Some frequently asked questions with answers about our grants process can be found here.

  • Our strengths-based approach and commitment to supporting community aspirations has led to the development of Mana Whakahaere – an enhanced grantmaking practice. This practice recognises and acknowledges the rights of people/communities themselves to take ownership of and have full autonomy over determining their own wellbeing and destiny.

  • We have four Ngaa Pou Rautaki that help guide our decision making:

    Te Tiriti o Waitangi

    We embraces the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Kaawanatanga – Honourable Governance; Rangatiratanga – Self-determination and Ooritetanga – Equity. We acknowledge Maaori as tangata whenua and their mana as kaitiaki of te Taiao and the people.


    We recognise that people have differing levels of advantage and therefore require different approaches and resources to reach their full potential. We embrace diversity and inclusion to help ensure equity for every person in our community.


    We invest and tautoko projects that support access, engagement, or participation in community‐led initiatives and other development activities that enhance community aspirations. Fostering an environment of learning to help us respond to our communities needs and aspirations.


    We acknowledge that human-induced climate change poses a serious and immediate risk to our communities. We believe we have a role to play in mitigating the most severe impacts of climate change and have commitments towards enabling a low-emissions future.

  • Our Strategic Plan sets five and ten year goals towards achieving transformational change for people, whaanau, communities and places where the need is greatest. ​This includes funding projects that increase community vibrancy, quality of life, resilience, participation, and inclusiveness in the areas of:

      • Arts and culture
      • Community Development
      • Environment
      • Education and research
      • Social services
      • Sports and recreation
      • Tangata whenua
      • Wellbeing

    By preference, grants will be made to organisations:

      • that offer their facilities or services for the benefit or enjoyment of the public and contribute to community vibrancy and resilience,
      • that have a proven track record in their area of operation, though the Trust may support new organisations that have significant potential
      • that can show community support for their operation, applying for projects that are consistent with the Trust’s current grants focus,
      • that have strong volunteer involvement,
      • that can show that their activity or project can make a real difference for the highest need communities in its region.

    A list of past grants can be found here.

  • Generally, we will not make grants towards:

      • business associations
      • conference attendance or accommodation
      • endowments
      • fundraising
      • individuals
      • loan repayments or other debt instrument repayments
      • prizes (including cash) and trophies
      • retrospective expenses (completed projects or events)
      • religious ministry
      • travel outside the Waikato region or overseas
      • uniforms
      • vehicles
      • venture capital

    Potential applicants are encouraged to contact a member of the Grants Team if you are unsure about whether your project fits.

  • No. In practice, we tend to fund up to 10% of the project costs. This level of contribution means that there is still a significant requirement for the organisation to raise the rest of the funding themselves.

    The 10% policy for projects can be varied up to 20% if there is significant alignment to Mana Whakahaere and our Ngaa Pou Rautaki.

    Note: as our minimum grant is $1,000, smaller projects may receive more than 20% of the project cost.

      • Clear language and concise information that is easy to understand
      • Being clear about your project outcomes
      • Uploading all required documentation

    To ensure you submit the best possible application, we recommend you contact a Grants Team member.

    Note: We do not assess your application on how well you present information, so please don’t spend too much time formatting your answers as it’s the content we care most about.

  • Each new person that needs to make new applications, be the secondary contact, make the declaration, complete reports, or see previous grant information, needs to register themself in the Grantee Portal by following the steps below:

      • Click to access the Grantee Portal.
      • Start by selecting the ‘Eligibility Quiz’ option at the bottom right of the page and then complete the quiz and registration form. Once submitted, we will approve your registration.

    You can watch a video on how to register.

    Please do not attempt to register for other people, they need to complete their own registration. The person registering will have a chance to update the organisational information as part of the registration process.

  • If you are wanting to update your organisation details please email grantsenquiry@trustwaikato.co.nz.

    If you would like to add an extra person please see above.

  • If you are wanting to remove a person from your organisation please email grantsenquiry@trustwaikato.co.nz.

  • The minimum grant is $1,000 and there is no maximum set.

    The main considerations are the size of the organisation, the organisation’s history, the project being undertaken, community benefit, and the project’s alignment to our Ngaa Pou Rautaki and Mana Whakahaere.

  • In general we fund not-for-profit organisations that:

      • operate in the Waikato region (organisations located outside of the Trust Waikato boundary that are providing services in the Trust Waikato boundary can be considered for a grant)
      • have a bank account, annual financial statements
      • are an incorporated society or registered charitable trust

    There is some flexibility around these requirements. We can, for example, fund organisations that have no legal status.

    Priority will be given to organisations with strong alignment to Mana Whakahaere and our Ngaa Pou Rautaki.

  • No. We also do not fund whaanau or family Trusts.

  • No. We do not fund any retrospective costs.

    We do not provide funding for items, expenses, completed projects, or events that have been paid for before you have been informed of your funding decision (8-12 weeks post round closing).

  • An organisation can apply anytime throughout the year. Our Community Response Grants have three closing rounds per year in February, June and September with payments made to successful organisations around 8-12 weeks later.

    Only one application will be accepted from each organisation in a round. Organisations can only receive one Community Response Grant per calendar year. An organisation which has had an application declined, may apply again in the same year.

    Ideally organisations should have spent their previous grant before applying again.

