About Acorn funding

There are a variety of ways that the Acorn Foundation provides funding for our community. We have an annual funding round that runs from May to September each year. Charitable organisations can apply each year for this funding, become a ‘tagged’ recipient, or set up their own Community Group Fund with Acorn. Find out more below.

Scholarships are available at different times throughout the year, with specific criteria and timings for each award. For more information on applying for scholarships, click here.

If you are planning a community-driven event that needs funding our new joint event fund may be the answer. Learn more about the Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund here.

Acorn’s annual
funding round

Acorn's 2024 Funding Round will open on April 29 2024.
Register your organisation HERE. 

We are excited to announce that Acorn has partnered with Tahua, a New Zealand-based grants management software company. The application and granting process will now be through an online funding portal. This system will manage Acorn Foundation WBOP applications and Tindall Foundation EBOP funding applications.

To apply you need to:

  • Register your organisation. You are required to add details relating to your organisation. This will only need to be completed once: You will only be prompted to check and update details (if necessary) when you submit your funding application each year. We will notify you once the funding round opens on 29 April 2024. You will then be able to log in and complete your funding application.
  • Apply for funding. You will be able to add details relating to your funding request. The application will automatically save as you progress and you will be prompted to complete and submit the application leading up to the close date to ensure you don’t forget the final steps. Previous applications will be stored here so you can see what you have applied for in previous years. There will now be a separate Tindall Foundation application form for organisations based in the Eastern Bay of Plenty to complete. All other organisations should complete the Acorn Foundation application form [you will be able to indicate on this form if you also provide services in the EBOP].

If you are unsure whether your organisation meets our funding criteria, please call us on 07 579 9839 to discuss. Likewise, if you have any questions or problems navigating the online registration and application forms, please contact us either by phone or email: jo@acornfoundation.nz.

As a Community Foundation, our funding is donor-directed. About 60% of our support is tagged to charitable organisations specifically named by our donors. The remaining 40% is contestable by application, as it has been left by donors to a field of interest area (like the environment, animal welfare or youth) or unrestricted for the benefit of the community. 

Funding round FAQs

Charities and community organisations that benefit the Western Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand. 

  • The Western Bay of Plenty region encompasses the following areas: Waihi Beach, Katikati, Kaimai, Tauranga, Te Puke and Maketu, including Paengaora, Pongakawa and Pukehina. 

Acorn also distributes funds on behalf of The Tindall Foundation in both the Western BOP and Eastern BOP regions. 

  • The Eastern Bay of Plenty includes the districts around Whakatane, Opotiki and Kawerau, but excludes Rotorua, Minginui and Murupara. 

Acorn will provide funding for any charitable purpose (meaning every purpose which in accordance with the law of New Zealand is charitable) within our stated priority areas. The Acorn Foundation will consider applications for project costs and for general operating costs, including salaries/wages, rent and vehicle operating costs. 

If you are unsure whether your organisation qualifies for Acorn Foundation funding, please contact Jo Wilson on 07 579 9839. 

Acorn doesn’t fund the following categories: 

  • Individuals (other than scholarships and awards – see our website for the list of scholarships available)

  • Groups that are not incorporated 

  • The purchase of capital assets where the total item cost exceeds $5,000 [i.e., Acorn will not provide $5,000 to contribute towards a capital asset exceeding this value. 

  • Core education 

  • Overseas travel (other than through scholarships) 

  • Religious or political advocacy 

  • Retrospective claims 

•    Access to housing 
      - Improving the accessibility of owning or renting a safe, healthy home
      - Wraparound housing support for tenants or owners of sub-standard homes

•    Reducing inequity in the home and community 
      - Assisting locals with food security and basic needs 
      - Improving basic household financial skills including budgeting and debt reduction 

•    Initiatives for youth aged 14 -24 that help unlock the potential of young people 

     - Access to counselling or mental health support
     - Organisations who work with people with disabilities
     - Reducing the impacts of substance abuse
     - Other health-based organisations supporting vulnerable sectors of our community, and/or providing             respite services. (Please note we are not general health funders)
     - Limited funding is also available for donor-directed interest in the following areas:

                 - Organisations supporting people with medical treatment or conditions
                 - Organisations supporting children with specific health or education needs
                 - Organisations benefiting the deaf
                 - Organisations providing animal welfare and/or training of assistance dogs

      - Reducing the impact of violence and harm in the home and community
      - Supporting the victims of sexual harm
      - Supporting victims of child abuse 

•    Kaupapa Māori initiatives supporting:
      - Cultural development and inter-generational transformation 
      - Mana whenua initiatives 

•    Building stronger communities to enhance resilience, promote inclusion and provide connections for our diverse community 

•    Caring for the environment to nurture sustainability practices that enhance the well-being of the Western Bay of Plenty for future generations

•    Event funding 
Community connectedness is important to Acorn, which is why we are a joint funder of the Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund, alongside Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, TECT and BayTrust. This fund has been established to provide a streamlined application process for event organisers across the Western Bay of Plenty. More information can be found here.

Our 2024 funding round will open on 29 April.

We have one funding round per annum, with a four-week submission period. 

Follow us on Facebook to ensure that you are notified when the next funding round opens.  

We are implementing a new granting system this year. More information will be provided on how to apply in early April.

If you have not received Acorn funding in the past, you should contact us in the first instance to organise a meeting. We may also schedule visits with groups with whom we haven’t had contact for some time.  

Completed applications, including financials, are due within a set deadline and are reviewed by Acorn staff and Distributions Committee members. Our Distributions Committee meets in August to determine the successful applicants, and once the grants are ratified by the Acorn Foundation Trustees, the decisions are announced in early September. 

There is currently an upper limit of $10,000 per application for both Acorn and Tindall funding. 

You will need to apply via our new granting system – successful applications to Acorn will be considered for both funding streams. Tindall Foundation funding is distributed in September at the same time as Acorn Foundation funding. 

More information will be provided in early April on how to apply. 

The Acorn Foundation distributes funds on behalf of The Tindall Foundation, supporting Family/Whānau and Community. To find out more about these two categories, click on the links below: 

The Tindall Foundation doesn’t fund the following categories: 

  • Core or public health service 

  • Core education 

  • Research 

  • Sport, leisure and recreation 

  • The arts 

  • Overseas 

  • Buildings or land 

  • Animal charities 

  • The purchase of capital assets or equipment where the cost exceeds $3,000 

  • Core Education/Scholarships 

  • Individuals 

  • Loans and Endowment funds 

  • Religious or Political advocacy 

  • Retrospective claims 

  • Sponsorships 

  • Venture Capital initiatives. 

Generosity NZ (www.generosity.org.nz) provides extensive details on other funding options available in New Zealand. 

Become a
tagged recipient

You can skip the annual application process and receive annual
distributions forever if a donor specifies your charity to receive
distributions from their endowment fund. This is a great option to offer your donors as an alternative fundraising strategy.

Learn More

Create a Community Group Fund

Another funding option is to create your own Community Group Fund that your supporters can help you build – once it reaches $50,000 it will return a steady annual income to your charity for years to come.

Learn More