Community Funding

Pūraka moni mō te Hapori

We provide or administer a range of funding opportunities to help support local projects and events to promote community wellbeing. We can also point you in the right direction of other external funders, either locally or nationally.  

We are excited to share that a new community funding application platform is available to access here during 2024 funding application rounds.

For those who are familiar with applying for a grant from QLDC, you'll notice some changes.

You can expect some additional and different questions as we aim to consider how the funding available contributes to wellbeing outcomes for our people and our district.

Community Funding Webinar Recording

Find out more about the Event Fund, Community Fund and Waste Minimisation Community Fund and how to use the QLDC Community Funding application platform.

A recording of the webinar, with presentations from all three fund managers, was held on Monday 15 April 2024. See the recording below.

QLDC funding opportunities

  • Grants have been awarded to community groups and not-for-profit organisations operating across the district following the 27 June Council meeting.

    View the fund recipients in the table below:

    Applicants were able to request up to three years of operational or project funding through this round. The Community Fund 2024-2027 closed for applications on 7 May 2024. 

    Note: If applying next year in the 2025-2026 funding round, you'll only be able to apply for one year of funding.

    Community Associations

    There are 15 formally recognised Community Associations across our district who actively represent and advocate for the needs and interests of their local communities.

    These groups each receive an annual community grant of $5,000 for operational support and project seed funding. If they want to apply for additional project funding, they were able to complete an application for the Community Fund 2024-2027.

    Previous Fund Recipients

  • We're committed to supporting a balanced portfolio of events across the district. This includes providing an annual contestable events fund that is open for both commercial and community events.

    Our 2024-2025 events funding recipients are:

    $30,000 and over

    • Challenge Wānaka $30,000
    • LUMA Light Festival $35,000
    • Queenstown Marathon $32,100
    • Wānaka Festival of Colour $30,000

    Under $30,000

    • Ripe – Wānaka Wine and Food Festival $25,000
    • Wānaka A & P Show $25,000
    • Wheels at Wānaka 2025 $20,000
    • Arrowtown Autumn Festival $20,000
    • Winter Games NZ $20,000
    • NZ Golf Open $20,000
    • Proving Grounds (mountain biking event) $20,000
    • Motatapu $20,000
    • Lake Hayes A & P Show $15,000
    • NZ Junior Rugby – Global Games $15,000
    • The WILD (trail running event) $15,000
    • Wao Summit $12,000
    • Central Lakes Polyfest $10,000
    • Queenstown Multicultural Festival $10,000
    • NZ Mountain Film Festival $5,000
    • OUT & About Wānaka $5,000

    We continue to work in partnership with our sustainability and climate action teams to develop and support events' sustainability measures.

  • Applications for the WMCF closed on Friday 17 May 2024.

    Do you have a great idea for a project that will help move our community towards zero waste? You might be eligible for funding through our Waste Minimisation Community Fund.  

    Projects must be consistent with the Waste Minimisation and Management Plan 2018 (WMMP) and achieve the following objectives: 

    • Waste Reduction – Reducing waste at source and/or

    • Resource Recovery – Diverting waste from landfill

    The aim is to support new initiatives that complement and enhance existing programmes, address gaps or create new opportunities. 

    Any questions?

    If you have any questions about the application criteria and process, please contact 

  • Supporting the diversity, heritage and creativity of our place and people is essential for community wellbeing and helps to build a culturally rich and creative district that is accessible to all. Funding is available to support our distinct local arts, heritage and cultural projects from a range of contestable funds.

    Creative Communities Scheme (CCS)

    The Creative Communities Scheme works to strengthen the local art community. Projects that get funded do at least one of the following:

    • encourage participation — creating opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate in local arts activities

    • support diversity — supporting the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities

    • enable young people — they provide opportunities for young people (under 18 years) to engage with, and participate in the arts

    How to apply:

    Anyone who would like to deliver an arts based project in the Queenstown Lakes District can apply for a grant from the Creative Communities Scheme. Read the applicant guide and complete the application form:

    Applicant Guide
    Creative Communities Scheme Application Form

    This scheme has two funding rounds each year:

    • Round 1: opens 1 February and closes the last Friday in February

    • Round 2: opens 1 August and closes the last Friday in August

    Central Lakes Arts Support Scheme (CLASS)

    The Central Lakes Arts Support Scheme works to strengthen and enhance the local art sector. Funding available is a maximum of $2,000 annually per applicant and per project. Funding applications can be made to CLASS at any time. Decisions are made on a monthly basis.

