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There are three ways Momentum Waikato makes grants to community organisations;

  • Our donors themselves choose to support the charity or cause that matters most to them;

  • The governance team of one of our dedicated funds; such as the Waikato Women’s Fund, Waikato Cultural Inclusion Fund or Hamilton CBD Development Fund, makes a grant;

  • Our donors enable the Momentum Waikato Distributions Committee, which is made up of Momentum Waikato Trustees, to make strategic decisions on the greatest impact their gifts can have through the Vital Impact Grant.

Vital Impact Grant - Next Round opens mid-2020

Momentum Waikato’s Vital Impact Grant is informed by initiatives that address the top community priorities for action as identified by the Waikato Vital Signs community consultation process, carried out every four years.

Successfully funded projects by the Vital Impact Grant will be made in the following impact areas over a three-year period:

  • Children and Youth;

  • Strong Communities;

  • Arts and Culture;

  • Economic Vitality;

  • Education;

  • Environment;

  • Health;

  • Recreation and Sport.

Applications for the Vital Impact Grant will be assessed by an independent Advisory Panel of subject-matter experts who, following a thorough due-diligence process will make funding recommendations to the Momentum Waikato Distributions Committee.


Momentum Waikato will consider funding initiatives by applicants that meet all the following five-criteria:

  • Respond to a clear need in the Waikato – the challenge is significant and deeply rooted in the Waikato community;

  • Be inspirational – the outcomes are visible and inspire greater community generosity;

  • Be transformational – the outcomes disrupt the status quo to catalyse and accelerate much needed change;

  • Demonstrates leadership – organisations have a track record and the organisational capacity to deliver the outcomes at governance, management and initiative levels;

  • Be scalable and sustainable – the outcomes have the potential to be delivered across the Waikato, and possibly nationally with other players, beyond the time that funding ceases.

In meeting these criteria, it is anticipated that initiatives will be in some way new or innovative. We also actively encourage collaboration across two or more organisations.

View our Grant Recipients' stories

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Who Can Apply

Momentum Waikato is focused on helping Waikato-based community organisations who have bold ambitions and/or a track record of making a transformational impact in our region.

Specifically this means initiatives in the local authority areas of Hamilton City, Waikato District, Thames-Coromandel District, Hauraki District, Matamata-Piako District, Waipa District, South Waikato District, Otorohanga District, and/or Waitomo District – see Local Government boundary map.

Technically we can distribute funds to anywhere in New Zealand, however we will normally only make grants to individuals or to non-Waikato organisations where either our donors direct us to do so, or where a project or initiative driven from elsewhere will have a significant impact in the Waikato.

Grants are available to organisations that are either:

  • A registered charitable trust or company

  • A registered incorporated society

  • An education institution

  • A social enterprise

  • Organisations should have a governing document (such as a constitution, rules, memorandum and articles of association) and a bank account in the organisation’s name with at least two independent signatories.

  • Grants will not normally be available to support day-to-day operating costs.

We will not fund requests to support:

  • Contributions to general appeals or circulars

  • Religious activity which is not for wider public benefit

  • Public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations

  • Activities which have already taken place

  • Grant making by other organisations

How to Apply

Momentum Waikato will advise the Vital Impact Grant round is open through communication channels such as; E-newsletter and social media.

You can like us on social media, at:

If you’d like to go onto our e-newsletter database, please email your request to

The Vital Impact Grant Application form will be available here in early 2020. You can also request a hard copy be sent to you by post or email.

We appreciate the time and effort that organisations put into completing comprehensive grant applications, when only a few will be successful. You will be informed along the process at the following stages:

  • Vital Impact Grant round opens and closes;

  • Shortlisted and unsuccessful applicants notified;

  • Shortlisted applicants to present to the Distribution Committee & Advisory Panel;

  • Grant recipients and unsuccessful shortlisted applicants notified.

Informed by the Waikato Vital Signs Report, Momentum Waikato expects to fund up to three initiatives over a three-year period in the Vital Impact Grant round, and will draw on the knowledge and experience of an Advisory Panel of subject-matter experts to support the Momentum Waikato Distributions Committee which is made up of Momentum Waikato Trustees, in the robust decision-making process.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can we meet with Momentum Waikato before we submit our Vital Impact Grant application?

