What We Fund


The Otago Community Trust provides community groups with grants, both small and large, covering a wide range of projects and activities in the areas of:

  • Arts & Culture;
  • Community - Activity & Wellbeing;
  • Environment & Heritage;
  • Learning;
  • Sport & Recreation.

Please Note: Applications for Events across all sector groups should reach the trust at least three months prior to commencement or opening. Applications received later than three months may not be considered. Consideration also needs to be made of the Trusts close down period over December and January each year.

Arts and Culture 

Arts & Culture Sector Priorities

We support opportunities for our community to enjoy Arts & Culture through performances and exhibitions and for artists to participate in and produce many different art forms; building the skills and abilities of our local creative community.

Examples of projects that the Trust will fund include but are not limited to the below:

  • Development of performance spaces;
  • Maori and Pacific community projects;
  • Exhibitions;
  • Equipment;
  • Event costs;
  • Training and workshops. 


Community Sector Priorities

We support organisations across Otago that deliver vital support to people when they are often at their most vulnerable, communities with specific challenges including people with disabilities, low income, health issues and those living in rural and remote communities. These organisations should proactivity support their volunteers, have good Governance & Management in place and work closely with other community groups.

Examples of projects that the Trust will fund include but are not limited to the below:

  • Refurbishment and modernisation of community facilities - halls, pools, community centres, churches and marae's.
  • Activity groups which may include scouts, guides & other adventure groups;
  • Equipment;
  • Local community events, hui & meetings;
  • Training and workshops;
  • Publications of importance to Otago;
  • Support for health promotion & prevention programmes including meetings and pamphlets;
  • Community development projects including newsletters & meeting expenses;
  • Rescue equipment;
  • Volunteer support & co-ordination;
  • Educational programmes & resources;
  • Training, workshops and equipment.

Environment & Heritage

Environment & Heritage Sector Priorities

We support community based groups who work to protect the local environment, who provide community education and information, improve responsible access to the environment and strengthen our local biodiversity. We also support organisations that are involved with the research, restoration, conservation and celebration of items and places valued by communities in Otago.

Examples of Environment projects that the Trust will fund include but are not limited to the below:

  • Reintroduction of native flora and fauna;
  • Conservation of critical habitats and ecosystems;
  • Protection of rare, endangered or threatened species in their natural habitat;
  • Increasing local sustainability through for example reducing energy usage or development of community gardens;
  • Education programmes and / or resources.

Examples of Heritage projects that the Trust will fund include but are not limited to the below:

  • Public buildings, structure or places;
  • Important cultural monuments;
  • Natural heritage areas;
  • Exceptional purchases for collections that are of high relevance and value to the region;
  • Unique exhibitions about Otago’s heritage;
  • Enhancement of facilities which house collections, for example environmental control, archive and storage areas;
  • Increase awareness and appreciation of Maori heritage places and their value to Maori and NZ;
  • Researching and recording oral and published histories in regards to district development, cultural and ethnic groups, aspects of provincial life and biographies of major figures. 


Learning Sector Priorities

Where government funding is not available, we support organisations providing initiatives that help improve learning experiences and the educational outcomes of children, young people and adults in our community.

Examples of projects that the Trust will fund include but are not limited to the below:

  • Assistance with equipment & facilities at schools;
  • Fit out of buildings which have a significant community use;
  • Contribute to the cost of activities or programmes
  • Contribute towards industry training programmes which provide training and support in trade employment for vulnerable youth;
  • Assistance with selected projects or programmes which provide a significant community benefit in education or medical research or economic development.

Sport and Recreation

Sport and Recreation Sector Priorities

We support community access to and participation in sport and recreation opportunities for people of all ages. We support volunteers, coaches, referees, athletes and administrators.

Examples of projects that the Trust will fund include but are not limited to the below:

  • Equipment and resources;
  • Development and upgrade of multi-use facilities, including club houses which are open to the public;
  • Volunteer support or local facility hire and use.