    How to apply:

    Complete the application form and send it to the appropriate organisation for consideration, Queenstown applications close on the 15th of each month with funding outcomes by the end of each month for projects happening in the following month:

    Central Lakes Arts Support Scheme Guidelines and Application Form 

    Projects in the Queenstown, Arrowtown and Glenorchy areas, please complete and return this application form to:
    Creative Queenstown
    Private Bag 50072
    Queenstown 9348

    Projects in the Wanaka and Upper Clutha areas, please complete and return this application form to:
    Upper Clutha Arts Council
    PO Box 216
    Wanaka 9343

    The Upper Clutha Arts Council meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month. Applications must be received by the 20th of the month prior.

    Heritage Incentive Grant

    Applications for the heritage incentive grant can be made by the owners of listed heritage items (natural and built) in the Queenstown Lakes District. Financial assistance will only be granted to Category 1, 2, and 3 historic buildings, sites and objects (including trees) as listed in the Inventory of Protected Features (Appendix 3) in the District Plan.

    Applications can be made for the following financial assistance:

    • Professional Advice - to assist with advice on earthquake strengthening, building conservation plans, adaptive re-use feasibility studies and other studies to do with the conservation of the place, object or tree which will encourage their protection, preservation, maintenance and enhancement.

    • Consent - to assist with reimbursing the landowner for land use consent and building consent fees incurred in preservation or adaptive re-use. These are fees incurred because of the historic designation.

    • Maintenance - to assist with funding routine maintenance work undertaken by heritage professionals

    How to apply:

    Complete the application form below: 

    Heritage Grant Application Form

    And send it to:

    Jan Maxwell, Private Bag 50072, Queenstown 9348 or email

    If you have any enquiries regarding this application please call (03) 441 0499.

  • A travel subsidy is available to assist the development of junior sport in rural communities.

    This is available to organisations and schools with participants aged between five and 19 years playing sport for a club or school club who meet the rural travel fund criteria (the fund is not available for travelling to regional or national events.)

    The following criteria are applied when considering applications for funding:

    • School club teams – a school club team participating in regular local sport competition out of school time, which excludes inter-school and intra-school competitions played during school time.

    • Sports club teams – a sports club team participating in organised, regular sport competition through club membership outside of school time.

    For more, check out the  Rural Travel Fund Guidelines

    How to apply

    The closing date for applications is the last Friday of October every year.

    You can download the Sport New Zealand Rural Travel Fund Application Form  or pick up a hard copy from Council offices on Gorge Road, Queenstown and Ardmore Street, Wānaka.

    Any questions?

    Jan Maxwell - Arts and Events Facilitator
    03 441 0469 or 027 233 7934

  • QLDC Sport & Recreation’s mission is to encourage more people, to be more active, more often. This connects with our communities’ Vision Beyond 2050 outcome for Thriving people | Whakapuāwai Hapori – “Our environments and services promote and support health, activity and wellbeing for all”.

    This annual Get Active Community Grant will support not-for-profit organisations, incorporated societies and charities that benefit the health and wellbeing of the Queenstown Lakes District Council community members. 

    Applications for the next funding round of the Get Active Community Grant will be open from 1-22 August, with grant recipients being notified by 30 August.

    Your organisation can apply for entry passes for your members to a service at our Sport and Recreation facilities (Queenstown Event Centre, Arrowtown Memorial Pool, Wānaka Recreation Centre and Paetara Aspiring Central).

    Grant recipients’ passes will be valid for one year running from 1 September 2024 to 31 August 2025.

    We will only be giving out physical vouchers that grant access to our pools, gyms, group fitness classes and other casual programmes available at the Wānaka Recreation Centre and Paetara Aspiring Central. 


    • Applicants must be a registered charity, incorporated society or not-for-profit group.
    • Applicants must be based in the Queenstown Lakes District.
    • Sports groups and businesses are not eligible.

    How to apply:

    Apply on the Smarty Grants platform starting 1 August. Applications close on 22 August.

    Any questions?

    If you have any questions about the application criteria and process, please contact

  • Local events and community projects allow us to connect with and support each other, and they are an awesome way to celebrate the amazing communities we live in.

    Funding is available to support local events, fundraising and community projects that sustain community health and wellbeing in our district.  All supported events, projects or fundraising activities must be held in the Queenstown Lakes District. 

    This support is provided in the form of “in kind” contributions of QLDC services or resources. In most cases, cash funding will not be paid to the successful applicant. Instead all approved costs will be paid directly by QLDC. Costs covered may also include support for local suppliers of event services e.g. waste management and portaloo hire.

    Costs that can be considered for Local Community Support are:

    • EVENTS: QLDC venue, reserves or equipment hire, QLDC regulatory and permitting fees.

    • FUNDRAISING: Vouchers for Sport and Recreation services (gym, pool or climbing wall) at our local facilities, to be used for local fundraising activities. E.g. as a prize in a local raffle or silent auction. Maximum total value of vouchers for each fundraising event is $100.

