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Rata Foundation - Small Grants Ngā Pūtea Iti

Always open for applications?


Eligible districts

Our funding regions. (Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakirri, Christchurch, Selwyn and the Chatham Islands).


We only accept applications from not-for-profit organisations. These include:
• an incorporated society, association or organisation, which is not carried on for the purpose of providing profits or gains to any member or shareholder, and whose governing rules or constitution restrict any distribution of funds to any member or shareholder.
• any entity registered under the Charities Act 2005. 
• a not-for-profit educational institution or body, church or church
• administration organisation.
• if you are a small unincorporated organisation which benefits the community and has been operating under a constitution or set of rules, for at least 12 months, please contact us to discuss options for applying under an umbrella organisation.  Your organisation would need to have its own bank account, and financial statements, and have letters of support from at least two independent sources. 

Collaborative partnerships acting as backbone organisations, should contact us to discuss how best to apply. If you have any questions relating to the above contact us on 0508 266 878 and ask to speak to one of our Funding Team.

Available to groups or individuals?

Groups may apply


Under this programme Rātā Foundation supports grassroots initiatives in the community, including organisational running costs.

This funding programme is for organisations requesting $20,000 or less.


With the small grants programme this will mean:
• there are no closing dates – you choose when to apply.
• you can choose when you wish to apply within our financial year (1 April to 31 March).
• generally the time-frame for a funding decision will be eight weeks, once we have received a complete application and all the required information.
• you need to complete a simple application form, which focuses on the outcomes of your project or the needs of your organisation.
• you can only receive one grant in our financial year (1 April to 31 March).  You can apply to one grants programme at a time.

Projects funded

In line with our purpose of being a catalyst for building of strong, connected, healthy, happy and prosperous communities, we focus our funding in five key areas of Learn, Support, ConnectParticipate and Sustain.


Excluded projects

• political parties or groups aligned with political parties.
• support the spiritual activity of religious organisations.
• fund debt retirement.
• commercial organisations or for the commercial activities of not-for-profit organisations.
• local government or central government departments for activities which are clearly their responsibility.
• fund expenditure related to core curriculum delivery in schools, for example computers and other ICT, basic educational resources, teachers' salaries and operational expenses (except where the cost may legitimately be part of a community based learning programme).
• projects where the benefit is outside our funding regions. (Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakirri, Christchurch, Selwyn and the Chatham Islands).

Activities funded

Operating costs may be considered to support the operating and administration costs of community organisations. This may include:
• salaries
• plus general overheads such as rent, power, phone
• administration costs.

Project cost grants may be available to assist funding to one off community projects, events, assets or programmes.

Excluded activities

Rātā Foundation does not make grants to:
• directly fund scholarships to individuals.
• dund overseas travel for groups or individuals.
• other trust funds, capital funds or endowments.
• underwrite fund-raising projects.

Retrospective applications (applications lodged after project completion or after costs have been committed).  Check out application decisions and funding deadlines.

Funds available

Information not available

Upper limit per grant application

Up to $20,000.00

Grants made last year


Funds available last year


How to apply

Before you apply, please:
• Review our funding priorities and criteria under Connect, Learn, Participate, Support and Sustain on our What We Fund
• Find out if your organisation can apply, what types of costs are funded
• Have a look through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information on applying for funding.
• You can contact our Funding Team to discuss your application.

Apply Online at:

Information required with your application

What supporting information must be submitted with the application?

First time applicants need to supply:
Copy of the trust deed or constitution.

All applicants need to supply:
• latest financial statements or performance report, which have been audited if required.
• minutes/resolution from your board or committee showing authority to apply to Rata Foundation for a grant. This must include the date the resolution was made, the dollar amount requested, a description of your project request, and should be signed by an authorised signatory from your organisation.
   - For example on 1 December 2015, Fun Times Trust resolved to apply to Rātā Foundation for $2,000 to run a basketball holiday programme. I confirm this to be a true record. Signed the chairperson.

At least two letters of support for your project or organisation from national or regional organisations or community organisations/ networks which support the project or organisation. These need to be no more than twelve months old.
If you have one of the following, please upload alongside your application:
• a copy of your Ministry of Social Development Approvals letter
• evidence of accreditation from a national body
• a letter of affiliation to a national or regional sports body
• evidence of registration as a licensed Early Childhood Education provider
• evidence of having completed a health and disability audit
If you are applying under the large grants programme, you will also need to include:
• a full programme or project budget.
• your organisation’s strategic or business plan.

Decision makers

Grant applications are assessed by the Grants Team to ensure the application meets our policies and funding priorities. Final approval is given by the board of trustees.

Decision time

Once your application has been submitted and assessed generally the time-frame for a funding decision will be eight weeks once we have all the completed information.   Payment will be made after you have agreed to the terms and conditions of the grant.

Each application is unique. We consider each request’s scope and complexity, amount requested, your organisation’s history with us, as well as other factors that could contribute to or hinder its success. This takes time. We give every request careful consideration and the attention it deserves. We appreciate your patience.

Applications are submitted through our online portal.
Once it arrives into the Rātā Foundation system, one of our administration team checks to see you have have submitted all of the requested information.
Next it passes to one of our funding team, who will look at the application. The assessors and advisors will look to see your application meets our eligibility criteria and is not requesting an excluded item.
Your assessor or advisor will also look to see what difference your project will make and how your organisation is placed to deliver the project.
We will also look to see how strongly your application aligns with our funding focus areas.
A report, which summarises the application, is presented to Trustees. The Trustee will make the final decision on supporting or declining applications.
All this can take time, as we give each request careful consideration and the attention it deserves. So thank you for your patience in waiting for the outcome of your application.

How notified

We’ll send you a letter to tell you whether your application has been successful or whether it has been declined.

You can apply at any time which suits you within our financial year – once in that financial year (1 April to 31 March).
Once your application has been submitted and assessed generally the time-frame for a funding decision will be eight weeks once we have all the completed information.   Payment will be made after you have agreed to the terms and conditions of the grant.

How paid

You can expect payment of your grant approximately one week after you receive your approval letter, with monies being direct credited into your organisation’s nominated bank account.

Conditions of acceptance

Rātā Foundation is keen to learn about the difference organisations are making in our communities with the help of our funding.
We will send you a short post grant survey about a year after the grant was made which asks for some basic information about whom the programme or project benefitted, where it took place, how it went and what you learnt along the way.
In addition, we will ask some of our large grant recipients to give us more information. This may take the form of surveys or interviews.
There may be some instances, where a fuller evaluation of your programme would provide useful learnings. This would be agreed upon in discussion with your organisation.
The purpose of our monitoring and evaluation process is for learning and development both for us and our communities.

Other information

You can receive one grant in our financial year from 1 April to 31 March. If you have received a grant in July, for example, you could apply again any time after 1 April in the next financial year.
We consider applications all year round so we encourage you to choose when is best to apply. To help you choose check out our application deadlines and funding decisions.
It is important to note you can only receive one grant per financial year (1 April to 31 March) and we cannot fund retrospectively, so it is important you allow sufficient time for your application to be considered.


Karyn McLeod
Funding Manager
Rata Foundation
PO Box 1440
Christchurch 8140
Phone: 0508 266 878