COVID-19 Response Funding Available for Non-Profits

Please note: This list has been created by our friends at Exult. Visit their site for updates and please know this list is not exhaustive of all of the options available.

  1. Creative New Zealand’s Emergency Response Package
  2. Ministry of Social Development COVID-19 Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant Fund
  3. Ministry of Social Development Essential Services Support
  4. Northland COVID-19 Emergency Respond Fund
  5. Philanthropy New Zealand Update (various funders response)
  6. Philanthropic Sector COVID-19 Weekly Update
  7. United Way NZ COVID-19 Quick Response Fund
  8. Waikato Community Funders Group Response Package
  9. Western Bay of Plenty Funders Collaboration Rapid Response COVID-19 Fund
  10. Whanganui Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund

Creative New Zealand’s Emergency Response Package

1. Resilience Grants for eligible artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations (non-investment clients) who we know are suffering, to help them recover, maintain and develop their practice in a completely changed environment. There are two opportunities:

    • Arts Continuity Grant (up to $50k), supporting the creation of new work or the reframing of an existing project in light of COVID-19, including creative and professional development, promotion and distribution (eg, supporting new ways of working).
    • Emergency Relief Grant (up to $10k per individual), for eligible artists and arts practitioners, collectives and groups who we know may be experiencing devastating loss of income and opportunity and an uncertain future, and who have applied for the announced government support. More details to come – applications will need to include details of the impact of COVID-19 on their arts practice.

Creative New Zealand is planning quick application turnarounds and rolling weekly decisions for both the Arts Continuity Grant and Emergency Relief Grant, but will monitor this commitment and the rapidly changing environment.

2. Short-term Relief for Investment Clients – open to existing investment clients and on top of existing funding, with priority given to those materially negatively impacted by COVID-19, to help them stabilise their businesses and remain viable.

Investment clients are the 83 multi-year funded arts organisations in the Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes, employing between them many artists and arts practitioners (including technical specialists), and who may have had to cancel or defer programmes and carry the impact of incurred costs without the anticipated revenue. Application assessment will take up to 20 working days, beginning as soon as the application is received. More details to come – applications will need to include a re-forecasted programme and budget.

For more information, head to

Ministry of Social Development COVID-19 Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant Fund

COVID-19 Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant Fund
As part of the Government’s response to COVID-19, new funding is being prioritised to support community efforts on the ground. We recognise there are community groups and individuals doing critical work in the fight against COVID-19. This funding will allow them to continue to support their communities and help them through challenges they may face in the coming months.

What is the Grant Fund for and who can apply?
The Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant fund is available to Community based groups that are or will be providing essential community-led solutions to support local resilience and community wellbeing during the period of Covid-19 – Alert Level 4.

Grants allocated from the Fund will be one-off with priority being given to requests that support Maori, Pacific, older people, people with disabilities, people with current significant health considerations, migrant communities and people who are rurally isolated.

How much funding is available?
The fund has an initial cap of up to $5,000.00 (excluding GST) per request. Requests that are more than the initial cap will be considered by exception and may require further documentation. A total budget of $4.8M (GST exclusive) is available for allocation.

When will the Grant fund become available?
The fund is available from 26 March 2020 and will remain available until the fund has been fully allocated.

Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant Fund eligibility criteria
Must be a community-based group

Must provide details on:
– how use of the grant will contribute towards the provision of essential community-led solutions to support local resilience and community wellbeing in relations to Covid-19
– total grant amount and how the amount has been calculated
– must have confidence that the capability and capacity requirements needed to provide the community-led solution can be met.

For more information, visit

Ministry of Social Development Essential Service Support

Provider contracts
To provide some certainty over the next six months, the Ministry of Social Development will treat all providers fairly if their contracted delivery of services is impacted by COVID-19. If affected providers have to reduce services temporarily due to COVID-19, we will seek to maintain current funding levels for the period of the contract.

We understand it may be possible for some services to be delivered in different ways. For example, using digital or virtual technologies. Your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans should help with this, also. Please contact your relationship manager to discuss any issues you are experiencing as a result of COVID-19.

Essential Social Services
On 23 March 2020, the Prime Minister announced that New Zealand has moved to COVID-19 Alert System Level 3 and will move to Level 4 within 48 hours. We recognise that our non-government organisation partners will be changing how they deliver services in response to this. We recognise and support the innovation shown by our partners as they continue to get support to people who need it while staying safe and healthy themselves.

What is an essential social service?
For social services, four categories of essential services have been identified. The updated list below provides more detail on which contracted services fit within each of the four categories of essential services.

  1. Category 1: Where the social service is the only way for people to access food and other goods they need to live day-to-day (e.g. money management services (where an organisation manages living expenses on a client’s behalf), food banks, and delivery of essential goods).
  2. Category 2: A social service that provides and supports a place for someone to live (e.g. Supported Accommodation, Housing First, Residences, Bail Hostels, Night Shelters, Family Homes, Remand Homes, foster carers of children in state care, resettlement services for recent migrants and refugees).
  3. Category 3: A social service that supports disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing (e.g. disability services for those with high needs or very high needs – excluding disability employment services).
  4. Category 4: Crisis support for people who are unsafe (e.g. funded helplines, refuges and family violence crisis services, elder abuse services, foster carer support services, sexual violence crisis services, other social services for people and families in crisis, including youth).