No. Momentum Waikato will not be able to meet with organisations in person leading up to the Vital Impact Grant application process. However, we are happy to answer questions by telephone or email. Momentum Waikato will contact applicants as we work through the decision steps if we need more information.

Can we contact Momentum Waikato if we need more help in applying?

Yes. If after reading the information on our website, organisations need further information to enable them to complete the Vital Impact Grant application form, they can phone or email Momentum Waikato for further information.

Will the grant be made as a one-off lump sum, or spread over multiple years?

The types of initiatives we expect to fund are unlikely to achieve transformational outcomes in one year, so the grant will be paid to successful organisations over a three-year period based on achieving agreed milestones as set out in the grant contract.

My initiative is not related to either of the two priorities, but I have another great idea that I am looking for funding for. Can I still apply?

No. The Vital Impact Grant is for outlined initiatives only, as that is what is informed through the Waikato Vital Signs process as being the top priority areas for action within the Waikato region.

                There may be other granting opportunities in the future that could suit your initiative, so keep an eye on this website for announcements, as well as Momentum Waikato’s social media channels and e-newsletter. Email us at to ask to be added to our e-newsletter database.

What do we do if our initiative fits into more than one criterion?

We see common ground across the priorities, and we expect that many of the initiatives we hear about will have impact across the specified criteria.

What feedback will you give us on our application?

Momentum Waikato will let all applicants know if their initiative has been successful to move through as a shortlisted applicant, or not. Momentum Waikato will provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants as to why their proposal was not shortlisted.

What are the obligations of successful applicants?

Momentum Waikato will work alongside those applicants who receive a Vital Impact Grant to ensure successful outcomes. Agreed milestones will be set out in the grant contract and progress will be tracked by way of quarterly reporting. It is our intention to keep the reporting requirements simple, both during and at the conclusion of the initiative. We will also share the change-maker’s story as it develops to inspire others.

What should we do if our organisations circumstances change during the application process – for example if we secure funding from another source?

We ask that organisations let us know of any circumstances as soon as they can so that we can understand the implications. Receiving funding from another source will not disadvantage an application. We encourage partnership arrangements with other funding sources.

Will Momentum Waikato invest in initiatives that make a commercial return?

Not typically, however Momentum Waikato might be open to funding initiatives that have a commercial return if there is a plan to reinvest that return into the community.

What are the tax and GST arrangements – for example do we need to be registered for GST? Is the grant GST inclusive or exclusive?

Momentum Waikato expects that most applicants will be GST registered, however we can consider the organisation’s GST status at the time we make grants. Financial information on the Vital Impact Grant application form should be exclusive of GST.

Does our initiative need to benefit the whole of the Waikato region?

No it doesn’t, although it must respond to a clear need in the Waikato. There may be interest from community organisations working on initiatives that only benefit their town or community, but with time and funding could have the potential to be scaled regionally or nationally.

Can a local authority apply for funding from the Vital Impact Grant?

If community groups are working together with a government agency on a new initiative in a priority area and the initiative meets the criteria, that could be eligible.

We have an initiative underway and need funding to ensure its continuation – would we be eligible for funding from the Vital Impact Grant?

The Vital Impact Grant is not intended to support the operational costs of current and ongoing projects or ‘business as usual’. It is also unlikely that initiatives that are already funded in their current form will be successful.

It is expected that initiatives will demonstrate ‘newness’ and ‘innovation’ in some way, for example it may:

  • Be a new initiative altogether;

  • Take an existing initiative into a new space through partnerships to create transformational outcomes;

  • Involve working in a completely new and inspiring way through collaboration with other organisations.

If the Vital Impact Grant is going to be funded over a three-year period to up to three applicants, does this mean our initiative needs to be seeking between $300,000 to $500,000 in funding? What if we just have a small project?

Momentum Waikato has no preconceived ideas on how big or small the grants might be. Don’t be put off applying if your organisation might be looking for a small funding amount.  What is important is that the initiative is looking to have impact in one or both priority areas and that it meets all five criteria.