People at a table

The Generator and how it will work


The diagram below provides an overview of the approach to implementing The Generator. Further information, in a Question & Answer format, explains the approach in more detail.

Generator overview

What is The Generator’s vision?

To generate prosperity through community action and enterprise

Who will drive the vision?

A national leadership collective will oversee The Generator. This group will develop a shared vision and evidence base about what works to generate action and enterprise, and to reduce hardship in communities.

They will use an online platform to measure impact and to share and learn from good practice.

Within the target communities, and based on proposals from community generators, this group will authorise funding for initiatives and monitor their impact.

This group will comprise around six leaders and a representative from the Ministry.

What will the backbone organisation do?

A backbone organisation has been contracted by the Ministry. It is responsible for:

  • holding and the administration of funding
  • the development of an on-line platform
  • the establishment and support of the leadership collective
  • the mentoring, coaching and support of the community generators.

What will community generators do?

The backbone organisation will identify and fund community generators who will co-produce, support and grow community-driven initiatives to generate prosperity.

They will include people who may be community champions or already working in community development or community enterprise. They will be actively involved with their communities, reflect the community they are part of, and be well known and respected.

Community generators will:

  • identify local change makers and other community assets
  • broker relationships, create and support networks
  • build community and individual capability
  • co-produce, support and grow community-driven initiatives to increase income and resources and reduce hardship
  • promote initiatives to maximise target community involvement.

What will be the approach to funding initiatives?

Instead of funding rounds, The Generator will target the communities with the highest levels of hardship, and through its community generators will support the co-production and seed funding of initiatives.

Rather than fund initiatives or services in an ongoing manner, The Generator will provide seed funding to test and grow initiatives. Often these initiatives will also be co-funded elsewhere, or be community enterprises intended to be self-sustaining.

Funding decisions will include the use of an online decision making tool. It will first include a peer review process by other community generators to enable learning and sharing from each other; then the leadership collective will make funding decisions.

Decisions about funding will be made regularly and quickly by the leadership collective, to ensure that community initiatives that are seeking support maintain their momentum.

Funding will seed and grow initiatives that are:

  • outcomes focused on community action and enterprise to reduce hardship
  • evidence-based, and have a theory of change linking initiatives to outcome
  • co-produced with the target population
  • extend the impact beyond that which already exists
  • innovative and responsive to target communities
  • financially sustainable and scalable beyond The Generators seed funding
  • led by outstanding people who are grounded in their communities.

Once support is given, impact will be measured by considering:

  • Effect: what is the effect of the outputs on outcomes for people it is targeting?
  • Impact risk: how certain are we that the effect can be delivered?
  • Scale: how much of the activity is being supplied to the target users?
  • Financial sustainability: can the activity sustain its scale?

How will the online platform be used?

The Generator will be supported by an online learning platform that will provide evidence to guide activity development, provide tools to support effective action, and prompt and measure impact.

The platform would collate the information to produce infographic performance reports and maps that can support the leadership collective’s investment decisions by providing evidence of what works and for whom.

As The Generator progresses, the leadership collective supported by the backbone organisation will continuously be monitoring initiatives and making decisions about stopping, scaling and spreading ideas, identifying and addressing constraints and targeting other communities.

How will The Generator leverage its impact?

The Generator will actively seek to leverage its reach through developing partnerships at a national, regional and local level.

This may include partnerships with:

  • philanthropic organisations who may wish to expand the reach of The Generator
  • Government or philanthropics who may wish to use the on-line learning platform and share its costs.
  • local or regional organisations e.g. councils, hapū, iwi, NGOs who may wish to host or co-fund community generators.
  • local philanthropics, businesses, councils, crowd funding etc who may wish to support individual initiatives supported by The Generator.