Community Investment Fund Guidelines

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Nelson City Council has been worked in partnership with community organisations for many years in a variety of ways such as funding agreements, one-off grants, rates remissions, intermediary loans, and community leases and licenses. This allows Council to support the community and local organisations to deliver programmes and activities that meet specific local needs.

 In 2015 the Community Assistance Policy was reviewed and the following changes were made:

  • The Community Assistance Fund would now be known as the Community Investment Fund.
  • A Community Investment Funding (CIF) Panel comprising of four community members and one council officer would allocate funding instead of the Community Services Committee.
  • The objective of the fund will be the delivery of social development outcomes opposed to funding arts, recreation and events. 

View the full policy.

2.0 Available Funding

2.1 A total of approximately $300,000. is allocated to Community Investment Funding each year. In most years of the funding cycle, the community investment panel are able to consider and award multi-year funding agreements. Due to multi-year funding agreements already being in place the amount of funding available for new applications will vary each year.

2.2 $50,000 will be available for grants of up to $2,500 each through a contestable annual funding round.

2.3 For funding round 2018/19 $268,363 will be available for agreements that begin from $2,500

3.0 Community Investment Fund Agreements

3.1 Agreements must be for a minimum of $2,500 per year

3.2 For the 2018/19 funding round applicants can apply for a period of one to three years. Funding for each year of the agreement must be spent by 30 June.

3.3 The funding round will open on 23 February 2018. Applications need to be completed online and the application form can be found at

Please note that this is a one-stage application process, there will be no expressions of interest called for this year. Once you have applied a Nelson City Council staff member may be in contact to discuss your application further if required.

3.4 The application period will close on 9 April 2018.

3.5 Successful applicants will be offered a written agreement in July/August, specifying the purpose of the agreement, payment and reporting processes.

3.6 Agreement holders will be required to submit an annual accountability report by 1 May each year of the agreement. The last two months of the financial year will need to be forecast  and a copy of the organisation’s most recent set of financial accounts will need to be submitted. Community Investment funding must be clearly identified as a source of income in these accounts.

4.0 Community Investment Fund Grants

4.1 Grants are for a maximum of $2,500 and

4.2 Applications will open in July at

4.3 The Community Investment Funding Panel will meet and allocate funding in October and applicants will be advised of the outcome shortly after.

4.4 Successful grant applicants will be offered a grant letter in October, specifying the purpose of the grant, payment and reporting processes.

4.5 Funding must be spent by 30 June each year of the agreement.

4.6 Accountability reports will be due 1 May 2019, where recipients will need to forecast the last two months of their grant expenditure.

5.0 Timeline and Process


The agreements application period opens 23 February 2018 at


- Agreements application period closes 9 April


- CIF panel review agreements applications and allocate funding


- Applicants advised of outcome of agreement applications

- CIF grant funding round opens at


- CIF grant funding round closes – 17 August

- CIF agreements distributed


- CIF panel review grant applications and allocate funding


- CIF grants distributed

6.0 Funding Criteria – relevant to all applications

6.1 Projects/activities must align with the 2018/19 Contribution Areas and Priorities, Council’s Community Outcomes, Nelson 2060 / Long Term Plan. See the last page for links to these documents

6.2 Organisations must have registered charity status with Charities Services (, or be able to supply a tax exemption certificate to show they are considered ‘non-profit’.

6.3 Non-profit organisations without this status can nominate an umbrella organisation with this status who has agreed to receive and administer the funds on their behalf. In this case the umbrella organisation would be legally accountable to Nelson City Council for the expenditure and outcome measures of the project.

6.4 In recognition of a desire to support innovative partnerships and increased outcomes, organisations can submit more than one application for consideration as long as the “other” application is in partnership with multiple organisations or partners, demonstrating collaboration to achieve outcomes.

6.5 Applications cannot be altered once they are submitted.

6.6 Late applications may be considered at the discretion of the Community Investment Funding Panel, but in general will not be accepted.

6.7 Retrospective funding will not be considered.

6.8 Projects/activities must have a social development focus.

6.9 The project/activity must provide a public benefit and be open to members of the public within the Nelson City boundaries or benefitting Nelson residents.

6.10 A preference will be given for projects/activities which show an element of working in partnership, both toward funding and delivery. This may include working with other not-for-profit organisations, funders or sponsors.

6.11 Other factors that will be considered are:

  • The value of the project to the community in comparison with the cost to Council.
  • The level of wider community involvement in the project.
  • The past achievements or potential of the organisation.
  • The ability of the organisation to successfully administer the grant/contract and deliver the outcomes.
  • Contribution to other Council policies/strategies.

6.12 Successful applicants must acknowledge Nelson City Council support in promotional material wherever possible.

6.13 What won’t be funded:

  • Individual people.
  • Individual businesses, government agencies or departments, or political parties.
  • Duplication of existing public or private programmes operating close to each other.
  • Purchase or improvement of privately owned facilities.
  • Funding activities that involve any alcohol, tobacco, illegal substances and gaming.
  • Expenses incurred out of the region such as transport or accommodation.
  • Professional fundraising services.
  • Activities already completed.
  • Projects already funded or part-funded by Council.
  • Public services that are the responsibility of central government (e.g. core education, primary health care).

8.0 Accountability

8.1 All successful recipients will be required to submit accountability reports, documenting how they achieved what they set out to.

8.2 Any organisation that fails to submit accountability reports and/or has not spent the money in accordance with the application/agreement will receive written notice asking them to rectify the situation. If Council doesn’t receive an adequate response, the organisation  may be asked to return all or part of the funding received.

8.3 Any organisation that fails to submit acceptable accountability reports may no longer be permitted to receive community assistance funding in the future.

9.0 Community Investment Funding Contribution Areas and Priorities for 2018/19

1. Wellbeing and Social Development - Enabling individuals, families and communities to flourish.

Priority focus: To support projects and organisations that will:

  • Increase connection across our local communities and neighbourhoods
  • Increase access to services for residents of Nelson City
  • Support growth of wellbeing for residents of Nelson City

2. Children / Youth / Families - Supporting our young people and those that care for them to thrive.

Priority focus: To support projects and organisations that will:

  • Increase participation of children / young people and families in local neighbourhoods / communities
  • Increase children / young people and families to express their cultural identity in their local neighbourhoods / Communities

3. Older Adults - Supporting our elders to access appropriate services and to engage and participate fully in our community.

Priority focus: To support projects and organisations that will:

  • Increase connection
  • Increase participation in local communities and neighbourhoods
  • Increase access to technology that will support increase connection

4. Social Cohesion - Increasing inclusiveness and community participation through connection.

Priority focus: To support projects and organisations that:

  • Are led by residents in local neighbourhoods and communities.
  • Strengthen local neighbourhood, increase a sense of belonging locally
  • Increase connection in a local neighbourhood
  • Enable diversity to be expressed locally

5. Learning and Development - Supporting the capability of our community to succeed through increased skills and knowledge.

Priority focus: To support projects and organisations that will:

  • Deliver community learning opportunities to meet a clearly defined community need
  • Increase the literacies of our neighbourhoods and communities

6. Diverse Communities - Empowering our diverse communities.

Priority focus: To support projects and organisations that will:

  • Enable expression of identity and increase connection
  • Celebrate diversity
  • Enable newcomers and new migrants to connect

Council’s Community Outcomes

Nelson 2060

Download these guidelines

2018-19 Community Investment Fund Guidelines (55KB PDF)