Ignite provides students with a unique opportunity to actively engage with their local community in a professional capacity, that has a real and resounding impact. Through working collaboratively with other innovative and socially motivated students, consultants will enhance their networking capabilities, develop a new set of transferable skills.

Ignite exists to…

Generate a socially conscious future by empowering young people to engage with the social sector through consulting projects with community organisations.

How We Work

Ignite is a student-run non-profit that provides free business advice and strategic planning to charities in Dunedin and Wellington. We help our clients to overcome obstacles and achieve their aspirations through harnessing students’ fresh perspectives. Each semester, Ignite recruits 20 socially minded and innovative University students to help facilitate real change and development in the charitable sector. At Ignite we believe in creating the best results possible for our clients. This means that our consultants are chosen for their creativity, business skills, and entrepreneurial ability. Our recruitment is targeted at ensuring that our teams are brimming with not only exceptionally talented students, but students who are passionate about serving their community. Each consulting team works over an 8 week duration and is guided by a mentor from either the business or not-for-profit sector.

Ignite Consultants work on a volunteer basis because we believe in the work we’re doing. We believe that improving the effectiveness of organisations can make a massive and meaningful difference to the communities those organisations serve.

Where We Have Come From

Ignite began in 2010 with the vision of a Polish exchange student who recruited a small group of like-minded University of Otago students to begin offering consulting services to not-for-profits in Dunedin. From these humble beginnings, Ignite has involved over 230 students who have put in over 30,000 hours of volunteering for over 110 charities, as well as expanding into Wellington. Ignite has an excellent track record of helping organisations reach their goals by providing clear and feasible strategic recommendations.

Who We Work With

At Ignite, we pride ourselves on the calibre and variety of services provided by the organisations that we work with. From Habitat for Humanity to Foodshare to the Cancer Society to Dunedin Night Shelter, the organisations we work with not only offer excellent services to their community but do so over a wide range of areas. If you are interested in working with Ignite or finding out more about what we do, please get in touch with our Projects Co-ordinator at projects@igniteconsultants.co.nz.

Our Structure

We have a formal Board made up of prominent business and not-for-profit sector leaders who hold a long term interest in Ignite, as well as former consultants.

We also have an Executive Committee who manage the day to day tasks of Ignite. Roles include our CEO, Projects Co-ordinator, Commercial Manager, Events and Marketing Manager, Alumni Manager, Operations Manager, Training and Development Manager, and our Project Managers.

Most important, though, are our student consultants who are at the coalface, working directly with not-for-profit organisations during their 8 week project period.

Where We Are Heading

Every semester, we have over a hundred applications from students wanting to be a part of an Ignite team assigned to a not-for-profit. Some of our goals for 2016 include –

  • Stabilising Ignite Wellington.
  • Preparing for national growth to other New Zealand universities.
  • Working in conjunction with other organisations in the social sector to address core issues and challenges facing New Zealand’s not-for-profit industry, including the Ministry of Social Development and universities, and local city councils.
  • Above all, delivering innovative solutions to not-for-profit organisations in our community.

How You Can Get Involved

If you’ve read this far, you are already “involved” with Ignite. Awareness is a huge part of what we do. We rely upon the support and encouragement of people such as yourself and we only receive this once we make you aware of our organisation – so thank you.

Beyond that, if you are interested in being involved with Ignite, please get in touch, whether it be as a student consultant, prospective organisation or supporter. Offering insights into the not-for-profit sector, the business and consulting sector is a key tool to prepare not only our consultants but ourselves to do the best possible job for our clients. It is one of the most common ways in which our affiliates lend a hand.

Ignite Consultants is a charitable organisation and we rely almost solely on grants or our own small fundraising initiatives. If you would like to offer a means of financial support, we would also love to hear from you!


Sir David Skegg is a medical epidemiologist and public health physician.  From 2004 to 2011, he was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago.  Since that time, he spent three years as President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, which is our national academy for science, technology and the humanities.  He also chairs the advisory group for a global research programme on sexual and reproductive health, based at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.