Applying for funding or investment
Before you seek funding
Before you apply for funding for projects on the whenua, you need to make sure you've got everything in order.
You're much more likely to get funding if you can show that your trust is well organised and your plans are well thought out and feasible.
Research potential funds
There are many different funds around — it's only worth applying for ones that you qualify for, and that align with what you want to do.
All funds have different requirements and application processes. Some might not expect anything from you in return, others might have rules around reporting or expect you to contribute funding of your own equal to what they give you.
We've developed a fund finder to pull all the options into one place.
Do your planning and documentation
Most funding providers will want to see documentation like a business plan or project plan when you apply. These should detail:
- the scope of the project
- the skills and capability of the people involved
- any risks and how you'll mitigate them
- a detailed budget, including any estimates you've had from potential contractors
- evidence of support from owners
- details of any feasibility studies that have been completed.
If you're not sure about how to do this, start by talking to one of our regional advisors.
Ensure your finances are in order
The funding provider may want to review the trusts financial situation. This may include checking whether you and/or your trustees are solvent, and that your accounts are in order, up to date and accurate.
You should make sure the trust or incorporation:
- is financially sound – there's no unserviceable debt, your accounts are well organised and records are in order
- has an investment policy that outlines your risk profile — this should show that you're a sound investment with the skills to manage your finances well.
Do your due diligence
If you're partnering or getting involved with any other person or organisation financially, you need to do due diligence. This is a key part of trustees' prudent person responsibilities.
You need to check that:
- they are who they say they are, for example check the Companies Office website for proof that they are a registered company
- they are financially solvent.
Be aware that any investors or fund providers will also do due diligence on your trust, so make sure everything is in order.
Know what's involved
Applying for funding can be time consuming and frustrating — sometimes the rules for a fund can change during the application process.
It can also cost money to apply, especially if you need to do feasibility studies for the application. Make sure you know what you've committed to and the costs involved.
You need to be sure you can do what you tell the funder you're going to do — the trust's reputation and future funding options may be at risk if things don't work out.
Find alternatives to funding
There will be competition for grants and help, and there's no guarantee you'll get the money you apply for.
You may need to think about alternative ways to fund your project or whānau aspirations. This could include:
- having owners and whānau contribute
- borrowing money from the bank, or
- using assets – like a tractor – to secure a loan.
Business.govt.nz have created a tool for whānau to explore funding alternatives.