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The Lion Foundation

Always open for applications?


Eligible districts

As the funds are returned to the communities where they are generated, you should only apply for a grant if there is a Lion Foundation venue in your local council area.


In order to get a grant, your organisation must:
• be incorporated (eg under the Incorporated Societies Act or Charitable Trusts Act).
• have Charities Commission registration or an IRD income tax exemption (eg for sports bodies as a body promoting amateur games and sports)

• If your organisation is “charitable” it may register with the Charities Commission (see ).

• If your organisation is not deemed to be “charitable” but nevertheless has objectives which are beneficial to the community it may qualify for an exemption from income tax from IRD.

Your organisation may also be eligible if it is affiliated to a group that is legally constituted and can provide a governance letter stating:
1. the group follows the constitution of the parent body
2. the group provides the parent body with a copy of their annual accounts
3. should the group close, the parent body will assume their assets and liabilities e.g. local branches of Special Olympics affiliating to Special Olympics NZ.

Available to groups or individuals?

Groups may apply


The Lion Foundation is a charitable trust that exists for the purpose of raising funds for the community. It was established by Lion Nathan in 1985.


To distribute the proceeds of gaming machines to non-profit community groups and organisations.

Projects funded

Funds are available for any charitable, philanthropic or cultural purpose that benefits the local community – both large and small.

Funding is shared between the areas of community, which includes arts, culture, heritage and environment (30%), health (15%), sport (40%) and education (15%).

Excluded projects

• politics
• professionalism
• commercialism
• retrospective costs

Activities funded

• goods and services within New Zealand
• meet Inland Revenue requirements
• events or projects that will take place during the next six months

Excluded activities

• Retrospective grants
• Certain Travel expenses: departure tax, travel insurance, overseas accommodation or internal travel within an overseas country

Certain Sporting expenses: 
• grants for individual sports persons unless the grant is made to, and administered by an incorporated sporting body to which the individual is affiliated. If the individual is participating in an event that attracts prizes, all prizes must be forfeited to that sporting body.
• grants that further the activities of professional sports persons.
• prizes for sporting events, except trophies or modest non-cash prizes for use in genuine community sporting events.
• trade tournaments or sporting events staged primarily for publicity and /or the benefit of a select/invited industry group.
• food and alcohol.
• sporting trips for supporters and spectators.
• the provision of furniture, equipment, refurbishment or upgrade of a bar facility in clubrooms.
• dress or training uniforms, or any equipment or apparel of a personal nature.
• costs associated with staging ‘after match’ functions for sporting groups.

* purchase or subsidy of vehicles to be used for private or commercial activities, social functions or motor sport
* fuel charges

The Racing Industry
• payments other than stake money to horse or greyhound owners or trainers.
• payments to professional jockeys.
• activities or expenses in connection with the breeding of racehorses or greyhounds.
• payment for a facility or service that would give commercial benefit to owners, trainers, jockeys, breeders or other people in the racing industry.

• Promotion of tourism
• Grants which have already been funded by another organisation.
• Any grant in which a venue has a vested interest.

Funds available

Information not available

Upper limit per grant application

No upper limit

Grants made last year


Funds available last year


How to apply

The Lion Foundation receives applications year round. There are no close off dates. Please be aware that The Lion Foundation Board and Regional Grants Committee’s do not meet in January.

To apply for funding from The Lion Foundation print off the application form, fill out all the details and send it to us. The form attached below can be completed using your computer, however please remember that this still has to be printed off and signed by two authorised signatories.

The Lion Foundation – Grant Application Form

Application forms can also be collected from any of our Lion Foundation venues around the country.

Information required with your application

• Organisation Details
• Contact Person Details
• Grant Purpose
• Project Timing
• Amount Requested
• Total Cost & Cost Breakdown

Please make sure all fields are filled out in full and all supporting documentation has been included before sending in your application, otherwise the application will not be able to be processed.

Decision makers

The Lion Foundation Board of Trustees and Net Proceeds Committee.

Decision time

Grants committees meet monthly, however due to the fluctuations in the number of grant applications received in any given month, we advise applicants to allow AT LEAST EIGHT WEEKS for an application to be considered and a decision to be made. This timeframe is based on the receipt of a complete application and may be extended should we need to request additional documentation or clarification.

How notified

Applicants are notified in writing.

How paid

Payments are usually made within ten days of a grant being approved. Payments are direct credited to the applicant's organisation's bank account.

Conditions of acceptance

Within 2, 5 or 11 months of receiving the grant, we’ll request that you send us a signed Audit Summary Report form. This should include copies of paid invoices and bank statements proving payment of invoices for the quotations submitted with your application.
All grants funded by The Lion Foundation are audited within a specific time frame of 3, 6 or 12 months depending on the purpose of the grant.
If you do not respond, then a further letter will be sent. Then within seven working days, a full refund is requested and forwarded to a Debt Collection Agency.

For a Lion Foundation audit summary, you will need to provide a signed copy of the Audit Summary Report, including copies of paid invoices and bank statements proving payment.
Download: Audit Summary Report


Grants Administrator
The Lion Foundation
Private Bag 102920
North Shore Mail Centre
Auckland 0745
Phone: 0800 802 908 or (09) 488 7707 Fax: (09) 488 7747