Funding guide and checklist

The Waitaha Action to Impact Fund is a contestable fund to support community organisations to deliver projects that align with the work and priorities of Environment Canterbury through community engagement and action.

This fund is not open to individuals, businesses, educational institutions, or government agencies.

The fund is now open, and closes at 10am on Monday 12 September 2022. For the 2022/23 funding year, $600,000 is available.


To be eligible to apply to the Waitaha Action to Impact Fund:

  1. Applicants must be a legal entity, such as a charitable trust or an incorporated society, operating as a not-for-profit entity. (You will be asked to provide your registration number). Find out if you are eligible to apply for the fund.
  2. Your project must align with our Strategic Direction/Te Aronga Rautaki 2020–2023,  in particular, the transformational opportunity of building community engagement and action. It must also contribute to one or more of the priority areas set out in our Long-Term Plan 2021-31. These include freshwater management, climate change resilience, emissions reduction and pest control, and protection and regeneration of biodiversity.
  3. You must supply 30% of the project budget; this may come from funding or equivalent in-kind contributions, such as volunteer hours.

Find out more about our work and priorities

We are the regional council for Canterbury, known as Environment Canterbury | Kaunihera Taiao ki Waitaha. We manage Canterbury’s air, soil, water and land. Our work is funded for the most part by the people of Canterbury (JPG file, 373 KB).

The priority areas set out in our Long-Term Plan 2021-31 include freshwater management, climate change resilience, emissions reduction, pest control, and the protection and regeneration of biodiversity.

Project funding

You can apply for a minimum of $5,000 up to a maximum of $30,000 per application per year.

In 2022, we will accept applications for funding a project for up to two years. We may not be able to fund the full amount that you have applied for.

Please note, that we may provide up to 70% of the costs of a project. We require you to demonstrate the availability of funds or in-kind support to provide a minimum of 30% co-contribution to this project. This means that if your total project budget is $10,000, you may apply to us for $7,000, with $3,000 being contributions from other sources. This can be from another source of funding or an in-kind contribution.

Refer to our resource pack (PDF file, 60.6KB) to find out how to calculate in-kind contributions. 

What can a grant be used for?

Funds may be used for:

  • tangible goods (plants, building materials, etc)
  • services (project management, technical advice, education, etc)
  • community engagement (coordination, facilitation, etc)
  • capacity and capability (upskilling, salary, etc)
  • sponsorship/donation (events, awards, etc)
  • other on case-by-case basis.

Funds must not support:

  • organisations and/or initiatives that are primarily political in nature
  • any project that will exclusively result in private gain
  • any project that is a legal obligation or condition of a resource consent.

Assessing applications

All eligible funding applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • alignment with Council’s priorities
  • the significance of the problem or opportunity
  • expected impact of the project
  • value for money
  • project management, including leadership and financial oversight
  • the extent to which the community are likely to be engaged.

Further information about what sort of information we would like to help with assessing your application can be found in the frequently asked questions, resource pack (PDF file, 60.6KB) and in the application form.

Applications will be ranked and those ranked highest will be allocated funding. We also want to ensure projects from across the region are funded.  

Providing a project plan and budget

The amount of information and detail we would like you to provide is in proportion to the amount of funding you are requesting.

If it is smaller amount, e.g. under $15,000, then a simple description of your project, who’s involved and what you will be doing, along with a simple budget is sufficient.

If you are applying for funding above $15,000, please provide more detail.

We have provided a template including the sort of information we would like to see in our resource pack. <<<link needed>>>

Applying for funding

To apply, please complete the online application form on our website. We will accept applications in other formats, but would prefer them to be submitted online.

If you create a user profile for your organisation through our engagement site, you will be able to save your work as you go, and have more than one person work on it. If you don’t set up a profile, you will need to complete the application form in one go.

You will receive confirmation your application has been received and a copy for your own records. If you do not receive confirmation, please get in touch as soon as possible.

Application checklist

Before you start, some things to have ready are:

  Applicant’s Charities Services or Incorporated Society registration number

  Applicant’s contact details

  Information to demonstrate that your project fulfills the criteria, in particular, the priorities your project best aligns with

  Project description and plan

  Project budget 

If your information is already in a document, e.g. a Word document or pdf, you will be able to upload these documents as you complete the application.  

If your project takes place at a specific location/s we will also need: 

  A map or grid reference for the location/s

  Evidence of permission from landowner/s

Frequently asked questions

How much money is available for the fund?

For the 2022/23 year, we have $600,000 available to fund community organisations through the Waitaha Action to Impact Fund.

Funding for 2023/24 has not yet been confirmed.

Can we apply for funding for more than one year?

