The 2018/19 Strengthening Communities Fund is open for applications from Tuesday 3 April 2018 and will close at midnight Tuesday 8 May 2018.

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.

Groups that meet the criteria for multi-year funding may apply for up to three years of funding.

Please ensure you read the information on our website carefully before making your application. 

Further information

If you have any questions contact a Community Funding Advisor , email or attend one of our information sessions:

  • Tuesday 10 April, 9.30am. Coastal Burwood Community Boardroom , Cnr Beresford Street and Union Street
  • Wednesday 18 April, 9.30am. Christchurch City Council Civic Offices Function Room, 53 Hereford Street
  • Monday 23 April, 5.30pm. Beckenham Service Centre, Boardroom, 66 Colombo Street
  • Friday 27 April, 1pm. Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre, 341 Halswell Road.

Apply for funding

Make an application to the Strengthening Communities Fund

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


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 project(s) 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 Council 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.

What this fund covers

  • 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.

What this fund will not cover

  • 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 commencment date of the funding agreement
  • Entertianment 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.

Multi-year Funding

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 Council funding outcomes and priorities [PDF, 20 KB]
  • A proven track record of providing or enabling identifiable benefits to the city or board area
  • Effective governance and sound operational policies and practices including financial, HR and risk management
  • A stable financial position, appropriate financial management and accounting practices
  • A demonstrated history of good management, monitoring and reporting practices.

Organisations considered for multi-year funding will be contacted, as part of the assessment process, by a Community Development Advisor to discuss the criteria further.

To apply for multi-year funding you must include the following documents with your application:

  • A business plan to cover the period to be funded
  • Details of any partnership funding to be received from other funders or government entities
  • Name and contact details of two referees able to confirm the organisation is in a suitable position to manage multi-year funding.

Organisations who receive multi-year funding will be expected to commit to mutually agreed performance objectives and participate in annual reviews of these objectives with Council staff. In addition, multi-year funded organisations may be expected to participate in seminars with other Council-funded organisations to discuss performance and share learning.

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

Accountability and compliance

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.