Funding for Schools

Our Funds - Learning Impact Fund and $for$ Funding 

The Otago Community Trust (the Trust) has identified education of Otago’s young people as a priority area for funding and recognises that schools themselves are best placed to determine the needs of their students. As part of its commitment to this area and with the aim of helping Otago’s young people reach their potential the Trust has set aside funds that gives schools in its region the flexibility to respond to the needs of their students. 

Outside of our Community Grants, in 2017 Otago Community Trust established two additional Funds to support Otago schools, each with their own criteria - the $for$ Fund and the Learning Impact Fund.

The objectives of the $for$ Fund and the Learning Impact Fund are as follows: 

Fund Objectives

  • Designed to lift student achievement; and/or
  • Address learning needs specific to your community; and/or
  • Target students with greater or different needs; and/or
  • Reduce barriers to education for students; and/or
  • Increase student participation in Sports and Cultural activities; and/or
  • Engage parents in student learning and connect families, Whanau and communities to school; and/or
  • Facilitate delivery of learning programmes not already funded through volunteer training and/or staff development; and/or
  • Purchase or replace resources or equipment (not funded by Govt) where acquisition will support improved outcomes; and/or
  • Encourage schools to work collaboratively.

Examples of funding that could be applied for

  • Development and delivery of projects that address raising the educational achievement of a group of students;
  • Support for the sharing of resources between schools and/or between schools and community;
  • Development of bespoke educational resources to enhance the quality of educational engagement of students;
  • Professional development and training that is not otherwise funded but which supports teachers, teacher aides and other staff/volunteers in their roles in supporting students;
  • Purchase of equipment and physical resources not currently funded that supports the quality and delivery of education;
  • Enhancing identified subject areas where students would benefit from extra support to lift achievement;
    Developing innovative pathways which improve rates of retention in education and an awareness of career options.

We do not fund

Core school activities, operational expenses (incl salaries), activities that are otherwise funded by the Ministry of Education or other providers, retrospective projects, repayment of debt etc.


Schools may apply to the Learning Impact Fund until the 31st March 2020.

Schools have up until the 30th of June 2020 to apply for their $for$ Funding. 

Want to know more?

For further information on the $for$ Fund and the Learning Impact Fund please contact us on 0800 10 12 40 or email

Application and / or Expression of Interest forms can be found at the bottom of this page or on our Resources section HERE

$for$ Fund Update - Extension to 30th June 2020

The Trust acknowledges all schools have students who have various learning needs and wishes to support schools to address these.  The Trust has established a $1 for $1 Fund which will match a dollar for each dollar that a school makes available up to the allocated amount to address the learning needs of their students.

Each school has been allocated a fund based on the school roll as at July 2016 at a rate of $50 per student, with a minimum allocation of $3,000 per school.

The fund can be applied for in instalments and schools must have matching funding available at the time of application. 

Applications will be assessed having regard to the objectives of the $ for $ Fund, noted above.  All schools in the Trust’s region are eligible and applicants should apply using the prescribed application form, available from the Trust. 

Application Process and Timeline for the $for$ Fund:

  1.     Application received;
  2.     A decision made and communicated to applicants within four weeks from date of receipt of application;
  3.     Funding paid to applicant;
  4.     Project undertaken;
  5.     Accountability report submitted.

$for$ Fund Application Forms can be found at the bottom of this page or on our Resources section HERE

Learning Impact Fund Update - Closes on 31st March 2020

The Trust is passionate about young people reaching their potential and recognises that education in all its various forms is key to this.  It also acknowledges that sometimes traditional forms of funding education can be a barrier to innovative thinking or new ways of doing things. Therefore, the Trust has established the Learning Impact Fund to be available to support projects which would make a real difference to student achievement, but which are unable to be funded through traditional funding channels. Such projects should fulfil at least two of the following criteria:

  •      Are designed to lift student achievement and/or
  •      Address learning needs specific to your community; and/or
  •      Target students with greater or different needs; and/or
  •      Reduce barriers to education for students.

If you have a project that you believe satisfies the above criteria and wish to apply for funding the process will be:

  1. Using the form available from the Trust, submit a brief expression of interest (EOI) which should describe the project, its outcomes and method of achievement together with an estimated budget;
  2. The Trust Board will consider the EOI and decide whether to invite an application for funding;
  3. Applications invited and then received, on the prescribed form will be considered by the Trust Board and a decision made as to whether or not to offer a grant;
  4. Any grant offered will be subject to terms and conditions, including an evaluation process.

It should be noted:

a)       Trust staff are available to help with advice throughout any part of the process;

b)       Applicants may be invited to a Trust Board meeting to speak to their EOI and/or Application;

c)       The Trust Board may wish to visit the project;

d)       The process may take several months to complete;

e)       Funding offered will be solely at the discretion of the Trust Board.

Otago Community Trust, Learning Impact Fund Recipients - 2020

Big River Cluster – South Otago

STEAM Education Development


Mornington, Opoho, Bradford School Cluster

Nga Tapa Wha - Building Strong Lives on Solid Foundations


Silverstream South Primary School

Preschool initiation into primary school


Kings High School

Positive Education Programme


Otago Peninsula / Otakou Cluster

STEAM Education Development


Kaikorai Valley College

Urban Farm Programmes


Cromwell Communities of Learning

Makerspace Development


Hills Cluster

STEM Education Development


Application and Expression of Interest Forms 

Download $ for $ Application Smart-Form 

Download Expression of Interest Smart-Form 


For Further Information

For information on the $ for $ Fund and the Learning Impact Fund please contact us on 0800 10 12 40 or email