COVID-19 Community Fund FAQs

If you have questions that are not answered here, please email us; we are happy to help. We will update the questions and answers on this page as needed.

Why has this Fund been made available?

The 2020 COVID-19 lockdown had disproportionate effects on women and girls. These effects included job losses, loss of income, increased unpaid caring work, and increased family violence. Many women, and their whānau, have not yet recovered from that lockdown. A lot of community organisations that support women and girls are facing two major challenges due to the impacts of COVID-19: they have reduced income and volunteer numbers, and, at the same time, have many more people needing their support.  This fund is intended to mitigate some of the effects of the 2021 COVID-19 Delta outbreak and lockdowns, by supporting organisations facing extra challenges due to the pandemic.

Who can apply for funding?

Applications are open to New Zealand-registered charities or incorporated societies whose work supports women and girls and that meet the other eligibility criteria. Other kinds of community-based organisations may be considered for funding should they meet the eligibility criteria and make a strong enough case. Please see the eligibility criteria for more details.

What can the funding be used for?

This Fund will support work that improves outcomes for women and girls and will address a current need that has arisen as a result of COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns. 

Please look at the eligibility and assessment criteria and, if your organisation is eligible, apply for funding for activities that fit the purpose of the Fund.

The Fund has a broad purpose so there are many different kinds of activities, programmes or items that could be funded. Some examples could include providing essential items, culturally-appropriate mental health support and support for women in unsafe family situations.

Funding may also be used for reimbursing volunteers’ costs or for operational costs so long as your application shows how these fit the Fund’s purpose.

If you are seeking funding for more than one thing, please itemise them and say how much funding you are seeking for each. The assessment panel may approve funding for some activities and decline it for others, so being clear helps.

Why are you asking about "current" impacts of COVID-19 on organisations and communities?

The purpose of this Fund is to address the impacts of COVID-19, so your application should explain how your organisation and/or communities are being affected as a result of the pandemic, and its wider effects (including economic effects). Some organisations have needs that won’t change much because of COVID-19. This fund isn’t for them.

Many organisations and communities are severely affected during outbreaks and/or during lockdowns. And, many organisations and communities continue to experience increased demand or reduced funding even after lockdowns finish.

It’s important to outline how your organisation and the communities you serve are being affected now, rather than how they, or your services, were affected under previous alert levels.

Examples of current impacts on organisations or communities:

  • Because of COVID-19 the businesses that usually sponsor us can’t give us funding anymore.
  • The community we work with is currently in Level 3, and has higher mental health needs.
  • Lots of our community lost work hours because of the economic effects of COVID, so now they need help finding work.
  • Lots of our volunteers are vulnerable to COVID so we can’t use them to deliver services while Delta might be circulating.

Examples of past impacts, that aren’t relevant to this Fund:

  • When we were in lockdown we couldn’t run our support groups; we can now run them.
  • We weren’t able to deliver our care packages in lockdown; we now can and are able to keep up with the backlog.

What if I already get government funding?

You cannot apply to this Fund for activities for which you have already received funding from other government agencies. That is, you can’t be funded twice for the same thing.

However, you can apply for the same kind of activity if your demand has increased because of COVID-19. For example, if you are contracted by government to deliver 100 care packages, but demand has increased to 200, you could apply for funding to deliver the extra 100. You may wish to ask the agency that is already partially funding you first.

What if I've applied for other funds at the same time?

You can apply for this Fund at the same time as you apply for other government funds, but you must declare this on your application form.

Does it matter how well-funded my organisation is?

Generally organisations that are already very well-funded, relative to their size and purpose, are less likely to meet the criteria.

Can I apply as an individual?


What amount of funding can I apply for?

You can apply for between $5,000 and $50,000. In your application form, you will need to specify how you intend to spend the funding (including a timeline), and, should you receive funding, you will need to report back by June 2022 to outline how the funding was spent.

Can I apply more than once?

Each organisation can only submit one application. If you are seeking funding more than one activity, please itemise these in your application. No organisation will receive more than $50,000.

Who will make the decisions on funding?

An assessment panel comprising representatives from community organisations and government agencies will consider and make decisions on the applications. 

Can organisations apply whose focus is wider than women?

Yes. The activities for which you seek funding must be primarily for the benefit of women and girls, but organisations with a wider focus are welcome to apply. If the activities you are proposing also include people who aren’t women and girls you can still apply. Please explain in the application why women and girls are the primary beneficiaries.

Examples of activities that primarily benefit women and girls:

  • My organisation provides essential items to families. 80% of clients are women, but people of any gender can apply.
  • My organisation runs mental health support groups for men and women. We would like to run an extra group for women.

When do applications close?

Applications close on Friday 1 October 2021 at 12 noon. We strongly encourage you to submit your application before this date in case you encounter any issues with technology. We will not accept any applications received after 1 October.

When will I hear about the funding decision?

Once you submit your application through the online application system, you will receive a confirmation email. This email will instruct you to send confirmation of your bank account details. You can expect to hear if your application for funding has been successful before the end of October. Grants are paid after receipt of a valid invoice. Organisations that send correct invoices promptly can expect funds in October or early November.\

Can I email you extra information to support my application?

You don’t need to send any extra supporting information, except for your bank account confirmation. We will be in touch if anything in your application needs to be clarified.

Can I call you to find out the status or success of my application?

We aren’t able to take phone calls due to high numbers of applications, but if you have a question that needs a phone discussion, please provide us with your phone number and query via email and we will respond.  You are welcome to send through questions to the email address. We will notify all applicants – regardless of whether an application is approved or declined – as soon decisions have been made. Please wait for this notification.

Is there a time limit to spending the funds?

Funds typically need to be spent within six months of your organisation having received them. Funding that is needed urgently will be prioritised. A report back on how the funds were spent is due to the Ministry by June 2022.

What happened to the 2020 COVID-19 Community Fund?

Last year a $2 million COVID-19 Community Fund formed part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund received nearly 500 applications and 155 organisations were granted money. Because the Fund was oversubscribed most organisations received less than they requested; the median amount granted was around $10,000.

This year’s Fund is very similar. There are some changes in the criteria and application form to make it clearer what the Assessment Panel will be looking for. It’s also clearer which kinds of applications won’t be funded; this helps potential applicants decide whether to apply.

Can I apply again if I received funding from the 2020 COVID-19 Community Fund?