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Community Trust South General Grants

Always open for applications?


Eligible districts

The Trust's area is the designated Southland province including Queenstown, Glenorchy, Arrowtown, Tapanui and Heriot areas.

Projects outside of this area will not be considered unless there is a clear, demonstrated community benefit to the people of Southland.


Non-profit organisations that are a legal entity and operating in our area can apply including:
• An incorporated society or an incorporated charitable trust. You can check if you are incorporated at Societies & Trusts 
• A company with charitable purposes that is registered with Charities Services
• Entities established under the Local Government Act 2002, Maori Trust Boards Act 1955 or Education Act 1989

What if you aren’t a legal entity?
You can apply for up to $2,000 and you will need to have a set of rules, minutes of meetings and have a bank account in your group’s name. Otherwise you will need to work with a Funding Partner to apply – contact us to talk about your options.

Available to groups or individuals?

Groups may apply


Community Trust South is the guardian of your community endowment of over $224 million. We help a wide range of groups and people here in the south every year by distributing millions of dollars in grants, scholarships and community loans.
We operate under the Community Trusts Act 1999 as well as our own Trust Deed and distribute funding from our investment's income. We've supported our community with over $186 million since we began in 1988.


The Community Trust of Southland's vision is to achieve positive outcomes for the Southland community, and through sustainable growth, to foster a creative, thriving, vibrant, healthy, safe and prosperous community. The Trust endeavors to achieve this vision through collaboration where possible, and by showing strong leadership where appropriate.

Projects funded

Our grants support a wide range of projects, programmes, facilities, services and events across our four pillars. 

Health, Wellbeing & Active Lifestyles
Working with communities to ensure people participate, are supported, empowered and cared for.

Art, Heritage & Culture
Working with communities to ensure people participate, celebrate, and preserve our arts, heritage and culture.

Working with communities to ensure every person has the opportunity to achieve their potential.

Community Development & Economic Development
 Working with communities to ensure they are connected, successful, resilient and dynamic. 

Within these four pillars we have specific priorities we want our funding to support, and your application will be stronger if you can meet some of these. 
Please see Our Strategic Vision for details on our priorities in each pillar.
Check out Our Grant & Scholarship Recipients to see what we’ve funded recently.

Excluded projects

• More than one approved application within a 12 month period
• Projects/activities outside our area unless there is a clear benefit to our community
• Repeat requests for the same project such as  increases in project costs or funding shortfalls
• Projects that have already commenced or have been completed
• Events or activities that are primarily being held to fundraise
• Projects that are primarily for private/personal financial benefit
• Religious instruction, lobbying or education

Excluded activities

• Travel, accommodation and uniforms for sports teams
• Mowers and other items of capital maintenance equipment for golf and bowling clubs
• Curriculum activities in schools
• Boarding school hostels
• School capital projects (excluding playgroups) and maintenance items
• Centenaries, jubilees and reunions
• Earthquake strengthening
• Debt repayments
• Sponsorships
• Endowments


Funds available

Information not available

Upper limit per grant application


Grants made last year

Information not available

Funds available last year

Information not available

How to apply

You can apply anytime for requests under $100,000, but you need to apply before the project has started as we don’t fund projects that have already happened.
Please note from 1 April 2020 General Grants will be up to a maximum of $75,000.

Applications are made online and if you haven’t applied before you need to register by providing your name, organisation and email address as well as creating a password – it  only takes a moment.

An organisation is only eligible for one grant within a 12month period, however if an application is submitted and declined, this will not preclude another different application from the same organisation within a 12 month period.

As part of your application you will be asked to identify your project’s intended outcomes (the changes or differences you expect your project to make) and, if your application is successful, you will be asked to explain in you accountability reporting whether you were successful. For applications requesting:
• $10,000 & Under you will need to provide at least one outcome
• $100,000 & Under you will need to provide at least two outcomes

Register or Apply Now

Information required with your application

What you will need?
Proof of legal entity i.e. your constitution or formal set of rules.
Audited financial statements and copies of all your bank accounts (including any investments). Charities Commission certificate or a letter from IRD confirming your organisation's tax exempt status.

Decision makers


Decision time

$10,000 & Under
It takes up to 6 weeks for a decision.

$100,000 & Under
It takes up to 8 weeks for a decision. 

How notified

In writing

How paid

Direct credit

Conditions of acceptance

To ensure accountability for the use of community funds the Trust may choose to undertake follow-up audits of grants approved. Each organisation is also required to provide an accountability report at the completion of their project or activity funded, outlining the benefits of the project. In addition, depending on the activity funded (e.g.length, type and complexity) the Trust may require progress or milestones reports to be completed and provided at
intervals throughout the project as mutually agreed with the applicant. Future grants to organisations that have previously received funding may not be approved until previous accountability reports have been received by Trust staff. Copies of accountability and reporting forms are available on the CTOS website

Other information

If you would like to discuss your project or need help with completing an application form please contact us on 0800 500 185 or (03) 218 2034. Our staff can either discuss your questions over the phone or can arrange to meet with you.


The Community Trust of Southland
62 Don Street
Invercargill 9810
New Zealand
Phone: 0800 500 185