COVID-19 Community Fund FAQs

The questions and answers on this page will be updated with new information as needed. If you have questions that are not covered here, please email us.

Why is this Fund available now?

Budget 2020 approved $1 million for a COVID-19 Community Fund, with $250,000 allocated to the 2019/20 financial year and $750,000 allocated to the 2020/21 financial year. This funding forms part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During emergencies and crises, issues related to gender equality often take a back seat, resulting in worse outcomes for women and girls. This includes greater loss of income, increased instances of domestic violence, and increased caring responsibilities.

Many community organisations that support women are facing two major challenges. They have reduced income and volunteer numbers due the impacts of COVID-19, and at the same time, they have many more people needing their support. This Fund will support those organisations that are experiencing increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What can the funding be used for?

This fund will support work that improves outcomes for women and girls and will address a need that has arisen as a result of COVID-19. 

The parameters for the funding you can apply for from this Fund are fairly broad. Some examples could include extending health services for extra hours or into more remote areas, opening community centres for extended periods of time, reimbursing volunteers, additional translation services. However, you cannot apply to this Fund for activities for which you have already received funding from other government agencies (for example the wage subsidy).

Key areas that this funding can be used for include: ensuring healthy and safe communities; reducing family and sexual violence; improving child wellbeing; and/or working to support Māori, Pacific, rural, and migrant women.

Who can apply for funding?

Applications are open to any New Zealand-registered charity or incorporated society whose work supports women and girls. Other kinds of community-based organisations may be considered for funding should they make a strong enough case. 

Can I apply as an individual?

No.

What amount of funding can we apply for?

You can apply for between $5,000 and $50,000 for funding in each funding round. 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 to the Ministry to show how it was spent by 20 December 2020.

Who will make the decisions on funding?

The Ministry will convene an assessment panel comprising representatives from community organisations and government agencies to consider and make decisions on the applications. 

Can organisations apply whose focus is wider than women?

We welcome applications from all groups with projects or activities that meet the criteria. There are many organisations in New Zealand which champion women’s rights and which meet the needs of women and girls.

When does the first round of funding close?

The first round of funding closes on Monday 15 June 2020 at 1pm. We encourage you to submit your application before this time in case you encounter any issues with technology. 

If the Fund hasn’t been exhausted in the first round, there will be a second round of applications, which will be open from 6-20 July 2020.

How many times can our organisation apply for funding?

Organisations can apply for funding in more than one funding round. However, as a general rule, organisations which have not previously applied will be prioritised. 

When will I hear about the funding decision?

Once we have received your application through our online application system, you will receive a confirmation email. You will hear if your application for funding has been successful before the end of June. The first grants will be paid out by late June or early July.

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

No. As we are expecting a high volume of applications we will not be able to talk with everyone on the phone. If you have a question, please email communityfund@women.govt.nz and we will respond to your enquiry.

Is there a time limit to spending the funds?

We expect funds to be spent within six months of your organisation having received them. As the Fund is intended to cover urgent needs, we will be prioritising funding that is needed urgently. A report back on how the funds were spent is due to the Ministry by 20 December 2020.