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.
  • The full policy can be reviewed at:

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 2017/18 approximately $70,000 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 2017/18 funding round applicants can apply for a one year period only. Funding must be spent by 30 June 2018.

3.3 The funding round will open on 24 February 2017. 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 10 April 2017. Late applications cannot be considered.

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 2018. 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 September and applicants will be advised of the outcome shortly after.

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

4.5 Funding must be spent by 30 June 2018.

4.6 Accountability reports will be due 1 May 2018, where recipients will need to forecast the last two months of their grant expenditure.

5.0 Timeline and Process


The agreements application period opens 24 February 2017 at


Agreements application period closes 10 April


CIF panel review agreements applications and allocate funding



CIF grant funding round closes


CIF panel review grant applications and allocate funding


CIF grants distributed

6.0 Funding Criteria - relevant to all applications

6.1 Projects/activities must show how they contribute to 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 Organisations can apply for an agreement and/or grant (only one of each per year). An organisation can hold more than one agreement but only apply for one per year.

6.5 Applications cannot be altered once they are submitted.

6.6 Late applications will not be considered.

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).

7.0 Strategic Priorities

7.1 In future years some strategic priority areas will be set. A designated amount of Community Investment Funding will be set aside for agreement applications targeting these priority areas. Council engagement with the community will continue throughout 2017/18 and new strategic priority areas are likely to be included from 2018/19.

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 Council's Strategic Outcomes

Initiatives will need to contribute to Council's Community Outcomes and the vision and goals of Nelson 2060.

9.1 2015-2025 Community Outcomes:

  • Our unique natural environment is healthy and protected
  • Our rural and urban environments are people-friendly, well planned and sustainably managed
  • Our infrastructure is efficient, cost effective and meets current and future needs
  • Our communities are healthy, safe, inclusive and resilient
  • Our communities have opportunities to celebrate and explore their heritage, identity and creativity
  • Our communities have access to a range of social, educational and recreational facilities and activities
  • Our Council provides leadership and fosters partnerships, a regional perspective, and community engagement
  • Our region is supported by an innovative and sustainable economy
  • A full version of Council's Community Outcomes can be found at:

9.2 Nelson 2060

A full version of Nelson 2060 can be found at:

Download a printable version: 2016-17 Community Investment Fund Guidelines (73KB PDF) (73KB PDF)