Our Team

The staff and trustees of The Gift Trust are skilled professionals from across New Zealand, each bringing expertise and knowledge to support our work.

Cheryl Spain

Executive Director

Cheryl manages and oversees The Gift Trust. She has over 25 years experience in the non-profit sector, in New Zealand and the UK. She was inspired to work in the sector from an early age by her twin passions for social justice and environmental issues. She loves helping donors and charities to make more good happen in the world!

Cheryl started her career in NZ but lived and worked for 20 years overseas – in England for 17 years and initially in Japan for 3 years. Before joining The Gift Trust she worked for a range of charities in fundraising, senior management and project development roles. Cheryl has worked for environmental causes such as Friends of the Earth UK and Groundwork Hertfordshire, arts organisation the South Bank Centre and international development organisation ActionAid.

She is also a trustee of the Thankyou Charitable Trust.

Cheryl loves spending time with her young tamariki, hanging out in nature, enjoying Wellington’s rich cultural life and walking her puppy.

Read more about Cheryl on Linkedin here or a Podcast via Smile and Pod here.

Yvonne Trask

Development and Engagement Lead

Yvonne is the Development and Engagement Lead for The Gift Trust. She is responsible for spreading the word about The Gift Trust and attracting more donors, to make more good happen.

Yvonne has spent the last eleven years at Philanthropy New Zealand where she spent her days connecting people, hosting events and convening conversations to support better giving. She made the move to The Gift Trust to continue her work in engaging people for great impact. She is a passionate advocate of giving to support equity.

Yvonne is an avid reader and dog walker with years of experience in both.

Jackson Lacy

Operations Coordinator

Jackson is the Operations Coordinator for The Gift Trust. He is responsible for running and improving the systems that make our good happen.

Jackson’s professional experience is in graphic design, working for a learning and development consultancy and as a freelancer, before moving in to the for-purpose space.

Jackson’s governance experience is in youth and community development, as a member of the Wellington City Youth Council, the Tawa Technology Education Trust, and as Deputy Chair of the Tawa Community Board. His experiences in these roles led him to set up and chair the Wellington Youth Events Society Incorporated, a registered charity which supports rangatahi to develop themselves and help their communities through organising great events.

Jackson enjoys cooking, playing guitar and piano, and solving problems. He uri ia nō Te Tauihu o Te-Waka-a-Māui.

Chloe Spedding

Programme Coordinator, Gift Collective

Chloe is the Programme Coordinator for Gift Collective, The Gift Trust’s fundholding service for startup charitable initiatives.

Chloe began her journey into the community sector with Literacy Aotearoa, helping adults up-skill in literacy and numeracy. She is pleased to continue to do work that can have a positive impact on society, as Programme Coordinator for Gift Collective.

Chloe’s other passion is dance, and alongside this job, she is Director of Move It Danceworks, a dance school in South Wellington. She enjoys teaching tap and jazz to children and teens, putting on concerts, and her volunteer work as President of the Upper Hutt Competition Society.

Our Trustees

Philip McKinstry


Phil is an experienced senior banker and executive manager bringing more than 20 years corporate, business, rural banking and social finance expertise to the board.

Phil’s early career in banking was in agri-business, firstly with the Rural Bank and then for Rabobank in Auckland where he worked with some of New Zealand’s largest corporate agri-businesses.

Phil moved on to work for one of his clients in the fresh produce sector. As a Director, he was responsible for a joint venture working alongside Māori interests building and managing a large-scale commercial glasshouse operation that used geothermal steam for heating as an alternative to fossil fuels.

After travelling extensively overseas, Phil came home to work for the Bank of New Zealand in different management roles, before moving to Wellington to pursue interests in social finance and investment.

Anake Goodall


Anake has a broad background in building, supporting and connecting community-led organisations that empower their members.

He currently Chairs his own Seed The Change | He Kākano Hāpai initiative. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canterbury’s Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, Adviser to Crypto Launchpad, and Trustee at The Gift Trust.

Anake’s past roles have included: Director of Meridian Energy, Trustee on the establishment boards of Tē Pā o Rākaihautū and the Environmental Protection Authority, Co-founder and Chair of the Hillary Institute of International Leadership and Chair of the Ākina Foundation, CEO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and Ngāi Tahu’s Claims Manager during its Treaty settlement process.

Anake is particularly interested in the use of financial capital, philanthropic networks, and hands-on support to establish regenerative community initiatives that contribute to the more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible.

Read more about Anake on his Linkedin.

Alanna Irving


Alanna Irving builds open source tools and communities for radical participation and collaboration, especially through the medium of money.

She is COO of Open Collective, a platform for transparent funding and fiscal sponsorship, and leads its sister entities Open Source Collective, Open Collective Foundation, and Open Collective NZ. She previously co-founded social enterprise startups Enspiral (network of social entrepreneurs), Loomio (collaborative decision-making), and Cobudget (participatory budgeting), and was Executive Officer of NZ YWCA. Alanna is co-author of the book Better Work Together and speaks and writes as a thought leader about bossless leadership.

Read more about Alanna on her Linkedin.

Annette Culpan


Annette Culpan has a background in business, philanthropy and the for-purpose space.

Annette is a Special Projects Manager at The Tindall Foundation; and is the author of various NEXT Foundation publications, including the NEXT Stories, and Lifting our Aspirations. Annette managed the Vodafone NZ Foundation for nine years and led the development of the high engagement approach; was on the design working group for the 2017 Social Enterprise World Forum; sits on the Board of Directors for Philanthropy NZ; and was a trustee of the Grief Centre from 2015 to 2018. She volunteered at Youthline for over ten years and is passionate about advocating for the rights of those less privileged.

Read more about Annette on her Linkedin.

Simone Robbers


Simone Robbers is Assistant Governor and General Manager of Governance, Strategy and Corporate Relations at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua.

She is responsible for the Bank’s strategic planning and performance function, communications, legal, risk and audit teams, and the Board secretariat. Simone is also responsible for leading and co-ordinating bank-wide strategies including climate change, Te Ao Māori and South Pacific remittances. Simone brings with her a wealth of public and private sector experience. Simone is also a member of the Leadership Group of Toitū Tahua, the Centre for Sustainable Finance.

John Prendergast


John Prendergast has a wealth of philanthropic knowledge and is currently the General Manager for the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington, and previously ran the Southland Community Trust for 20 years.