CLASSIE-NZ released for comment

By Kathy Richardson, Our Community

June 26, 2019

The first draft of CLASSIE-NZ, the taxonomy for the social sector in New Zealand, was released by the Our Community Innovation Lab yesterday.

CLASSIE-NZ draws on the Australian version of CLASSIE (Classification of Social Sector Initiatives and Entities), which has been in use since 2016. Two CLASSIE-NZ sheets are currently available for review:

  • Subject (922 items)
    Describes sectors/segments - arts & culture; community development; economic development; education, etc
  • Population (378 items)
    Describes population/beneficiary groups, categorised by (for example) age group; gender; education status; ethnicity; etc

Anyone with an interest in classifiction of the social sector in New Zealand is inviting to download and review the draft and provide Our Community with feedback. You can send your comments before July 31, 2019 to

How did we get here?

The development of CLASSIE-NZ follows the April 2016 launch of the Australian version of the taxonomy, which is designed to enable systematic classification of social sector initiatives and entities.

CLASSIE is based on the Philanthropy Classification System (PCS), a taxonomy developed by Candid (formerly the Foundation Center, in the United States).

CLASSIE-AU is currently used in SmartyGrants, GiveNow and other Our Community platforms, as well as in external projects such as Foundation Maps Australia.

In August 2018, we began adapting CLASSIE-AU for New Zealand to allow the growing band of Kiwi SmartyGrants users to benefit from the data collection and analysis tools that CLASSIE unlocks. We were ably and invaluably assisted in this work by Australian consultant Michelle Tabone and two Kiwi social sector ninjas, David Cowley and Melissa King-Howell.

What's next?

We'll continue collecting feedback, suggestions and comments about CLASSIE-NZ up until the end of July 2019. At that point we will hit pause, decide what changes need to be made, conduct any additional research that needs doing, then wrap up CLASSIE-NZ version 1.0.

Soon after, CLASSIE-NZ will be available to SmartyGrants NZ users via new standard fields. Data collected through these standard fields will be shown on users' SmartyGrants dashboard. See the SmartyGrants help hub for more information.


CLASSIE-Subject chart available instantly to users of CLASSIE via the SmartyGrants dashboard.

CLASSIE is a living tool. Additional changes will be made over time and released progressively.


We're always happy to hear from you! Email us at

You can read more about the history of CLASSIE and download all spreadsheets at