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Otago Community Trust - Sport & Recreation

Always open for applications?


Eligible districts

Otago Region EXCLUDING Queenstown, Arrowtown and West-Otago.


The Otago Community Trust supports community access to and participation in safe, well managed sport and recreation opportunities. The Trust's goal is for people of all ages to have the opportunity to participate in sport and recreation while improving their health.

The Trust values the contribution of volunteers, coaches, referees and sports people. Any incorporated or non-incorporated not for profit body can apply for a donation.

In general this means an organisation will be:
• an incorporated society
• a charitable trust
• a limited liability company fully owned by one of the above and operating for charitable purposes
• a non-legal (non-incorporated) entity which may apply for a donation of up to $1,000
• state funded education provider

Available to groups or individuals?

Groups may apply


The Otago Community Trust is a philanthropic organisation which applies its Trust funds for charitable and other purposes which are of benefit to the community.


The Otago Community Trust recognises that being involved in physical activity and sport and recreation groups has many benefits including maintaining good health as well as building strong bonds across our community.

Projects funded

Our Priorities:
• recognising and valuing the contribution of volunteers including coaches, referees and and administrators
• supporting projects that promote community access to recreational opportunities and initiatives.

The Trust is not a principal funder of projects. It expects that the applicant will raise a significant proportion of the project cost elsewhere.

Excluded projects

• individuals
• commercial organisations
• sponsorship
• projects considered to be the responsibility of central or local government

Activities funded

• purchasing equipment and resources for local clubs
• the development and upgrade of facilities
• events - particularly supporting volunteers
• regional coaching and development (RSO's should contact the Trust before completing an Application)

Excluded activities

• travel to conferences, seminars, reunions, etc.
• endowments or capital funds
• political parties or lobby groups
• repayment of debt
• retrospective costs
• core operational expenses
• prizes for sporting events
• uniforms for over 18yrs

Additionally, the Trust does not consider donations for mainstream salaries and overheads.

Funds available


Upper limit per grant application

No set upper limit.

Grants made last year


Funds available last year


How to apply

Applications can be submitted online or you can download the application form from:
Forms & Information Sheets

On April 30th of this year Otago Community Trust launched its new Grants Portal.  The portal will give you greater visibility of the funding process. You will be able to view applications in progress, grants approved and payments made and be able to complete the post-grant accountability all in one place.

Apply Online Now

Applications will be accepted at any time, there is no closing dates unless you are seeking more than $100,000. It is important to contact the Trust if you are thinking of applying for a donation of more than $100,000 as there are specific cut off dates for these applications.

Organisations can only receive one donation in the year running from 1 April to 31 March. If your application is declined during the year please feel free to apply again.

Please Note: Applications for Events across all sector groups should reach the trust at least three months prior to commencement or opening. Applications received later than three months may not be considered. 

Information required with your application

Additional information in support of the application may be attached.

Make sure you are ready to apply for a donation, things to consider include:
• you can demonstrate a clear need in the community for the project
• the project meets your organisational objectives and fits with your overall mission and vision
• the project can be defined as a specific activity; you are not applying for general overheads
• you know how much money is needed for the project and you are being realistic in your ability to raise the amount needed
• you have the skills and expertise available to carry out the project
• you have completed all of the necessary planning and addressed any consent issues.
• you have researched all of the alternatives and avenues for funding

Larger projects:
For applications over $25,000 you may need the following:
• a strategic plan and/or business plan
• a feasibility study
• evidence of national body support
• explanation of how your event may become self sustaining

Decision makers

The Trustees of the Otago Community Trust

Decision time

Once received, staff at the Trust will check your application and make sure all of the required information is supplied. We often seek additional information from you by letter, phone or a meeting. A final application is then presented to the Trustees for a decision. You are also welcome to contact us at any time to check on the progress of your application.

How notified

We do not write and tell you we have received your application but we may contact you to discuss your application before it is presented to the Trustees.  You will usually receive formal written notification of the Trustee’s decision on your application two to three months after you apply. This will outline any conditions we require you to fulfil before receiving the donation.

Donations are not usually paid out until the Trust is satisfied that the conditions in the letter of offer have been satisfactorily completed. 

How paid

By cheque or direct credit, once conditions of the donation offer are met.

Conditions of acceptance

Successful applicants are required to submit an Accountability report available from:

Other information

The donation should be spent within 12 months for the purpose set out in the application, or as directed by the Trust, otherwise the donation becomes repayable. The Trust may consider any submission for an extension of time or for the funds to be spent in a manner different to that indicated in the original application.

Funding Application Tips:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Making an application:

You can contact the Trust’s staff at any time to ask questions to help you complete the application form.


Otago Community Trust
PO Box 5751
Dunedin 9058
Phone: 0800 10 12 40 or 03 479 0994 Fax: 03 477 1869