COVID-19 – Our Update #3: COVID-19 Response Fund - Now Open

  • 07-Apr-20
  • News Announcements

7th April 2020 - Otago Community Trust will now accept applications for grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund. Our dedicated $2M COVID-19 Response Fund is our response to support community organisations to cope through the crisis, and thereby to support the community itself.

Kia ora koutou,

Otago Community Trust is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund.

We appreciate that not only will this crisis impact the lives of individuals and whānau, but the community sector and community organisations are likely to face significant challenges in providing services and in doing their mahi that draws our communities together.

This Response Fund is our response to support community organisations to cope through the crisis, and thereby to support the community itself.

COVID-19 Response Fund Details

Fund Objectives

Grants will be made towards any of the following objectives:

  1. Additional costs incurred by community organisations in delivering services, projects or activities to members of the community most in need as a result of COVID-19.
  2. Assistance for community organisations who incur or have incurred additional costs related to expansion of services as a result of COVID-19.

Application Process

  • For requests up to $25,000 applicants are asked to complete a COVID-19 Response Fund application form. The application form requires the inclusion of a budget and/or quote, along with bank verified account details. The COVID-19 Response Fund application form is available on our website - HERE
  • Requests for amounts over $25,000 are required to be submitted through the online Grants portal. Applicants are encouraged to speak to us first about this process before applying.
  • Applications will be considered on a monthly basis and funds for successful grants will be distributed within 3 working days from the date of approval.
  • A request for a brief accountability report including receipts for purchases if applicable, may be made at the time the grant is awarded or subsequently.


  • Applicants must meet the same eligibility criteria as for other grants from Otago Community Trust, specifically they can be any not for profit body within the Otago Community Trust funding area for more info:
  • A COVID-19 Response Grant is independent of all other grants from the Trust, receiving one will not affect our general grant process.
  • Applicants may apply for more than one COVID-19 Response Grant. Each application will be assessed on its own merit.

All information can be accessed on our website -

General Community Grants 

We wish to reiterate that we have a good level of accumulated-income reserves in place to support Otago at this time. Our investment portfolio is robust, it is designed to navigate good and bad years and the current challenging financial downturn. 

The COVID-19 Response Fund sits outside of our general community based granting and as of 1 April 2020, we have rolled into a new financial year so all organisations / community groups who received funding over the last 12 months are eligible to re-apply.

Key Information for Grantees

  • Our grants portal remains open for grant applications and we are committed to being flexible with our granting process over the coming months.
  • If you have an application already into us you should expect to receive a decision from us within the normal 6 to 8 week turnaround time. 
  • If you no longer wish to proceed with your application or wish to delay to sometime in the future please let us know.
  • Some Grantees have indicated to us that they may wish to defer their project. If you have not yet picked up your grant from us then we will be contacting you over the coming weeks to discuss your project timing.
  • We will continue to honour all of our multi-year funding obligations.

Grants Already Approved

  • We recognise some projects, events, activities and festivals which we have already approved funding towards have been cancelled, while others are postponed or delayed.
  • Wherever possible our grant should be used for the purpose for which it was granted. If that is not possible, you are free to use grant funds on a pro rata basis (against your original budget) to cover (a) costs already incurred and (b) additional amounts incurred in winding up the festival or event. If you expect to need to use more of our funds in connection with a cancelled event you can contact us to discuss.
  • After a festival or event is unwound or a decision not to proceed has been made, we will seek a brief report explaining the use of our funds. Where some or all of our grant funding remains you can continue to hold that pending further discussion with us.
  • We will consider approving on a case by case basis current applications for cancelled festivals and events to recognise that costs may already have been incurred.
  • Please feel free to make contact with the Trust to discuss your particular circumstances. The best person to contact for all Grant related queries is our Grants Manager, Sue Stewart.

Accountability and Milestone Reporting

  • We appreciate it may be difficult to provide your accountability and milestone reports to us within agreed timeframes, rest assured we understand your position and will not penalise you if these are late arriving.

Connecting With Us

  • The most reliable way to contact us right now is via email:
  • Alternatively you can contact either:

* Barbara Bridger, Chief Executive –
* Sue Stewart, Grants Manager –

  • We will continue to communicate with you regularly. Our updates will be sent directly to you or can be accessed on our website –
  • You can continue to check on funding progress through our portal –
  • Our 0800 10 12 40 number is available Monday through to Friday




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