The Wellington Community Trust (WCT) has announced an innovative new fund aimed at lifting the capability of the not for profit sector in the Wellington region.

The LIFT Grants provide up to $5000 for individuals and $10,000 for organisations to develop the talent of their staff and boost the capability of their organisation. The grants are open to not for profit organisation operating in the Wellington region.

WCT has provided $300,000 for the first year of the LIFT Grants, with the intention of offering them over the next three to four years, depending on need in the region.

“In 2018 we undertook consultations with the not for profit sector in the Wellington region. We heard loud and clear that professional development was hard to find funding for and was the first thing to go when budgets got tight.” WCT Chief Executive, Georgie Ferrari said.

“We also heard that organisations often lacked the funds to plan strategically or think about workforce development. Sadly, we were told that burnout and high staff turnover was common”.

“We know there is great potential in the not for profit workforce in the Wellington region and we want to build on that potential by offering funding for development opportunities.” Ms Ferrari said.

WCT Chairperson, Roger Palairet said as far as the Trust is aware this is the first fund of its kind in New Zealand that offers a significant amount of funding in a region to develop the capability of the not for profit sector.

“We know that the not for profit sector in the Wellington region does great work every day. We also know that the staff in those organisations, both paid and unpaid, often de-prioritise their own professional development over delivering much needed services to our community”.

“Providing these funds is one small way we can acknowledge the workforce in the not for profit sector in the Wellington region and provide support for them to upskill in their fields”. Mr Palairet said.

The funds on offer can be used for a wide range of activities, from one-day courses on a specific topic to a contribution towards a tertiary qualification. The Trust will also consider applications for travel within New Zealand or overseas for conferences or to look at programmes that will enhance their work here. Organisations can apply for funds to support a strategic planning process, to update their policy and procedures manual or to undertake group Te Reo lessons or Treaty of Waitangi training as an organisation.

“We want to be as flexible as possible with these grants. We trust that the not for profit sector will know what types of professional development they need. We’re looking forward to receiving applications for a wide range of great ideas to boost capability in the Wellington region” Mr Palairet said.

Four rounds of LIFT Grants will be offered in this financial year. The first round opens on May 1st and closes on June 11, with decisions made by mid July.

For more information go to WCT Website: