Capability Funding



The Otago Community Trust has two Capability Funds – “Social Services” and "Art & Culture”.

Social Services Capability Fund – this fund is aimed at strengthening the systems of service delivery for not-for-profit Social Service Organisations across Otago.  Organisations may apply for up to $5,000 for assistance with social services capability building.

Art & Culture Capability Fund – this fund is jointly run with the Dunedin City Council and is only available to Arts & Culture organisations based in the Dunedin City boundary.  Organisations may apply for up to $10,000 for assistance with arts capability building.


Purpose of the Capability Funding

  • Building skills and abilities in organisations (both at management and/or governance level);

  • Development of business planning which supports long term sustainability;

  • Development of collaborative partnerships which contribute to financial sustainability and innovation.

 Examples of Capability Building Projects

  • Developing systems or processes that improve the governance and/or operational effectiveness of an organisation;

  • Developing and using decision making tools such as strategic plans, feasibility studies, evaluation frameworks, communications or marketing / promotional plans;

  • Increasing an organisation’s impact in its community, strategy development and/or to deepen/strengthening relationships;

  • Building strategic partnerships with other organisations;

  • Professional development and training for management, staff, governance groups and volunteers including succession planning;

  • Quality improvement such as examining organisational policies and practices.


The Fund is not Available For

  • Increasing capability by hiring staff for regular operations;

  • Capital expenditure (construction, renovations or repairs, assets such as computers);

  • Subsidising shortfalls or other operational funding;

  • Allowances, wages or personal expenses for staff, governance groups or volunteers.


Funding Process

Capability Funding is a contestable fund, available annually.

Social Services close end of September, with outcomes announced in November.

Art & Culture closes at the end of August, with outcomes announced in November.

Applying for capability building assistance does not prevent organisations from making a regular donation application to the Otago Community Trust or a grant funding application to the Dunedin City Council.

For further information or if you are planning a larger capability building project please call us on 0800 10 12 40 or email