What we fund


We support both large and small community groups, throughout our region, who work in various sectors, and our grants range from a few hundred dollars to thousands for a wide range of purposes aligned with our Strategic Plan 2016-2018.

Our vision of having 'A Thriving Southland' is underpinned by four pillars:

  • Health, Wellbeing and Active Lifestyles
  • Education
  • Arts, Heritage and Culture
  • Community Development & Community Economic Development

Each of these pillars have a set of funding priorities and it is these priorities that will specifically guide our funding decisions - so please take the time to read through our Strategic Plan.

We will have a strong focus on:

  • people, 
  • partnerships, 
  • participation, and
  • places.

And we are very keen to explore innovative new solutions, transformative ideas or new approaches that will help create positive change in the Trust's region.

While we have had a very strong history of supporting facilities throughout the Trust's area, going forward facilities  will be a lesser priority for the Trust.

As a partial funder we see our role as complementing regional sector strategies and other funding opportunities, including adding value to, but not replacing, government's (local and central) core provision of services by providing community funding for justifiable additional and/or enhanced services. But as our grants budget is limited and we receive many applications there will be times when we will be unable to fund applications even though they might meet our priorities.

Who can apply

Please refer to our eligibility criteria.

When to apply

  • $2,000 & under applications are accepted throughout the year and take up to 6 weeks* for a decision to be made. 
  • $10,000 & under applications are accepted throughout the year and take up to 6 weeks* for a decision to be made.
  • $100,000 & under applications are accepted throughout the year and take up to 8 weeks* for a decision to be made.
  • $100,000 & over grants is a two stage process, with specific closing dates. For the 2018/19 timeline and closing dates see here 

* Our ability to process and assess applications in these timeframes is however dependent on the number of applications received and complexity of applications at any one time. 

How to apply 

All funding applications need to be made online - click here to apply 

What we look for when considering applications

  • Project alignment with Community Trust current priorities
  • A clear understanding of the identified need, gap or opportunity supported by relevant evidence
  • Awareness of current and future trends in e.g. the field the application relates to or community demographics
  • Degree to which the project complements other existing initiatives e.g. local or regional context
  • Level of community benefit - projects which are 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 e.g. with communities, between organisations, across levels within sectors or across sectors
  • Demonstrated need for funding and provision of a comprehensive and realistic budget
  • Extent to which alternative and complementary funding sources have been explored and secured
  • Ongoing viability and sustainability of the project in the long term
  • Extent to which 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

Need some help or if you have questions

If you would like to discuss your project or need help with completing an application form please contact us on 0800 500 185 or (03) 218 2034 or email info@ctos.org.nz

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