising for an essential service, you may use regular mail to do so. However, you should limit yourself to activities that are necessary to maintain your essential service and that need to occur during the Alert Level 4 period. If you are sending and receiving mail you must follow hand washing procedures.

If you are fundraising for any other service, you must do this using online tools or by telephone (i.e. email, social media, fundraising apps, internet banking).

At all levels you can keep in touch with your donors and members, send out electronic newsletters, and ask for support through social media or other online campaigns. You can also keep in touch with your funders and apply for grants. If you have a grant you can’t use for the purpose provided, then have a chat with your funder to see if you can repurpose the grant.