David Ellison Charitable Trust

David Ellison was born and educated in England.  He served in the Royal Artillery and saw active service in the Korean War.  David graduated from Oxford with a degree in mathematics, and started his teaching career at Cheltenham College in Gloucestershire. In 1964 he travelled to New Zealand to take up a position at Wanganui Collegiate School, where he taught maths and later became the Director of music. He then taught at Christ’s College in Christchurch from 1969 to 1991. David’s strong Christian faith inspired him to create the David Ellison Charitable Trust in blessing for his recovery from a stroke in 1995.  Throughout David’s retirement, the Trust was the main focus of his life.

“We must promote peace by having fellowship with all people, of all countries and creeds”

- David Ellison

Trust purpose

To apply the income of the Trust to charitable purposes in New Zealand and overseas or other charitable causes through New Zealand charitable organisations in such manner and in such shares as the members of the Advisory Board shall decide.

The Trusts Mission Statement

To promote and advance charitable purposes in New Zealand and overseas or other charitable causes through New Zealand charitable organisations with a primary focus on the Christchurch/Canterbury region.  Applications of up to a maximum grant of $10,000 will be considered under the contestable grant round and $30,000 in the Innovative Project grant round.
To assist New Zealand charitable organisations to build strong, inclusive and supportive communities that:

  • Maintain and improve children’s health, education and well-being both in New Zealand and overseas.
  • Work to provide preventative education and support and improve the quality of life for at risk families within New Zealand.
  • Maintain and improve the quality of life and health aid for families and poverty stricken communities.
  • Through New Zealand charitable organisations - provide disaster relief and aid in crisis situations.

Preference will be given to those of a Christian focus, but applicants without this focus will also be considered.

Through thoughtful and targeted grant making that either compliments other funding sources or, targets projects where alternative sources of funding are not available.
Grants will focus on supporting organisations and projects that address specific issues and needs relative to the Trust’s Mission Statement

The Trust's grant rounds

The David Ellison Trust has two separate annual grant rounds:

  1. Contestable Grant Applications 2021 - 1 March to 30 April. Any questions please email [email protected].  Learn more about the contestable grant round here.
  2. Innovative Project Grant Applications 2021 - 1 September to 30 October
    Learn more about the Innovative Project Grant round here.

You can view lists here of previous grant payments made by the Trust.


Public Trust is responsible for administering the David Ellison Charitable Trust.  Funding applications are received by the Trustee and considered by the Advisory Board at the annual meeting.

All open grant applications are accessible here.