The boss of one of the Bay of Plenty's biggest charitable organisations is stepping down.

Acorn Foundation general manager Nicky Wilkins has today announced she is leaving the role later this year to pursue other interests.

Wilkins said the decision was based on a number of factors.

"I am leaving the Acorn Foundation in a very sound position. I am immensely proud of the fact that, in the 12 years I have been here, we have built up the community fund from $96,000 to $21 million and today we have over 290 donors. That is huge growth and it will be exciting to see it continue to grow."

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Wilkins said it was time for some new energy and focus at the helm.

"I always believe you should give your all to a cause and then, once you have made a difference, step aside and allow the next passionate and capable person to exert their influence. The Acorn Foundation is now a significant community asset. We need clear vision, focus and drive to go to the next level and a new general manager will bring fresh ideas, new strategies and the right capabilities to ensure the foundation continues to grow in both value and respect."

Acorn Foundation board chair Glenn Keaney said Wilkins' involvement had been critical to the success of the foundation.

"Nicky has led Acorn through a period of real growth and our community is so fortunate to have had someone with her considerable passion, skill and focus in this position. This passion and her ability to build strong relationships and trust with our generous donors and key stakeholders has enabled us to grow as quickly as we have, which has resulted in more grant money being paid out to the worthy charitable organisations which help make our community a better place."

Applications are now open for the position, which will be advertised nationally.