General Grants

Grants of up to $75,000 are available for projects, organisations, services and events that help us to support thriving communities.

We have a simplified process for applications requesting $10,000 and under and decisions are generally made within 6 weeks of receiving your application.

Applications requesting between $10,000 and $75,000 involve a more detailed process and decisions can take up to 8 weeks from receiving your application.   


Apply: Anytime

We offer a range of other special funding programmes which have separate application forms and processes including:


  • Regional Sports Organisation Fund
  • Compete Fund
  • Principals Discretionary Fund
  • Schools and early childhood and  playground funding
  • Kapa haka uniform funding
  • Funding for Individuals

Click here for more information on what we fund

If you have any further questions about applying for a general grant ring 0800 500 185 or email

Can you apply?

Non-profit organisations that are a legal entity and operating in our area - Southland, Queenstown, Glenorchy, Arrowtown, Tapanui and Heriot areas can apply including:

  • An incorporated society or an incorporated charitable trust. You can check if you are incorporated at Societies & Trusts 
  • A company with charitable purposes that is registered with Charities Services
  • Non profit organisations established under the Local Government Act 2002, Maori Trust Boards Act 1955 or Education Act 1989

(Registration with Charities Services doesn’t mean your organisation is a legal entity)

Who can't apply?

  • Commercial and for profit organisations
  • Political or advocacy/lobby groups

What if you aren’t a legal entity?

You can apply for up to $2,000 and you will need to have a set of rules, minutes of meetings and have a bank account in your group’s name. Otherwise you will need to work with a Funding Partner to apply – contact us to talk about your options.   

What we fund

Our grants support a wide range of projects, programmes, facilities, services and events across our three pou (pillars). 

Strong Foundations - Tūāpapa Torokaha

Enabling the conditions for our communities to thrive.

People & Places - Toitū Te Tangata, Toitū Te Whenua

Supporting people and places which enhance communities so that all people can lead fulfilling lives.

Sustainability & Climate - Toitūtanga me te Āhuarangi

Supporting communities to connect to their environment so that it can thrive for future generations.

Within these three pou we have specific priorities we want our funding to support, and your application will be stronger if you can meet some of these.

Please see Our Strategic Aspiration for details on our priorities in each pou.

Check out Our Grant & Scholarship Recipients to see what we’ve funded recently.

What we don't fund

  • More than one approved application within a 12 month period
  • Projects/activities outside our area unless there is a clear benefit to our community
  • Repeat requests for the same project such as  increases in project costs or funding shortfalls
  • Projects that have already commenced or have been completed
  • Events or activities that are primarily being held to fundraise
  • Projects that are primarily for private/personal financial benefit
  • Religious or faith-based instruction, lobbying or education
  • Uniforms (other than Kapa Haka and other cultural uniforms), travel and accommodation
  • Mowers and other items of capital maintenance equipment for golf and bowling clubs
  • Curriculum activities in schools
  • Boarding school hostels
  • School capital projects and maintenance items
  • Judicial, political and lobbying activities
  • Legal related activities
  • Centenaries, jubilees and reunions
  • Commercial (for profit) organisations
  • Earthquake strengthening
  • Debt repayments
  • Sponsorships
  • Endowments (except for limited funding to Community Foundations who are part of the Community Foundations of Aotearoa NZ network)
  • Public playgrounds
  • General repairs and maintenance

Types of grants

Project Grants

These grants are for specific one-off community projects.

  • For projects with total project costs of under $20,000 a grant of between 15-40% will generally be considered
  • For projects with total project costs of over $20,000 a grant of between 20-30% will generally be considered
  • The Trust will approve only one project grant for an organisation made under general grants, within any 12-month period

Operating Grants

These grants are not restricted to a specific project or programme but are for the ongoing day to day costs of running an organisation. Generally they are up to 15% of an organisation’s total annual expenses. Operating grants are considered on a case-by-case basis. To discuss whether you would be eligible please ring 0800 500 185 or email 

You can also apply for a one-off project grant from time to time, but you will need to do this at the same time as your operating grant and on a separate application form.

Multi-Year Operating Grants

These are by invitation only and generally our support is for three years. 

A three-year funding commitment means that it isn’t necessary for you to submit a formal application every year, as funding for Years 2 and 3 is approved in principle and is confirmed each year subject to you submitting accountability reporting.

How to apply

You can receive one grant within 12 months, but if your application is declined you can apply for a different project. The exceptions to this are:

  • Funding Partner organisations making applications on behalf of other groups.
  • Schools who, as well as receiving Principals Discretionary Funding, can also apply for playground funding, kapa haka uniforms or other projects

You can apply anytime for requests under $75,000, but you need to apply before the project has started as we don’t fund projects that have already happened.

Applications are made online and if you haven’t applied before you need to register by providing your name, organisation and email address as well as creating a password – it  only takes a moment.

Once registered you can log in anytime to start an application or to access your application again later so you can work on it over time.  To help you prepare you can also download the application form so you can see the questions we ask.

As part of your application you will be asked to identify your project’s intended outcomes (the changes or differences you expect your project to make) and, if your application is successful, you will be asked to explain in you accountability reporting whether you were successful. For applications requesting:

  • $10,000 & Under you will need to provide at least one outcome
  • $75,000 & Under you will need to provide at least two outcomes

Asset management plans

If you are applying for a grant over $50,000 for a project that involves capital works, the purchase of a building, structure or land, as part of the application we’ll ask you to include an Asset Management and Maintenance Plan. We've also included a template to include in your application. 

How we assess applications

We carry out an initial review of your application to make sure you are able to apply. Our grants staff then review and assess your application to help trustees to make an informed decision and often we'll contact you to ask further questions about your application.

What we look for 

Depending on the size of your request and nature of project, we'll assess your application against some or all of the following:

  • Project alignment with our strategic plan
  • A clear understanding of the identified need, gap or opportunity supported by evidence
  • Awareness of current and future trends in the field the application relates to, such as community demographics
  • Degree to which the project complements other existing initiatives
  • Level of community benefit - projects for the exclusive benefit of a limited number of people will be a lower priority
  • Applicant commitment to the project
  • Credibility and capability of the organisation and ability to deliver
  • Strength of community support
  • Demonstrated connections, consultation and/or partnerships such as  with communities, between organisations, across levels within sectors or across sectors
  • Demonstrated need for funding and provision of a comprehensive and realistic budget
  • Extent that other funding sources have been explored and secured
  • Ongoing viability and sustainability of the project in the longer term
  • Extent that the project demonstrates value for money i.e. extent of community benefit relative to level of grant funding sought
  • Extent of understanding of the likely outcomes and community benefit (i.e. who, how many and likely changes) and how this will be measured
  • Project responsibility
  • Risks associated with project

We aim to treat and assess all applications fairly, based on their individual merits, and in the context of other grants being considered and funding available.

Our trustees make the final decisions on all applications.

When will you hear back?

Notification of decisions

$10,000 & Under

It takes up to 6 weeks for a decision.

$75,000 & Under

It takes up to 8 weeks for a decision. 

Generally, we are able to meet these timeframes but sometimes when we have a lot of applications, more complex applications or if we haven’t got all the information we need then it may take longer.

Types of decisions


If your grant is approved it generally includes conditions that need to be met before your grant can be uplifted.


Sometimes we need more information before we can fully consider your application or make a decision.


We will give you a reason why your application was not successful.

The contact person in your application will receive an email letting them know our decision and if your application is successful, the email will outline the amount approved and any funding conditions.

Read Managing Your Funding for more information.

Check out what we've funded lately

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