Capability Funding



The Otago Community Trust has two Capability Funds – “Social Services” and "Art & Culture”.

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.

Art & Culture Capability Fund – this fund is jointly run with the Dunedin City Council and is only available to Arts & Culture organisations based in the Dunedin City boundary.  Organisations may apply for up to $10,000 for assistance with arts capability building.


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.


The Fund 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.


Funding Process

Capability Funding is a contestable fund, available annually.

Art & Culture closes on the 29th of August for 2019, with outcomes announced in September.

Social Services close end of 30th of September, with outcomes announced in early December.

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

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