In 2022, we will accept applications for up to two years, but may not be able to confirm allocation for the second year until later in the financial year.

Funding will not be allocated past the end of June 2024 as this is when Council reviews its strategic direction and priorities and updates its Long-Term Plan. This is part of a three-yearly planning cycle.

What if we only need a small amount of funding?

As is the case currently, you can complete the online Community Event Assistance form. This applies to both non-financial support (e.g. staff advice and support, use of resources and equipment) and financial support (e.g. small grants and sponsorship).

Can we apply for funding for work that has already been carried out, or that we are intending to do before we hear if our application has been successful?

No, if you are successful, we will only fund work carried out after a funding agreement has been signed.

We’ve received funding from Environment Canterbury before, can we apply again?

Yes, we welcome applications from groups we have ongoing relationships with, as well as groups that are new to us.

Will you accept joint applications from more than one group?

Yes, we welcome applications for joint projects, but the lead organisation will need to be a legal entity and take responsibility for administering the fund and keeping track of spending.

Can we apply to more than one Environment Canterbury fund and how do we know if we have applied to the right one?

If you are unsure which fund is the best fit, contact us at and we can advise. There may be occasions when applications to more than one fund could support complementary aspects of the same project.

If staff feel your application aligns better with another fund, we will be in touch.

What happens if we have applied to other funders for the same purpose and we are successful?

Let us know as soon as possible if you no longer need funding, so we can allocate it to another group. Please note, that funding allocated for one project or type of activity is not transferable without prior approval.

Can you provide examples of the sorts of projects you will fund?

Find out more about successful applicants from the 2021/22 funding round.

Who makes the decision on allocating funding?

A panel of senior Environment Canterbury staff will review all applications and allocate the funding.

How will the decision be made?

The panel will allocate funding based on a range of factors while ensuring the fund is used to support projects from across the region. The factors that will be considered include:

Criteria  What do we mean by this?

Alignment with Council’spriorities

Our priorities include freshwater management, climate change resilience, emissions reduction, pest control protection and regeneration of biodiversity.

The Long-Term Plan sets out work programmes and priorities. This fund is to support projects that contribute to or complement the work of Environment Canterbury

The significance of the problem or opportunity

What is the issue the project will address and why does this matter? We’ll consider the urgency and scale of the issue/opportunity and what might happen if no action is taken.

Expected impact of the project

What do you think will be achieved, and how much of a difference will it make, including the scale of the impacts and how enduring they will be? We’re interested in short, medium and long-term impacts.
Value for money Are the costs set out in the project budget reasonable? Is there potential for leveraging additional funding from other sources? Can we be confident that you will be able to meet all the project costs you have anticipated in your project budget?

Project management, including leadership and financial oversight

Who will be involved in delivering the project and what experience do they bring? We will expect to see details of what you are planning to do and a budget, including a clear description of what the funding from Environment Canterbury will be spent on if you are successful.
The extent to which the community is likely to be engaged Community engagement can take a variety of forms – it could be a project that is community-led/delivered that may not involve a lot of people but is very important to the local community, or it may be something that involves a lot of people and will help build awareness of local values. We want to support children and young people in the community by providing opportunities for them to engage with us about issues that matter to them and Canterbury's future, so please tell if young people are involved in your project.

Applications will be ranked and those ranked highest will be allocated funding.

What happens if there isn’t enough funding for all the applications that meet the criteria?

Unfortunately, we may have to decline applications that meet all the criteria if the total amount applied for exceeds the funds we have available.

When will we hear?

We’ll send you an acknowledgement of the receipt of your application and we’ll let you know if you need to supply any further information.

We hope to be able to notify all applicants of the outcome by the end of the year.

If your application is successful, we will provide information about what happens next and how and when you can access the funding.

What will you expect us to do if we are successful?

You will sign a funding agreement that sets out what you are agreeing to do with the funding, the timeframes and any milestones.

We will expect you to acknowledge our support wherever relevant.

We will expect you to report back to us on how the money has been spent and what has been achieved with it.

We will try to make sure that the accountability requirements are in proportion to the amount of funding and other support involved. We can provide you with a template and show you examples of the sort of report we will expect.

Will the list of successful applicants be publicly available?

Yes, we will publish the list of successful applicants, the amounts allocated, and a brief description of the project on our website and report the allocations in our quarterly and annual reporting.

What if we aren’t a legal entity?

You could consider partnering with a community organisation that has legal entity status. Or, get in touch with us at, as we may be able to suggest a group you can link up with.

Can someone help me write my application?

Sorry, we don’t currently have staff resources for that, but we have tried to make the process as easy as possible.

Please let us know if you think there is a way we can make it more user friendly. Contact us.

We will check for completeness when we receive your application and let you know if we need any more information.