Fund snapshot

Why do we have this grant?

We recognise the value of our diverse communities and that connecting all Hamiltonians through community activities helps to build an intercultural society and a deep understanding and respect for all.

What does this grant look like?

Hamilton City Council's Community Initiative Grants supports small not-for-profit community organisations within the city's boundary that deliver services, initiatives and projects that improve community wellbeing.

Application criteria

Who can apply?

Applications are open to all community groups who provide social connectivity for communities in Hamilton and groups who run activities and events for members and communities in Hamilton.

To be eligible to apply, groups have to meet the following criteria:

  • They are legally constituted not-for-profit community organisations (charitable trust or incorporated society). The applicant organisation must have a Trust Deed or Constitution with a minimum of three board or committee members. The applicant organisation must have been operating for a minimum of 12 months.
  • They provide services, programmes, activities or events that benefit Hamiltonians.
  • They have the capacity to deliver the project as outlined in their application.
  • They have good record keeping and operating practices i.e. annual accounts, minutes, two bank signatories.
  • They have accounted for any previous grants before any new grant application will be processed.

What gets funded?

The Community Initiatives Grants provides funding to cover the following elements:

  • services, initiatives, and projects that support day-to-day operation services
  • capital or equipment items and repairs and maintenance of existing assets
  • community event and cultural festival costs.

The grant opens twice per year. The grant rounds will occur in March and July each year. Recipients of this grant will not be eligible to apply for a Community Service Grant.

The following elements will not be covered under the Community Grants Policy:

  • operational costs already substantially funded by Hamilton City Council
  • retrospective funding, e.g. specific projects that already started or have been completed.
  • religious ministry regarding the teaching or preaching of their faith
  • activities considered core government responsibility, e.g. teaching of the school curriculum
  • political organisations or social clubs
  • repayment of debt, loans or loan guarantees, rates remittance, community leases or rentals, mortgage repayments or investments of any kind
  • any projects or activities that would generally be considered illegal or are contrary to Councils aims and objectives
  • travel and accommodation, e.g. prizes, cost of goods to be raffled or any costs associated with fundraising.

For more information, please see Council’s Community Grants Policy or contact funding@hcc.govt.nz.

The application

1. Application processes, guidelines and help.

You’ll need to register on Smartygrants first, then follow the guidelines to complete your application. This will set out what you need to get together before you apply.

There are many help options available through online guides and video tutorials when you are logged into the Smartygrants platform.

Also, here’s how we can help you with the online application process:

  • You can ask for assistance from one of our funding administrators, if you need it.
  • You can attend an information session (held in February each year).
  • You can attend one of our regular funding workshops held throughout the year.

You can also contact a funding administrator from our Community Development Team for more information. Either call our Customer Services Team on 07 838 6699 during office hours, email us at info@hcc.govt.nz.

2. When and how you can expect to hear back from us.

Once we’ve received your application via the Smartygrants platform, our staff will take it through the application process and assess it against the grant’s criteria and guidelines.


You’ll be notified of the decision within 8 - 12 weeks after the Smartygrants online system has closed applications.

Please note: Any data submitted as part of a Hamilton City Council funding application is available to Hamilton City Council. It is a cloud based tool that meets all requirements for information security and privacy.

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Last updated 21 February 2024