Who can apply?

Any incorporated non profit legal entity currently registered with the Companies Office and operating in our area can apply for a grant including:

  • an incorporated society,
  • an incorporated charitable trust, or
  • a company with charitable purposes.

(You can check your registration at either Societies & Trusts or the Companies Office

Non profit organisations established under the:

  • Local Government Act 2002
  • Maori Trust Boards Act 1955
  • Education Act 1989

 Please note:

  • Non-profit organisations that are unincorporated legal entities can apply for up to $2,000, otherwise they need to work with a Funding Partner (i.e. who must meet the eligibility criteria detailed above) to apply on their behalf.
  • Registration as a charity with Charities Services does not mean your entity is incorporated.
  • Organisations such as service clubs, school fundraising associations and ad hoc committees who raise funds for community purposes are not themselves eligible for a grant, although an application made on behalf of the intended recipient of the fundraising would be considered if they meet the above eligibility criteria.

Grants for projects outside of our area will not be considered unless there is a clear, demonstrated community benefit to the people of Southland.

Who can't apply?

The following types of organisations are not eligible to apply for grant funding:

  • Commercial and for profit;
  • Political or Advocacy/Lobby Groups;
  • Individuals (although individuals may be able to apply for scholarships).

Where we fund

We provide funding throughout the Southern region from Stewart Island to Glenorchy, Te Anau to Tapanui and all the places in between.

Click here for a more detailed overview of our funding area.

What we don't fund 

While we try to help as many organisations and projects as possible, there are some things that we don’t fund through grants or that are not current priorities for Community Trust funding, these include:

  • Individuals (except through scholarships)
  • Funding requests for projects/activities outside the Trust's region will not be considered unless there is a very clear, demonstrated community benefit to the people of our region
  • Repeat requests for the same project i.e. increases in project costs or funding shortfalls
  • Retrospective projects i.e. a project that has already commenced or has been completed
  • Events or activities that are primarily being held to fundraise
  • Projects/activities (e.g. books, CDs) that are for primarily private/personal financial benefit unless there is a very clear, demonstrated community benefit to the people of the Trust's region
  • Travel, accommodation and uniforms for sports teams
  • 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 
  • Centenaries, jubilees and reunions
  • Earthquake strengthening
  • Political activities
  • Lobbying activities
  • Debt repayments
  • Religious or faith-based instruction, lobbying or education
  • Commercial (for profit) organisations
  • Sponsorships
  • Endowments

You can find out about other funders here.

How often can you apply?

An organisation is only eligible for one grant within a 12month period, however if an application is submitted and declined, this will not preclude another different application from the same organisation within a 12 month period. The following exceptions however apply:

  • Funding partner organisations which are making applications on behalf of other groups;
  • Schools which are eligible to receive Principals Discretionary Funding may also apply for playground funding.
  • Innovation fund applicants.


The Community Trust of Southland is committed to the safety and protection of children and young people. This commitment means that we will help to raise awareness of this issue amongst the organisations that we grant to and encourage organisations, through a range of supporting activities funded by the Trust, to have appropriate policy and practices in place - find out more here