Our Values

Kalimpong school children


Movements are built on shared stories and shared understandings. Our story starts with our vision (putting poverty in the past before 2030), and ends with the change we’re making by applying our theory of change.

Our values are the bit in the middle. They connect our vision and our theory of change, and they underpin every single thing we do. Like our theory of change, we make our values public, so everyone can help hold us up to them.

So, here goes:


We are passionate and genuine. That is, we care. Extreme poverty and what it means are emotional things, and we’d be lying to ourselves if we reduced them to abstract questions. We let ourselves feel.

This is a hard one to give specific examples showing where we put it into practice, because it has to be everywhere. But:

  • We don’t just talk about the facts of poverty, but try to amplify the lived experiences of the communities we’re working with.

  • We try to always be mindful of our own privileges and backgrounds.

  • At our events, we make sure there are safe, relaxed, chill-out places for people to reflect and take time out if they need it.

(But mind matters too! We have a Development Philosophy and Development Assistance Policy based on the best development studies thinking we can find.)


We’re brave and ambitious. P3 is built on big, audacious goals. When a bunch of young people founded P3 six years ago, they set a pretty crazy goal: for our generation to end extreme poverty within our lifetimes. Then, last year, our governments one-upped us by adopting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, setting a goal of putting it in the past by 2030.

We aim big and take risks. We’re rational optimists, except when we’re irrational optimists. When we launched our first fundraiser, doing the 2011 Live Below the Line campaign, we set a wild goal, to raise $20,000 – and we did it! Then, we aimed for $50,000 in 2012 – and did it again.

Here’s how we keep this spirit alive:

  • Our Core Team meetings end with Wild Ideas Time, where we bounce around new ideas for a programme we’re working on or problem we’re facing.

  • In our work we always budget with (at least) three scenarios – so we’re aiming for the best, but preparing for the worst.


We innovate. If we keep on doing the same stuff we’ve always done, we know that we won’t end extreme poverty within our generation (let alone before 2030!). We are audacious in our thinking. We keep trying new ideas. Young New Zealanders brim with creativity, and it’s up to us to harness that.

Here’s a few ways we innovate:

  • We experiment with new events and programmes all the time, trying at least one new thing every semester.

  • We think the Social Lean Canvas is pretty great, even though we don’t use it all the time – but we do always take a lean, adaptive, iterative approach to doing our thing.

  • We aren’t tied to technology, but we use the best software tools and other new technologies we can to bring our movement together (you name it, from NationBuilder to Slack to Formstack to “Hey, let’s see if they’ll give us a drone!”).


We’re humble and we collaborate. We dream of the day P3 Foundation doesn’t need to exist, when people have put poverty in their past – not about P3 Foundation being famous for what it does. We aim to solve the problem, not to be the ones seen solving the problem. We focus on the impact we’re making and our partner communities’ stories.

This humble ethic of partnership comes out in a few ways:

  • We only do development work in partnership with experienced development agencies, because we know we don’t have all the answers.

  • We encourage a culture where everyone has one hand forward and one hand back, building mentoring relationships with great people who can help us – and who we can help in turn.

  • We always try to ask the right people the right questions, so we can make decisions drawing on their knowledge, not just ours.


We’re honest and transparent. P3 Foundation aims to always be a high trust environment and honesty and transparency are central to this.

This seems obvious, but what matters is what this means for how we work:

  • Our team leads aim to create a culture where everyone feels safe and supported to share their thoughts and ideas and trusts their team.

  • We don’t take on unrealistic deadlines, and are honest about our capacity.

  • If we make mistakes, we own up to them, do what we can to fix them, say sorry, and move on.

  • Where possible and appropriate, we use open communication channels, like Slack and Facebook Groups, not private messages or emails.

  • Except where things like the Privacy Act 1993 say we can’t, we share our internal documents with all our volunteers, so everyone can see and learn from each other’s work.


We have fun. Our theory of change starts connecting with young Kiwis heads, hearts, and hands – and we can’t do that if we’re boring. If we aren’t having fun in P3, we won’t be able to create fun experiences. So it all starts with creating a community that feels like a family.

Rule one is be excellent to each other. Your team mates are the keys to your success. We build a movement by looking out for each other from the ground on up.

There won’t be any revolution without dancing. Here’s our dance:

  • Whenever time and geography allow, we meet in person, because time in person is to be treasured (and celebrated with food, and coffee, and jokes, and…).

  • We don’t take ourselves too seriously (P3 stands for “Pranks, Pranks, Pranks” – or does it?).

  • When one person or team is working super hard, we all pitch in, sharing the load (families don’t have strict, divided, siloed teams, and nor do we!).

  • We celebrate successes as a team. Because when something goes well, it’s likely that many hearts and hands have been involved, and that should be recognised.

  • We don’t yell at each other. We just don’t. Period.

  • When we’re trying to contact each other, we escalate the medium, not the tone. There are good reasons why someone might not be checking email, so if someone doesn’t reply to email or Slack, we try Facebook, text, or phone – but we don’t get angry in our messages, because we trust that there’s a good reason why the other person hasn’t responded.


You come first. Then us. Well, then university, work and family, then us.

To have a happy, healthy team, we need happy, healthy people. Self-care is often overlooked in volunteer groups and development organisations. That burns people out. We don’t want you to burnout, so we want you to look after you (and we’ll try to help).

  • We expect people to take days off. For real. Whole days off. Even weekends sometimes. Try it. They’re great.

  • We set our own office hours. So long as you get your stuff done, it’s up to you where and when.

  • We try to connect our volunteers with buddies and mentors who can help.

  • That is, we expect more from you than a university club normally would, but we give more too.


We make mistakes, and that's okay. We constantly try to up our game, always persevering, but that means we have to have the courage to make mistakes. Taking a lean, iterative approach means we’re going to fail – but we bounce back. Owning our mistakes is how we learn.


Last, we always look for ways to get better. We seek feedback frequently, both as people and as an organisation, and try to be mindful of places where we’re dropping the ball.

For now, we’ve set three priority areas for where we need to up our game. They are:

  • We want to better embed ecological sustainability into what we do, because there’s no point ending extreme poverty for just one generation. So we’re taking a good hard look at our projects and our organisational ecological footprint.

  • We need to be a more accessible organisation, in all senses of the word. That is, we both need to specifically put work into making our everything accessible for all young New Zealanders, including those with disabilities, and need to be more open as an organisation, carving out new ways for people to get involved.

  • We need to live our values and theory of change better. We just approved these new values, after putting our old ones in a folder and forgetting about them. With these new values, we have to be deliberate and mindful, making sure we live them out in what we do.

In doing this, we’ll probably make a few mistakes. But we’ll learn, and keep getting better.

Connect with us:

Email us: [email protected]
Phone our CEO, Nicholl: +64 21 260 9445
Mail things to us: PO Box 105-714, Auckland Central, Auckland 1143

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P3 Foundation, Auckland, New Zealand
P3 Foundation is a New Zealand incorporated charitable trust board (incorporation number 2539431) and registered New Zealand charity (charities number CC45026). Copyright © 2011 - 2016

Powered byNationbuilder
Built byFor Purpose

P3 Foundation is a New Zealand incorporated charitable trust board (incorporation number 2539431) and registered New Zealand charity (charities number CC45026). Copyright © 2011 - 2016