Frequently Asked Questions

 Funding / Application Related Questions

Any incorporated or non-incorporated not for profit body can apply for a donation. In general this means an organisation will be:

  • An incorporated society
  • A charitable trust
  • A limited liability company fully owned by one of the above and operating for charitable purposes
  • A non-legal (non-incorporated) entity which may apply for a donation of up to $1,000
  • State funded education provider

The Otago Community Trust funding area is principally the provincial district of Otago. West Otago, Queenstown and Arrowtown districts are outside our funding boundry. We support organisations who work in our defined funding area. If your organisation is based outside our funding area we can consider your project, if it can demonstrate that it will be of benefit to Otago.

To view our funding area click HERE

What we fund?

Otago Community Trust provides grants to not-for-profit community groups and projects that make a positive contribution to Otago communities. The Trust provides donations across the diverse sectors of art & culture, heritage & environment, education, sport and recreation and community. These grants support important and innovative projects that provide improved standards of living, safety, health and welfare. 

Learn more about 'What we Fund' HERE

Can I apply for mainstream salaries and general overheads?

The Trust does not consider grants for mainstream salaries and overheads. Furthermore, the Trust does not fund areas or items that are regarded by the Trust as primarily the responsibility of central and local government. 

What doesn't the Otago Community Trust fund?

Learn More about our 'General Exclusions' HERE

Normally each not for profit organisation is only eligible to receive one donation per finanical year, running from 1 April to 31 March. 

It is important to note that we cannot fund retrospectively, so it is important you allow sufficient time for your application to be considered.

If your application is declined during the year please feel free to apply again. We strongly encourage you to phone one of our Grants Team if your application is unsuccessful. They will be able to offer guidance and advice.

Yes, we are moving all Otago Community Trust funding applications online from mid April 2018

There are lots of advantages in completing your application online.

  • You can access the online system anytime day or night, so you can work on your application at a time that best suits you.
  • You can complete your application in one session, or save it and come back to it later. Your draft will be saved and you can continue where you left off.
  • When you are ready to apply again, all the information from your last application will be in the new form, saving you lots of time by not having to re-enter information.

We expect grants to be used for the purpose they were applied, and granted, for. However we appreciate that occasionally circumstances change and you may wish to spend the grant slightly differently. Please contact our Grants Team to talk through any changes, before the funds are spent.

From mid April 2018 all applications will be submitted through our online portal.

Once it arrives into the Otago Community Trust system, our administration team checks to see you have have submitted all of the requested information.

Next it passes to one of our Grants team, who will look at the application. The assessors and advisors will look to see your application meets our eligibility criteria and is not requesting an excluded item.

Our team will also look to see what difference your project will make and how your organisation is placed to deliver the project. We may seek additional information from you by letter, phone or a meeting.

We will also look to see how strongly your application aligns with our funding framework. 

A report, which summarises the application, is presented to Trustees.

The Trustees will make the final decision on supporting or declining applications.

You are also welcome to contact us at any time to check on the progress of your application.   

When will I hear from you?

We do not write and tell you we have received your application but we may contact you to discuss your application before it is presented to the Trustees. 

You will usually receive formal written notification of the Trustee’s decision on your application two to three months after you apply. This will outline any conditions we require you to fulfil before receiving the donation.

The Trust supports a wide variety of Events across Otago.

However, please note applications for Events should reach the trust at least three months prior to commencement or opening.

Applications received later than three months may not be considered.

Reporting Requirements

You must provide audited financial statements where your constitution requires these financial statements to be audited. Otherwise, the Trust may consider limited reviews or in certain circumstances no audit or review. This will be decided on a case by case basis and should be discussed with the Trust’s staff prior to submitting your application.

Otago Community Trust’s audit requirement for different types of organisations can be found HERE

Yes you do. We require groups to report on how they used their last grant, before they apply for another one. We will send you an email when your accountability is due and our team is happy to help you should you have any questions. 

We believe our grants are not subject to GST. We encourage groups to become recognised by the IRD as being tax exempt. Your group may wish to register with Charities Services, which means you will be eligible for tax exempt status.

See and for more information. 

If in doubt you should seek professional advice.