    For Trust Waikato’s other funds, organisations must contact a member of the Trust Waikato Grants Team to discuss projects that might be considered.

  • Our funding area incorporates the Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Waipaa, Waikato, South Waikato, Waitomo, Ootorohanga and Ruapehu districts, and Hamilton city based on the boundaries set through legislation in 1964.

    View a detailed version of the area we cover.

  • Yes, we are a partial funder. We encourage you to create a funding plan showing your organisation’s contribution and other funders you will be applying to.

  • When applying for a grant you must upload the following compulsory documents:

      • Chair’s report – this is to provide us with a summary of your activity over the past year. Meeting minutes are accepted if your group has been operating for less than a year. Schools and ECE’s can provide their ERO report.
      • Annual financial statements – upload a copy of your most recent financial statements. Depending on your organisational structure and income level, these statements may be audited, reviewed, or prepared internally. If your organisation has been operating for less than a year, please provide a profit and loss statement, together with a budget forecast for 12 months.
      • Bank account statement – upload a copy of your organisation’s most recent bank statement(s) that summarises the balances of all accounts held.
      • Verified bank deposit slip – attach a pre-printed bank deposit slip or signed confirmation from your bank of your account name and number. If you don’t have a bank deposit slip you can visit a branch of your bank and request a verification showing the full name and bank account number, which is stamped and initialled by the bank. You will need to either scan or take a photo of this document to attach to your application as verification of your bank account.

    Depending on your project, you may need to upload additional documents, such as:

      • A Waikato specific budget for groups operating both inside and outside the Trust Waikato boundary
      • A projected annual budget for new groups that do not have one year of financial statements
      • A preferred quote for capital projects
  • Each individual person that needs to make new applications, be the secondary contact, make the declaration, complete reports or see previous grant information needs to register in our Grantee Portal. See ‘How do I add another person to my organisation account?’ for instructions on how to complete this.

    If you are already registered for your organisation in our grantee portal please use your existing login and password to apply for funding in the Grantee Portal.

    You can watch a video on navigating the grantee portal.

    Once you are in the grantee portal you will be able to start an application by clicking ‘Apply Now’ on the main screen.

    You can save your work and return to your application at a later stage. When you are ready to submit your application, click ‘Save and Close’ then the ‘Submit’ will show. Click ‘Submit’.

    All applications must be submitted online by 4.30pm on the closing date of the grants round.

    Here are some useful videos to guide you through this process.

    If you are applying for more than one organisation, please see the ‘What if I’m applying for funding for two different organisations?’ question.

  • You will need to fill in the ‘Total Project Costs’ and ‘Amount Requested from Trust Waikato’ along with adding in costs to the project cost table to reflect components that make up the ‘Total Project Cost’.

    In the grant request section of our form is a Project Cost Table. To complete the table click the plus (+) to the right of the project cost table then add in a heading and amount for each component of your project. You do not need to break your project down. For example, show “operating costs” as one heading rather than listing each cost individually.

    Below is an example of what a completed project cost table could look like.

    It is important to note that:

      • ‘Total Project Costs’ must equal the sum of ‘Project Cost’ in the table – see red boxes below,
      • Amount Requested from Trust Waikato must equal the sum of ‘Amount Requested’ in the table – see yellow boxes below.

    You can watch a video of how to complete a project costs table.

  • Your project may align to more than one of our strategic priorities however please choose the priority you feel best reflects your project.

  • You will need to complete the eligibility quiz and register for each organisation you want to make applications for. When a new registration is approved it will be added to your existing login.

    To register for your new organisations leave your username and password blank and take the eligibility quiz instead.

    When you start a new application the group name will default to the primary organisation you are registered for. To change this, highlight the group name on the application form and start typing in the other group you want to apply for.

  • Once the application is ready to submit select the ‘submit’ button on the bottom right of the screen. When you have successfully submitted you will see a message confirming this flash up on your screen. You can check you have successfully submitted by checking on the status bar at the top of your application. It should look like this:

    Your application will also move from ‘Draft Applications’ to ‘Submitted Applications’ in the Grantee Portal menu. On the next business day, we will send you an email confirming receipt of your application.

    The application will only submit if you have completed all the compulsory fields. If you have overlooked a field, a warning at the top of the application will highlight which question needs completing.

  • Grants under $20,000 will be notified within 8 weeks and grants larger than $20,000 will be notified within 12 weeks from the closing date.

  • To find your letter, please go to the ‘Granted’ section in the left menu of the Grantee Portal. Click on the grant, or the declined application and then choose ‘Documents’ from the menu at the top of your application. You will see your letter attached as one of the documents.

    Access the Grantee Portal.

  • An online accountability report will be required either when your organisation makes a subsequent application or within 12 months of receiving the grant, whichever comes first.

  • If your organisation would like to use your grant for an activity that is different to what was approved in your application, you will need to contact a member of the Grants Team to seek approval.

    Please make contact with a member of the grants team to discuss your options.

  • We do not require organisations to acknowledge the grant. However, if you would like to acknowledge our support, examples on how to do so and our logo files are available for download. We would prefer that your time and resources go towards your project. Please avoid giving us gifts, awards or framed pictures.

Still have some questions?

Our grants team are available to answer any questions you have.