First Nations Foundation

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Pearler announces First Nations Foundation as its launch NFP partner

Sydney, February 2021: Pearler – the fintech start-up that aims to combine the community aspects of social media with the age of digital investing – has announced it has partnered with First Nations Foundation, to enable Pearler users to contribute to the Foundation’s ongoing work.

“The new wave of Millennials and Gen-Z investors are continuing to rewrite the rules when it comes to wealth management, foregoing personal perks for feel-good philanthropy and the pursuit of a wealthier society. As such, we want to build philanthropic giving into the Pearler experience,” Pearler co-founder, Nick Nicolaides, said. “Partnering with First Nations Foundation will allow Pearler users to help be a part of delivering financial capability into the hands of Indigenous Australians, at scale.”

Fintech start-up, Pearler, is making building wealth a team sport with its social community geared towards investing for financial independence.  The platform positions investing as more than just dollar gains, and one way it does this is by helping users integrate donations into their everyday investing.

Pearler identified First Nations Foundation as the perfect philanthropic partner.

Research released in 2019 by FNF in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact and NAB identified that only 1 in 10 Indigenous Australians are financially secure, compared with 1 in 2 non-Indigenous Australians. 

The extremely high rate of Indigenous financial exclusion has been caused by a range of factors that has led to Indigenous Australians being prevented from participating in the building of the Australian economy. The Foundation runs a range on initiatives, including the annual Big Super Day Out roadshow, and this year launched,, and a special project aimed at helping Indigenous women navigate the impacts of Covid.

The Big Super Day Out has reunited more than 1600 Indigenous Australians with more than $24 million in lost superannuation.

The Pearler trading platform allows users to share progress towards their goals, as well as make investments into ASX listed shares with a focus on passive investing in ETFs.  Its 7,000 early adopters are incentivised to invite their friends by handing out investment credits that can be put towards their next transaction. The exchange allows users to choose to forego the saving, instead paying it forward to First Nations Foundation. 

“It is exciting for the Foundation to partner with Pearler, because we know that it is the younger generation that want to engage with the work that we do, and they want to change the world,” First Nations Foundation CEO, Phil Usher, said.

“At the same time, we have the Genesis Generation of Indigenous Australians – the first generation where access to information is available to them as readily as it is to the rest of Australia. Mobile devices are changing the learning capability of the people we work to help, and it is exciting to partner with Pearler to deliver further services to the communities that need it most.”


Pearler charges when a user makes an investment, usually $9.50 for trades up to $17,500 or free on certain ETFs. Instead of taking the investment credits and saving on future trading costs, Pearler users can nominate to pay full price on their next trade and have the proceeds donated to FNF.

“We set out to build a wealth platform that genuinely puts people first. A community that not only teaches good financial habits, but also allows us to have conversations about them, and then implement them,” Nicolaides said.

“Importantly, the choice for users is a conscious one. It feels more like the choice to offset the carbon for your flight rather than a passive outcome of traditional corporate philanthropy.”

Pearler hopes by putting the decision in the hands of the users it will form a greater connection to the cause and help to spread awareness. It works both ways, with the referrer and referee gaining credits for achieving milestones.

“The platform then captures this in an impact dashboard, users can not only track their portfolio and financial goals, but how much they’ve donated and the compounding effect of their friends’ referrals and donations,” Nicolaides said.