This fund supports community-focused organisations whose projects contribute to the strengthening of community wellbeing in the Christchurch city area.

Apply for the Strengthening Communities Fund

Applications open Monday 8 March 2021 and close midnight Monday 12 April 2021.

Please check the eligibility of your request before filling out an application form.

All organisations applying for funding must also complete a Community Organisation Registration form. Organisations only need to complete one registration form for the year no matter how many grant applications they intend to make.

For assistance email

The Strengthening Communities Fund accepts applications for all levels of funding, there is no minimum request limit on this fund.

Organisations may make one application to the Strengthening Communities Fund at metropolitan level and/or one application per community board area.

Applications can be for both operating and/or project costs. Operating costs may include salaries and general overheads such as power, rent and administration costs. Project costs may include the costs of community programmes, events, activities and equipment.

The purpose of this fund is to support community-focused organisations whose projects contribute to the strengthening of community wellbeing in the Christchurch city area.

Successful organisations will be those who demonstrate they are sustainable, strategic, community-focused groups who have a significant presence within their community of benefit. Successful projects will also clearly demonstrate their contribution to the Council funding outcomes and priorities.

Organisations must be able to demonstrate their ability to contribute towards their projects and not rely on Council funding as their sole source of funding.

Applications will be categorised as either metropolitan (city-wide) or local projects:

  • Metropolitan applications will be assessed by staff and referred to the Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee for a decision.
  • Local applications will be assessed by staff and presented to the relevant Community Board for a decision.

Applicants will be notified of the decision in early September.

Funds will be available to successful applicants from 1 September.

  • Operational or project costs, incurred in the provision and delivery of the agreed initiative – for the twelve-month period starting 1 September and ending 31 August.
  • Small equipment purchases to enable your organisation to take advantage of efficiency gains. (Note: all equipment or capital purchases must be noted in a schedule of equipment/capital purchases for accountability purposes.)
  • Costs that support the recognition, contribution and retention of volunteers.

Note: Community Boards may access this fund to deliver activities and events to their local communities. This may include the establishment of a Youth Development Fund.

  • Debt servicing or re-financing costs
  • Stock or capital market investment
  • Gambling or prize money
  • Payment of any legal expenditure, including costs or expenditures related to mediation disputes or ACC, Employment Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal, professional or disciplinary body hearings
  • Activities or initiatives where the primary purpose is to promote religious ministry, political objectives, commercial or profit-oriented interests
  • Medical or healthcare costs – including treatment and insurance fees
  • Money which will be re-distributed as grant funding, sponsorship, donations, bequests, aid funding or aid to other recipients
  • Payment of fines, court costs,  IRD penalties or retrospective tax payment.

What this fund will not usually cover

  • Retrospective costs or project or purchase costs incurred or settled before the agreed commencement date of the funding agreement
  • Entertainment costs except for costs directly linked to volunteer recognition
  • Funding of individuals
  • Purchase of land and buildings
  • Building maintenance or facility design, development and renovation costs
  • Fundraising or general income growth purposes
  • Costs to remedy, rectify, upgrade, retrofit or replace equipment, vehicles or premises as a result of action by central or local government departments or other agencies who hold regulatory or enforcement powers
  • Purchase of vehicles and any related ongoing maintenance repair, overhead costs or road user charges
  • Air travel, accommodation hotel or motel expenses.

Organisations can request to be considered for multi-year funding from the Strengthening Communities Fund.

Organisations who wish to be considered for multi-year funding will need to demonstrate they can meet the following criteria:

  • Close alignment to the Council's funding priorities and outcomes 
  • A proven track record of providing or enabling identifiable benefits to the City or Community Board area
  • Have effective governance and sound operational policies and practices including financial, HR and risk management
  • Have a stable financial position, appropriate financial and accounting practices
  • Have  a history of good management, monitoring and reporting practices

Organisations who wish to be considered for multi-year funding will need to supply a business, strategic or other plan which covers the period of the funding request as part of their application.

Making an application

Multi-year funding requests can be made for equal amounts of funding or variable amounts per year.

The number of years that can be requested is linked to the local body election cycle. In 2020 up to three years funding can be requested, in 2021 two years and in 2022 a single year.

There is no guarantee a multi-year grant will be awarded to any applicant. The awarding of a multi-year grant does not promise or guarantee the same organisation will be granted another in the future.


Organisations that receive multi-year funding will be expected to report annually. An updated budget for the year ahead must be provided with the annual reporting.

Multi-year funding agreements can be discontinued if performance objectives are not met.

Funding received is to be spent by 31 August the following year.

  • Any alterations to the use of the funding must be discussed with Council staff and agreed to or funding may be required to be returned.
  • An accountability form must be completed at the end of the project. 
  • Reports are due 30 September or when funding is spent.

Future funding can be withheld if accountability requirements are not met.

Further information

If you have any questions contact a Community Funding Advisor or email