    • COMMUNITY PROJECTS: QLDC regulatory, resource consent or permitting fees for community building or planting projects.

    Local Community Support does not cover bond payments, special licence fees for sale and supply of alcohol at events, associated costs* (i.e. waste, labour and cleaning). Local Community Support cannot be used to fully fund any event.

    If your application for support is successful, please acknowledge QLDC’s contribution to your event, fundraising effort or project. If you would like to include QLDC branding on any of your promotional material please email this request to:

    How to apply:

    1. EVENTS: Book QLDC venue, reserve or equipment hire - confirm the booking date and obtain a quote by emailing your enquiry to:
      FUNDRAISING: Choose the Sport and Recreation services you would like request vouchers for, listed on our website here.

      Confirm the cost of the permit or consent service you require.


    2. Once you have confirmed and booked your venues/equipment/services, or identified any fundraising voucher requirements, include these details on your Local Community Support Application Form

    3. EVENT/PROJECT: If your request is for an amount of $1,000 or more, your event/project budget must also be provided with your application. This can be linked as an attachment on the Local Community Support Application Form.

    4. Submit the application at least 20 working days prior to your event or project start date, to ensure we have enough time consider your application and respond.


Tips for fundraising

At some point, nearly every community organisation will need to raise money to continue its work in the community, run an event, or carry out a special project. Raising funds, like most activities, is easier if you have a clear idea of what you need to do and how you'll do it.

Funding opportunities open and close at different times throughout the year so it pays to be organised, research well in advance and check funder information regularly.

If you'd like to discuss options for funding your project or event, please contact

Steps to follow:

  • Gather information about your organisation

  • Gather information about the project or activity

  • Find out about funding sources and possible activities

  • Create a fundraising plan

  • Implement your fundraising plan - send out applications and complete fundraising activities

  • Account for funding received and evaluate how your plan worked

Funding websites and tools

  • QLDC Community Funding application help: help guide to support with completing online applications through the QLDC Community Funding platform powered by SmartyGrants. 

  • GenerosityNZ: a digital search facility for funding information in Aotearoa. They have three search tools that connect people to funding opportunities. givME offers access to scholarships and grants for individuals. givUS lists resource schemes for communities, volunteer organisations and clubs. givER connects businesses with community groups to achieve positive social impacts. Access to GenerosityNZ is available via our libraries (with a library card). Click here to get started.

  • CommunityNet Aotearoa: an online hub where you can find and share resources designed to strengthen community organisations. Resources include a Funding Application Checklist.

External Community Grants

  • Te Tipuria Fund  - WellSouth: to help those working to improve local food environments.

  • Eco Fund - Otago Regional Council: for projects that benefit the community.

  • Ethnic Communities Development Fund - Community Matters: to support the development of established and emerging ethnic communities.

  • Like Minds, Like Mine - Community grants to bring to life initiatives that reduce stigma and discrimination and increase social inclusion for people living with mental illness or distress in your local community, iwi, or hapū.

  • Harcourts Foundation - Providing grants to reputable community-based organisations which need funding for projects and initiatives designed to benefit as many people as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • This new platform helps simplify the application process and you’ll be able to use this site to apply for community funding, see the status of your application, submit any required reporting and more.

    You can expect some additional and different questions as we aim to consider how the funding available contributes to wellbeing outcomes for our people and our district.

  • QLDC does not have a policy limiting the amount requested in applications to the Community Fund. However, we are experiencing a high level of interest in the Community Fund 2024-2027 and expect the total value of funds requested to exceed the funds available. We recommend applicants refer to the list of previous fund recipients to see the size of grants allocated in the last three years. The Community Fund Guidelines and list of previous fund recipients can be viewed on the QLDC Community Funding webpage, under the Community Fund 2024-2027 section here.

    Community Fund applicants are encouraged to apply to other funders, or indicate other fundraising efforts, that may support their project.  This will be considered when applications are reviewed, along with the amount requested and how the project or service contributes to community wellbeing.

  • As the application process has been separated from the now-deferred Long-Term Plan there will not be a hearing option to present to elected members about community funding applications.

    Each application will be considered by the panel on its merits.

  • A panel of Councillors will review the Event Fund and Community Fund applications in May and final decisions will be approved by full Council on the 27 June meeting. All applicants will be notified of the outcome in July which is the same process as previous years.

  • To ensure community funding can be allocated in the usual timeframe, with approved grants paid out from 1 July onward, the application process has been separated from the now-deferred Long Term Plan.

    Feedback from our community to make this process more accessible, along with looking at the way other councils manage community funding also played a part in this decision.


Get in contact

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Community Funding team by emailing: