Applications have opened for the 2017/18 round of the Christchurch City Council’s Strengthening Communities Fund.

The fund is open to any organisation working to boost community wellbeing, and who may be looking for funds to get a project up and running.

A review of last year’s programme has resulted in a number of changes made to the application process this year.

Council Head of Community Support, Governance and Partnerships Lester Wolfreys said changes made to the scheme aim to provide easier access to funding.

“Community groups will now only need to submit one application covering all projects and/or operational costs, and we’ve also made a change so that an organisation that meets our criteria can apply for multi-year funding.

“This multi-year funding will allow groups to make a larger impact in their community through ongoing projects.”

Other changes to this year’s funding round include the removal of the Small Grants Fund, which previously catered for grants under $5000. All applications will now be considered under the one fund, with no minimum request limit.

Organisations may only make one application to the Strengthening Communities Fund at metropolitan level and/or one application per community board area.

Your single application can be for both operating and/or project costs. Operating costs may include salaries and general overheads such as power, rent and administration costs. Project costs may include the costs of community programmes, events, activities and equipment.

“We’re really looking for grassroots projects that contribute to the strengthening of community wellbeing in the Christchurch area. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate that they’re sustainable, strategic, community-focused groups with a significant presence within their community of benefit.

Organisations will also demonstrate their ability to contribute towards their projects and not rely on the Council as their sole source of funding.”

In last year’s funding round, Council distributed a total of $7.2 million through all of the Strengthening Communities Funding programmes.

Find out more about the fund and the application process. Applications close on June 6