Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

      COVID19 logo        

  COVID-19 Funder News

        We will keep you updated on the latest news from Funders

Stay positive grant-seekers!


It is encouraging that many funders are publicising they will accommodate any reasonable changes to support beneficiaries, during this challenging and unprecedented time. Consistent with the recommended social distancing practices, grantors are also changing the nature and timing of any planned face-to-face engagements with donors, grant partners and stakeholders. Meetings are now taking place by telephone or video conferencing. Many are carrying on with business as usual, remotely. However, like everyone, there may be delays in response time given the sudden changes. To date, we have seen very few grant rounds cancelled or postponed, with the majority of those who are postponing being Gaming related funders, due to downturn in their revenue.

The Strategic Grants Team will continue to keep this funder news alert page updated with significant announcements, and to keep all NFPs focussed on continuing as much as possible with best practice grant-seeking, reporting and stewardship processes.

For customised Grants Calendars, and up to the minute alerts specific to your funding needs, please get in touch for information on our GEMS.

Keep positive!  We will get through this!


Philanthropy New Zealand is working hard too, working with funders to navigate this unprecedented time.  There is excellent advice in this news piece, from the Wayne Francis Charitable Trust, providing very sound advice to grantmakers on how best they can continue supporting charities and communities. 


In Good Grants News ...

Listed by most recent updates at top.


Western Bay of Plenty Funders Collaborate for Rapid Response COVID-19 Fund.  The funders, who have committed to pool from their current granting reserves a total of $600,000 in funding, include TECT, BayTrust, Acorn Foundation and Tauranga City Council.  Identified essential service groups will be contacted by TECT, with a notification to all others going out when the fund opens to the wider not-for-profit sector.

Vodafone NZ is increasing support for community partners through a range of different ways including additional emergency funding to and flexible funding arrangements with current partners. Data caps are also being removed.

The Provincial Growth Fund (NZ) funding is being repurposed to help protect jobs and businesses. More information will be communicated in coming weeks.

Museum of New Zealand Helping Hands Grants has extended their deadline until 30th June 2020 and increased the maximum grant amount from $1500 to $2000.

Whanganui Community Foundation is making best efforts to not reduce their grant budget for the 2020-2021 financial year, despite a challenging investment environment and has set up the COVID-19 Response Fund, which will accept applications from 30th March to 1 July 2020. Grants will generally be between $1000 and $5000.

One-off grants of up to $5000 are available now from The Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant fund.  A total budget of $4.8M (GST exclusive) is available for allocation. The fund is open until all grants have been allocated. Eligibility requirements include:

  1. Must be a community-based group
  2. Must provide details on how use of the grant will contribute towards the provision of essential community-led solutions to support local resilience and community wellbeing in relations to Covid-19.

Salaries and wages are not being funded.

Grant applications currently in processing: The current Alert Level 4 lockdown period has no impact on the processing of applications that were received by the Department before 23 March 2020 and are due to be considered by a Committee or Trust before 30 June 2020. These online applications are progressing as normal through the assessment phase and are expected to be considered by their respective Committees or Trusts on their posted meeting dates. Further, the current funding calendar remains unchanged at present.

DIA Community Matters Wants to assure Communities that they are open for business, just remotely! If your organisation has received funding from the Department and your initiative has been affected due to COVID 19, they will actively work with you to find the best solution, whether that is a time extension, change of purpose, etc. Call on 0800 824 824 or get in touch with your local Community Operations team to discuss options.

Creative New Zealand has confirmed its Emergency Response Package, announced on Friday in response to COVID-19, will include a first phase $16 million investment to buffer and support the arts community, with benefits extending well beyond the immediate crisis. The initial $16 million investment, with funding opening 14 April, will be distributed to the sector through to 30 June 2020 (end of Creative New Zealand’s financial year). It includes $4.5 million of new money announced on Friday plus $11.5 million repurposed from other programmes. Phase two, which will provide support beyond June 2020, will be explored at the April Arts Council meeting.

In the meantime, all artists, art practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations are encouraged to take advantage of the hardship support available through the Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Package (extended to provide cover for self-employed, charities and others). 

The Tindall Foundation remains open for business more or less as usual. Our Donations Team is able to work remotely, and still work to support community groups over the next few weeks as needed.  They continue to stay open for applications for funding and will continue to fulfil all prior and on-going funding commitments. While not holding any face to face meetings, they are still available for any funding-related support via phone, Zoom etc.  The team will also be reaching out to other key partners to see how they can best support them and communities through this challenging period.

Rata Foundation is offering flexibility during this time. The funding programme portal will remain open for applications and they will continue to make community investment decisions on funding applications and process grants payments.

We recognise the developing situation may affect your organisation's ability to deliver some or all of the outcomes you intended when you applied for funding from us.  If you hold a grant from us, we recognise your organisation may have incurred costs for programmes and events which are unable to go ahead. We recognise some projects may be postponed or delayed.

Please let us know if your organisation is having to make changes to planned activities due to COVID-19. Please contact one of our grants advisors on 0508 266 878 or via our

Eastern and Central Community Trust, New Zealand: We would like to reassure you that ECCT is providing support and granting as normal.

Trust Waikato has allocated $1 million towards funding a COVID-19 response, and other funders will be contributing further through combined action and grants.

Foundation North CEO, Peter Tynan, has assured communities that in the current situation, “our pūtea or endowment, and our ability to make grants from the returns on our investments, are resilient to the current situation.”

Perpetual Guardian has to date advised, there are no changes to their application and granting processes.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF):

Extended the pre-proposal deadline to May 14, 2020, for the following open funding opportunities:

If your MJFF-funded work (or application for funding) is affected or becomes affected, we ask that you inform us by filling out our online form as soon as possible.


Cancellation / Postponement of funding rounds

Grassroots Trust has closed its application process and will not be accepting funding applications at this time, due to COVID-19. They will review things regularly and update the website accordingly.

One Foundation NZ has cancelled their March and April meetings with the May meeting still to be confirmed.

Pelorus Trust will not be processing grant applications due to COVID-19 lockdown and has asked for no applications at this time.

New Zealand Lion Foundation has suspended granting due to COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown, which has forced the closure of all cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants in New Zealand. As such, the Lion Foundation is currently unable to generate community funding.

New Zealand Community Trust is currently unable to process any grant applications for consideration by the Net Proceeds Committee.

Due to the Covid-19 Virus, the Pub Charity Limited Net Proceeds Committee has postponed the April funding round until May. All compliant April applications will be considered in the May round.

The Southern Trust: “The COVID-19 Virus has had an adverse effect on TST and as a temporary measure The Southern Trust has taken the decision to stop all non-essential spending and to cease grant payments until further notice.  This decision does not apply to time critical grants currently under consideration or grants that have already been approved and is a temporary measure only.  We will actively review our position on a regular basis with a view to getting back to business as usual as soon as possible. Please note that any grants that would normally have been approved but have been put on hold during this time will be considered in chronological order based on the date of submission when we resume business as usual. Our dedicated grants team will continue to process applications up to the point of approval during this time.”'

The Trusts Community Foundation has advised, due to the closure of venues, there will be a limited amount of funding available in the foreseeable future. TTCF has made the decision to move to an online application system only.


General good news stories

Auckland Community Foundation has launched the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to enable giving that will be distributed to those most in need.

The Paul Ramsay Foundation allocates first phase funding of $9 million to support the fight against COVID-19





Need assistance? If we can be of help, do get in touch.

Check out our free resources here

See what webinars we have coming up in our Webinars Schedule and our Past Webinars.