Capability Funding

Capability Funding

As a community funder, we believe it is important help strengthen organisations so they can better make a difference in their communities. 

Otago Community Trust has two Capability Funds focused on capability building:

  • Arts & Culture Capability Fund 
  • Social Services Capability Fund

Arts & Culture Capability Fund

This contestable fund is jointly run with the Dunedin City Council and is only available to Arts & Culture organisations based in the Dunedin City boundary which are committed to supporting and contributing to Ara Toi Otepoti: Our Creative Future - Dunedin’s Arts and Culture Strategy. 

Organisations may apply for up to $10,000 for assistance with arts capability building. The fund’s priority will be to support organisations that are interested in collaborating with others and to support the sustainability, development and innovation of arts and culture groups across the city.

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

Fund Opens: 31st May 2021

Fund Closes: 31st August 2021, with outcomes announced in October.

How to Apply: Apply online via the Otago Community Trust online grants portal, this is accessed via the Otago Community Trust website - Click on the yellow 'Enter Grants Portal' button, login and select Arts Capability Fund.
Contact: For further information interested organisations can contact:
Dunedin City Council
Relationship Advisor - Lisa Wilkie
Phone: 03) 474 3276 
Otago Community Trust
Grants Manager - Sue Stewart 
Phone: 03) 479 0994   

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. 

Fund Opens: 30th July 2021

Fund Closes: 30th of September 2021, with outcomes announced in early December.

Applying for capability building assistance does not prevent organisations from making a regular grant application to the Otago Community Trust.

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


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.


Capability Funding 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.