How to Apply

Te Tono Pūtea

The Application Process

Please make sure that you have checked that you are eligible to apply for Otago Community Trust funding before starting the application process.

Step 1: Eligibility

If your organisation has never applied to Otago Community Trust before, first ensure that your organisation is eligible for a grant from the Trust.

Our website has clear information on  Who we FundWhat we Fund and What we do not Fund.

You are always welcome to ring our Grants team to discuss your application on 0800 10 12 40 or email

Step 2: Login to Otago Community Trust Grants Portal 

When you ready to apply for a grant you will be taken to a initial welcome page of our Grants Portal. 

The Grants Portal will give you greater visibility of the funding process. You will be able to view applications in progress, see approved grants and payments and complete accountability reports. 

The process is different for first time applicants and returning applicants, see below for further information.

The Grants Portal will allow you to:

  • Log-in to complete a Grant application (returning applicants)

  • Take our Eligibility Quiz (for first time applicants)

  • Complete our Registration Form (for first time applicants) to gain a login and password

  • Reset or create a password

 New Funding Portal

First time applicants need to complete our Eligibility Quiz, then if you are eligible you will be taken to our Registration Form in order to receive a new login and password.

Once you have completing the registration process, your new login details will be emailed to you.

Please note that a registration is linked to a person and not an organisation.

If you experience any issues with your online application please call us on 0800 10 12 40 or email

Returning applicants will need to use their existing login and password to apply for funding in the Otago Community Trust Grants Portal. 

If you don't know or can't remember that email address, please contact us and we will check your organisation details for you. We might need you to send us an email at - so we can check our records. 

It is important to note that a registration is linked to a person and not an organisation. You will need to register as a new user if you have not applied before with your email address. We can then link you to the organisation that has previously applied to us.

When you are in the Grants Portal it is recommended that you:

  • Use Google Chrome as your internet browser.
  • Save your work regularly, as the forms do not auto-save;
  • Do not use the back button to navigate as it will take you out of the Grants Portal and you will have to log back in;
  • Only ‘Submit’ when your application is complete. Once you ‘Submit’, you will no longer be able to edit;
  • When you have completed your editing, always ‘Save’ before returning to the main page.
  • When we have updates for you, a notification icon appears next to the area with an update waiting.
  • Click on the little cog icon at the bottom of the menu to log out or change your password.

Applying Online Guide

To help you through the application process you can download our Applying Online guide below:

Step 3: Complete your Application

  • You need to answer all the application form questions, remembering to save regularly so that you can come back to it at a later date if need be. If you have started an application form but not completed it, you can find that in Pending Requests.
  • We may request you submit some supporting documents with your application, these can be uploaded by clicking on the ‘+’ button. Supporting documents that we may ask you to submit include:
    • Bank verified account details
    • Most recent Annual Financial Statements these must not be more than 18 months old
    • Most recent bank statements for all bank accounts held, including investments
  • When you have completed the application form, click on Save then Click Submit. Check that the application is submitted and that no errors have popped up. 
  • If there is missing information in the application form, it will not submit and move into the Otago Community Trust portal. Any errors or missing information will appear in red on the application form.
  • If the application form has been submitted correctly then the application is moved into the Submitted Requests.

To help you prepare please review the Key Tips for using the Grants Portal below or our more detailed Frequently Asked Questions.

Step 4: Decision Notification

Otago Community Trust generally takes between 6 to 8 weeks to process and approve an application. Generally, we are able to meet this timeframe but sometimes when we have a large number of applications or if we haven’t got all the information trustees require then it may take longer.

Our trustees make the final decisions on all applications.

A decision may be either Approved, Deferred or Declined

Approved Applications - If your grant is approved the primary contact person in your application will receive an email letting them know there is correspodence awaiting in the Grants Portal, this will outline the amount we have approved and any funding conditions. Any funding conditions that we have specified will need to be met before your grant can be uplifted (paid out). 

Deferred Applications - If an application is deferred it is generally because our trustees and / or grants team require more information before we can fully consider your application and / or make a decision.

Declined Applications - If your application is not successful, it maybe that you did not meet our criteria. One of our team will ring and give you a reason why your application may have been declined. 


Step 5: Accountability Reporting

If you have received funding from us we will ask for an accountability report to be submitted. In general, this will be 12 months after you have received your grant.

The now you have your grant page provides greater detail on our requirements after your grant has been approved. 

Online Guides 

To help you through the process you can download our different support guides below:

To help you through the process you can download our Applying Online guide 


To help you pick up your grant upon approval you can download our Picking up your Grant guide 

To help you complete the accountabilty requirements you can download our Completing Your Accountability guide