These categories are subject to review.

We will continue working with organisations to ensure that these essential services are available and delivered in a way that maintains everyone’s health and safety, and continues to be culturally responsive. For those services not covered above you will need to work within your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans to determine what services will stop and what services your staff can continue to deliver from home.

List of ‘essential social services’ developed for the national response to COVID-19

View the list of ‘essential social services’ here

If you believe that you do deliver one or more of the identified essential social services, let us know by email at

Please tell us:

  • how you provide the ‘essential social services’ we have described, or meet an essential need in your communities during this time
  • that you understand and can operate within the significant restrictions on how essential services need to be delivered at Alert Level 4
  • about your current capacity and how you propose to operate the service.

Northland COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund
Northland Community Foundation has created the Northland COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund (Northland COVID-19 Fund). Funding will go towards essential services supporting our most vulnerable Northland communities dealing with COVID-19.

Received funds will be allocated via recommendations from a select Panel including the Northland District Health Board, Civil Defence and others. Funding will be prioritised for (but not limited to) services that provide welfare support for the elderly, kuia, kaumatua that live in rural, isolated communities. Funds will also be allocated for services that support vulnerable people that need to go into quarantine but do not have appropriate accommodation or safe accommodation to do so.

For more information, head to

Philanthropy New Zealand Update
Philanthropy New Zealand has produced an open letter detailing their response.

The purpose of this letter is to:
• Outline the situation of many philanthropists and grantmakers;
• Share principles that philanthropists and grantmakers are following; and
• Support those receiving philanthropic funds to have conversations with funders.

The response is a collective message from the following funders:

The J R McKenzie Trust
DV Bryant Trust
Bay Trust
Spark Foundation
Todd Foundation
Momentum Waikato Community Foundation
Len Reynolds Trust
Trust Waikato
Braemar Charitable Trust
The Fletcher Trust
Community Waikato
The GIFT Trust
Rātā Foundation
Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust
Keystone New Zealand Property Education Trust
WEL Energy Trust
Philanthropy New Zealand
PO Box 1521, Wellington 6140
Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT)
The McLeod Family Foundation
NEXT Foundation

Read their letter here

Philanthropy Sector COVID-19 Weekly Update

Philanthropy New Zealand is providing weekly updates on their position. Click here for more information.


Results from the United Way NZ survey of 200+ nationwide frontline charities, show that 95% of charities have been directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Traditional funding streams for charities have been drastically affected.

In response, United Way NZ has established a COVID-19 Quick Response Fund. This fund will provide support for frontline community charities around New Zealand who are providing additional services and resources for people affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak.

To donate to the fund, head to

To find out how your organisation can be supported, phone (09) 377 2544 or use their online contact form here

Waikato Community Funders Group Response Package

Community funders in the Waikato region have combined efforts to directly support non-profit organisations who are well-placed to support the wellbeing of the most at-risk people, who may be affected by COVID-19.

For comment or for more information please contact:
Dennis Turton Chief Executive, Trust Waikato 027 482 1206
Raewyn Jones, Chief Executive, WEL Energy Trust, 021 0296 1965

Western Bay of Plenty Funders Collaboration Rapid Response COVID-19 Fund

Funders in the Western Bay of Plenty have come together to establish a new Rapid Response Fund to support community groups who are experiencing increased demand and/or funding shortfall as a result of COVID-19.

The funders, who have committed to pooling from their current granting reserves a total of $600,000 in funding, include TECT, BayTrust, Acorn Foundation and Tauranga City Council.

For more information, visit

Whanganui Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund

Whanganui Community Foundation is concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on our community. Not only will this crisis impact the lives of individuals and whānau, but the community sector and community organisations are likely to face significant challenges in providing services and in doing their mahi that draws our communities together. The COVID-19 Response Fund is our response to support community organisations to cope through the crisis, and thereby to support the community itself.

  1. Duration of Fund
    • Whanganui Community Foundation will accept applications for grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund from 30 March to 1 July 2020. We may extend this upon review.
  2. Size of Grant
    • Small grants of up to $1000 are encouraged.
    • Applications for up to $5000 will be considered.
    • For amounts > $5,000, please talk to us so we can assess the best way to assist you.
  3. Grants will be made towards either or both of the following objectives:
    1. Costs incurred in providing goods, services, projects or activities for members of the community most in need on the basis of COVID-19, particularly the elderly, disadvantaged and other vulnerable people. e.g.
      • Food banks,
      • Advocacy services,
      • In-home care/cleaning,
      • Support for those isolated by this virus because friends and family can no longer visit with food and assistance,
      • Mental and physical health,
      • Other material assistance
    2. Increased or unexpected operational costs related to COVID-19 e.g.
      • IT costs to support staff who need to work remotely. May include the purchase of laptops/devices, cost of broadband, cost of set-up for remote access of office computers, etc.
      • Urgent staffing costs where it is necessary to hire staff to perform vital roles due to unavailability of volunteers,
      • Additional cleaning costs and costs of personal protective equipment,
      • Vehicle/petrol costs where increased travel is required
      • Other operational costs

For more information, head to 


For further updates visit

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