Since 2009, the Working Together More Fund (WTMF) has granted a total of $2.8M to support collaborations and mergers around New Zealand. Initially it was set up to help non-profit groups respond to the Global Financial Crisis. It then continued with the purpose of making collaboration easier and assisting its contributing funders to work more closely together.

At the end of 2016, the WTMF Committee discussed how to increase the Fund’s focus on sustainable collaborations which generate long term improvements or efficiencies in services. It was agreed that, over time, greater acceptance of collaboration as a way of working has grown – both among funders and community organisations. Most funders will now support collaborative initiatives and the committee asked themselves if the WTMF purpose was still sufficiently relevant.

The committee agreed a dedicated fund, focused on enabling high quality collaborations, was undoubtedly in demand. WTMF holds a great deal of awareness and experience of the complexities of collaborating, and wishes to retain this for the benefit of nonprofits. However, the committee also recognised WTMF had to reduce duplication and find its niche, making it clearer what the Fund would support. The Fund has always been asked for significantly more than it can donate, with many applicants spending time preparing their applications for no result.

Following a review, the WTMF Committee has agreed:

While the fund continues to adapt to changing needs, the new purpose statement is:

The WTMF supports collaborations and mergers that bring long-term benefits to non-profit organisations and the communities they serve.

The criteria, while still not too prescriptive, will reflect the purpose and be in place for the first Funding Round of 2018. Based on feedback received from applicants and committee members, these will be further refined mid-2018.

To assist applicants, the WTMF Committee has agreed on its understanding of what Best Practice Collaboration is and will provide guidance to underpin the criteria. Applicants will now be able to access a series of FAQs to help them complete the new application form.

Details of the refreshed criteria, best practice guidelines, FAQs and an updated application form is on the WTMF website.

Applications for the next funding round close at 5pm on Friday, 30 March 2018.