Community grants open: Need greater than ever

This month, Auckland Foundation is looking for organisations to share in a slice of $470,000 – the 2020 distributions from its five contestable funding rounds.

The small grants to many community organisations are expected to be more welcome and needed than ever – as community groups all over New Zealand face a Covid-induced perfect storm of significant increases in demand amid ever-decreasing avenues for funding.

Auckland Foundation executive chair Joy Marslin says the impact of Covid-19 on communities that already needed the Foundation’s support has been huge, and it has already distributed almost $30,000 in a number of small grants from a Covid-19 Community Response Fund set up with donations from Aucklanders reaching into their pockets to help.

Joy says: “Covid has created an even greater need for philanthropic funding and with many funders having less to give, there’s even more pressure on the charities delivering vital community support. I encourage all community organisations across Auckland to visit our website to see if they fit our criteria and submit an application to one of our funding rounds.

“While our focus for August is on giving grants – our year-round role is to inspire and encourage more generosity so we can increase support for charities helping the most vulnerable in our communities during these challenging times. We anticipate a huge spike in applications this year, so we need to encourage Aucklanders to be generous. Community foundations offer a range of ways to support all levels of generosity to be impactful and effective with the causes they care about. If you’re in Auckland, that’s us – but there are 17 others in communities around New Zealand.”

Photo credit: Steve Debenport

One community organisation that has received several grants from a variety of Auckland Foundation’s Funds is Te Whakaora Tangata, which transforms the lives of hundreds of at-risk families – positively impacting more than 2000 vulnerable children in South Auckland.

Fundraising coordinator Jacqui Dickson says: “There’s never been a higher demand for our counselling and crisis intervention services and we have responded by increasing our service output. We have done this despite funding constraints caused by Covid-19 such as reduced opportunity and increased competition to acquire grant funding, due to many grant providers cancelling funding rounds. Te Whakaora Tangata is grateful to Auckland Foundation for its consistency and stability during this time, which are important to charities and communities now more than ever.”

Applications are open August 3-31 with grants being confirmed in early October 2020. Five pools of funding from Funds invested and administered by Auckland Foundation, consisting of $471,121 in small grants – Grassroots Giving Fund ($345,121 to grant, up to $15,000 per grant) • Women’s Fund ($40,000 to grant, up to $5,000 per grant) • North Shore Fund ($75,000 to grant, up to $10,000 per grant) • The Clinton and Joy Whitley Fund (1 grant of $8000) • Daphne Gretta Mary Stevens Community Music Scholarship (1 grant of $3000) Check individual grant and application criteria on Auckland Foundation’s website