How to fund your charity

On this page you will find some examples of funding options that are available for New Zealand charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Charities consistently tell us that achieving reliable and stable funding is one of their biggest challenges. Charities Services does not provide funding, that is not our role. However, there are a number of organisations throughout Aotearoa New Zealand that do provide funding support for charities, including other business groups within the Department of Internal Affairs.

The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs works to build strong and sustainable communities in New Zealand. There are several groups within the Department of Internal Affairs that provide direct funding to community groups.

Community Operations(external link) provides funding support through the administration of a range of lottery and Crown grant funding for the benefit of New Zealand communities. They also provide information, resources and advice to communities. Check out their funding calendar(external link) for more information.

The Gambling Group also provides funding for community groups. Charities can apply for funding from gaming machine societies(external link). These societies are the organisations that own and operate gaming machines and make grants to not-for-profit community organisations. You can find more information on the different gaming machine societies on their webpage(external link).

The Office of Ethnic Communities also offers funding. The Ethnic Communities Development Fund is available for groups or projects that work towards supporting ethnic community groups in New Zealand. You can find more information on the Ethnic Communities Development Fund and how to apply here(external link).

The Office of Ethnic Communities also administer the Ethnic Communities Digital Inclusion Fund. The fund is available for groups working to ensure ethnic communities can use digital technology. You can find out more about the Ethnic Communities Digital Inclusion Fund here. (external link)

Other government agencies

Funding for Māori organisations

There are a number of organisations in Aotearoa that offer funding to support Māori organisations. You can find a list of these funds on our Te Ao Māori webpages: Te tono pūtea – Funding.

Local councils

Charities may qualify for funding from their council. Each local council(external link) has different criteria and different funds depending on the community. Check out the website of your local council to see if your charity is eligible for funding.

Community Trusts of New Zealand

There is an expansive network of community trusts(external link) in each region of New Zealand. Community Trusts of New Zealand provide funding support that charities may be eligible for. Have a look at the website of your local community trust to see what funding options are available.

Donor advised funds

Donor advised funds are charitable giving organisations that means you can give to a fund while still being able to guide where the money goes to. These are a great option if you are thinking about winding up your charity, but still want to continue to contribute to specific projects in your community.

If you are a registered charity that is a donor advised fund, let us know and we would be happy to add you to this list.


For scholarships and other educational opportunities – most tertiary institutions have a website where all scholarship opportunities are listed.

The website has information on scholarships(external link).

Other charities

Did you know there are almost 2000 charities that fund other charities as their main activity?

You can use the Advanced Search function(external link) on our website to find these charities.

  • Search within the “Charity Search” option
  • Categorise the rules as “Main Beneficiary” is “Other Charities”
  • You can also see where those charities operate by looking up the “Areas of Operation” column
  • You can then search for more information about each charity on the Charity Register Search(external link), by searching for their legal name

Other government agencies also have portals to different funding for community groups:

Some charities that provide funds are:

Other sources of funding

This page outlines just a small selection of the funding available for charities in New Zealand.

For more funding information, you can subscribe to Generosity New Zealand(external link) who have the largest digital search facility for funding information in Aotearoa (you can also access this at your local library).

There are also other crowd sourced funding platforms that can help you fundraise: