This fund supports community-focused organisations whose projects contribute to the strengthening of community wellbeing in the Christchurch City and Banks Peninsula area.

2024 applications closed

Applications for the Strengthening Communities Fund closed at noon on Friday 12 April 2024.

The decision meeting for this fund is on 22 August 2024 and applicants will be notified after this date.

Successful applicants will be paid from 1 September 2024.

Application process

Applications can be submitted for either metropolitan (city-wide) or local projects:

  • Metropolitan projects are referred to the Council for a decision.
  • Local applications are presented to the relevant Community Board for a decision.

Applications are made on the same form, and the decision of the Community Board or Council is made based on the distribution of participants across the city.

Last year we launched our refreshed Te Haumako; Te Whitingia Strengthening Communities Together Strategy.(external link) This Strategy will guide Council in how it works alongside the Third Sector and grant funding is an important aspect of this support. We recommend you familiarize yourself with the new strategy to help consider how your application will contribute to the pillar objectives.(external link)

You must also demonstrate your ability to contribute to your project and not solely rely on Council funding.

You will be notified of the decision in late August, with funds available for successful applications from 1 September.

What this fund covers

  • Applications can be for both operating and/or project costs.
    • Operating costs may include salaries, power, rent and administration costs.
    • Project costs may include the costs of community programmes, events, activities and equipment.
  • Operational or project costs incurred in the provision and delivery of the initiative from1 September to 31 August of the following year.
  • Small equipment purchases to enable your organisation to take advantage of efficiency gains. (Note: all equipment or capital purchases must be noted in a schedule of equipment/capital purchases for accountability purposes.)
  • Costs that support the recognition, contribution and retention of volunteers.

What this fund will not cover

This fund will not cover

  • Debt servicing or re-financing costs.
  • Stock or capital market investment.
  • Gambling or prize money.
  • Activities or groups whose purpose is primarily the responsibility of central government.
  • Payment of any legal expenditure, including costs or expenditures related to mediation disputes or ACC, Employment Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal, professional or disciplinary body hearings.
  • Activities or initiatives where the primary purpose is to promote religious ministry, political objectives, commercial or profit-oriented interests.
  • Medical or healthcare costs – including treatment and insurance fees.
  • Money which will be re-distributed as grant funding, sponsorship, donations, bequests, aid funding or aid to other recipients.
  • Payment of fines, court costs, IRD penalties or retrospective tax payment.

This fund will usually not cover

  • Retrospective costs or project or purchase costs incurred or settled before the agreed commencement date of the funding agreement.
  • Entertainment costs (including food) except for costs directly linked to volunteer recognition.
  • Funding of individuals.
  • Purchase of land and buildings.
  • Building maintenance or facility design, development and renovation costs.
  • Fundraising or general income growth purposes.
  • Costs to remedy, rectify, upgrade, retrofit or replace equipment, vehicles or premises as a result of action by central or local government departments or other agencies who hold regulatory or enforcement powers.
  • Purchase of vehicles and any related ongoing maintenance repair, overhead costs or road user charges.
  • Air travel, accommodation hotel or motel expenses.

Multi-year funding

 If you wish to be considered for Community Board multi-year funding you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Close alignment to the Council's funding priorities and outcomes
  • A proven track record of providing or enabling identifiable benefits to the City or Community Board area.
  • Have effective governance and sound operational policies and practices including financial, HR and risk management.
  • Have a stable financial position, appropriate financial and accounting practices.
  • Have a history of good management, monitoring and reporting practices.
  • Have a business, strategic or other plan which covers the period of the funding request

Up to three years funding can be requested. Requests can be made for different amounts of funding for each year of the grant. 

There is no guarantee a multi-year grant will be awarded to any applicant. The awarding of a multi-year grant does not promise or guarantee the same organisation will be granted for multiple years in the future. 

Your responsibilities

You will be expected to submit interim reporting each year which must be approved before the next installment of the grant can be released. 

Funds cannot be released prior to 1 September each year.

Multi-year funding can be discontinued if agreed performance objectives or reporting requirements are not met.

Your responsibilities

Your funding is to be spent by 31 August of the following year.

  • Any alterations to the use of the funding must be discussed with Council staff and agreed to or funding may be required to be returned.
  • Reporting must be completed by 30 September or when funding is spent, whichever comes first.

2023 Funding Forum presentation

If you missed our 2023 Funding Forum you can view 2023 Strengthening Communities Fund presentation [PPTX, 3.4 MB].

Please get in touch with the Funding Team by calling 03 941 5488 or emailing if you want to discuss your application.

Further information

If you have any questions email