Youth Leadership Projects

Young people are an important part of Nelson’s community, and represent the future workforce, parents, decision makers, and community champions that help to build the fabric of the Nelson that people love.

Investing in their future wellbeing will improve outcomes for young people and the community as a whole. Council developed a Youth Strategy in order to guide its work with young people.

The Youth Strategy had the following four goals:

This project focuses on goal 1. Specifically:

Peer-to-peer Leadership Development

We are looking to fund high-quality leadership initiatives that focus on using a peer-to-peer model where young people are recognised as both teachers and learners.  

Youth into Governance

We want to fund initiatives that either focus on providing the skills young people need to take up their position at the board room table or to provide support to organisations who want to become more youth-led. This work might focus on training, mentoring or other innovative ways of achieving more young people being in governance more effectively.

Work under either strand must either be a new initiative or add value to existing initiatives. Priority will be given to projects that provide benefit beyond just the applicant organisation.

Council has worked with a leadership group from the youth sector to guide how it funds work under the Youth Strategy. This group is called the Youth Sector Leadership Group. The Youth Sector Leadership Group has recommended this area of work as a priority and has recommended that approximately 4 grants of approximately $5,000 will be available to deliver youth leadership programmes. The project period will be negotiated with successful organisations but is likely to be between 6 and 8 months.

Eligibility criteria:

The project must focus on young people between the ages of 12 and 24 years old.

  • 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’.
  • 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.
  • Where a partnership bid is considered there must be one eligible organisation who will take legal accountability for the project and its successful delivery.
  • Retrospective funding will not be considered.
  • 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.
  • Successful applicants must acknowledge Nelson City Council support in promotional material wherever possible.

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.
  • Professional fundraising services.
  • Activities already completed.
  • Public services that are the responsibility of Central Government (e.g. core education, primary health care).

Make an expression of interest for Youth Leadership Projects