How to fund your charity
On this page you will find some examples of funding options that are available for New Zealand charities and not-for-profit organisations.
Charities consistently tell us that achieving reliable and stable funding is one of their biggest challenges. Charities Services does not provide funding, that is not our role. However, there are a number of organisations throughout Aotearoa New Zealand that do provide funding support for charities, including other business groups within the Department of Internal Affairs.
The Department of Internal Affairs
The Department of Internal Affairs works to build strong and sustainable communities in New Zealand. There are several groups within the Department of Internal Affairs that provide direct funding to community groups.
Community Operations(external link) provides funding support through the administration of a range of lottery and Crown grant funding for the benefit of New Zealand communities. They also provide information, resources and advice to communities. Check out their funding calendar(external link) for more information.
The Gambling Group also provides funding for community groups. Charities can apply for funding from gaming machine societies(external link). These societies are the organisations that own and operate gaming machines and make grants to not-for-profit community organisations. You can find more information on the different gaming machine societies on their webpage(external link).
The Office of Ethnic Communities also offers funding. The Ethnic Communities Development Fund is available for groups or projects that work towards supporting ethnic community groups in New Zealand. You can find more information on the Ethnic Communities Development Fund and how to apply here(external link).
The Office of Ethnic Communities also administer the Ethnic Communities Digital Inclusion Fund. The fund is available for groups working to ensure ethnic communities can use digital technology. You can find out more about the Ethnic Communities Digital Inclusion Fund here. (external link)
Other government agencies
- The Department of Conservation has a number of funds available for the protection of the natural environment. For more information, visit the Department of Conservation website.(external link)
- The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has funds to support charities that advance culture and heritage. For more information, visit the Ministry of Culture and Heritage website(external link).
- The Ministry of Youth Development offers a range of funding options for initiatives that are committed to youth development and the wellbeing of young people. For more information, visit the Ministry of Youth Development website(external link).
- Te Puni Kōkiri offers a range of funding options for organisations with a kaupapa Māori focus. For more information, visit the Te Puni Kōkiri website(external link).
- The Ministry for Pacific Peoples offers funding options to support Pacific individuals, groups and families. Visit the Ministry for Pacific Peoples website(external link) for more information.
- Oranga Tamariki has many different funding options available for initiatives that support young people. For more information, visit the Oranga Tamariki website(external link).
- The Ministry for the Environment manages a range of environmental funds on behalf of their Ministers. For more information, visit the Ministry for the Environment website(external link).
- Creative New Zealand offers funding for arts projects in Aotearoa. Find more about the funds Creative New Zealand(external link) offers on their website.
Funding for Māori organisations
There are a number of organisations in Aoteartoa that offer funding to support Māori organisations. You can find a list of these funds on our Te Ao Māori webpages: Te tono pūtea – Funding.
Charities may qualify for funding from their council. Each local council(external link) has different criteria and different funds depending on the community. Check out the website of your local council to see if your charity is eligible for funding.
Community Trusts of New Zealand
There is an expansive network of community trusts(external link) in each region of New Zealand. Community Trusts of New Zealand provide funding support that charities may be eligible for. Have a look at the website of your local community trust to see what funding options are available.
- Auckland and Northland(external link)
- Waikato(external link)
- Taranaki(external link)
- Bay of Plenty(external link)
- Eastern and Central Community Trust(external link)
- Wellington Community Trust(external link)
- Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Chatham Islands(external link)
- Buller, Grey, and Westland: West Coast Community Trust(external link)
- Mid & South Canterbury(external link)
- Otago(external link)
- Southland(external link)
Donor advised funds
Donor advised funds are charitable giving organisations that means you can give to a fund while still being able to guide where the money goes to. These are a great option if you are thinking about winding up your charity, but still want to continue to contribute to specific projects in your community.
- The Community Foundations of New Zealand(external link) focus on this work by providing a tool for community funding. As well as donor advised funds they can support local charities based on where the greatest needs are, often identified by research.
- The Gift Trust(external link) is another donor advised fund that provides a tool for charitable giving.
If you are a registered charity that is a donor advised fund, let us know and we would be happy to add you to this list.
For scholarships and other educational opportunities – most tertiary institutions have a website where all scholarship opportunities are listed.
The Govt.nz website has information on scholarships(external link).
Did you know there are almost 2000 charities that fund other charities as their main activity?
You can use the Advanced Search function(external link) on our website to find these charities.
- Search within the “Charity Search” option
- Categorise the rules as “Main Beneficiary” is “Other Charities”
- You can also see where those charities operate by looking up the “Areas of Operation” column
- You can then search for more information about each charity on the Charity Register Search(external link), by searching for their legal name
Other government agencies also have portals to different funding for community groups:
- Arts, culture and heritage(external link)
- Community conservation groups(external link)
- Environmental groups
Some charities that provide funds are:
- The Lion Foundation(external link)
- Rotary Foundation(external link)
- The Tindall Foundation(external link)
- Next Foundation(external link)
- Len Reynolds Trust(external link)
- Wayne Francis Charitable Trust(external link)
- D V Bryant Trust Board(external link)
- Public Trust(external link)
- Perpetual Guardian(external link)
- Todd Foundation(external link)
- JR McKenzie Trust(external link)
- Hugh Green Foundation(external link)
- Working Together More Fund(external link)
- Sport New Zealand(external link)
Other sources of funding
This page outlines just a small selection of the funding available for charities in New Zealand.
For more funding information, you can subscribe to Generosity New Zealand(external link) who have the largest digital search facility for funding information in Aotearoa (you can also access this at your local library).
There are also other crowd sourced funding platforms that can help you fundraise: