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.

The Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund is a collaboration between Acorn Foundation, Bay Trust, Tauranga City Council, TECT Community Trust and Western Bay of Plenty District Council to support community events taking place in the region. The purpose of the fund is to streamline the process for applicants by providing one centralised fund, as well as potentially providing access to new and additional funding previously not available. For more information about the event fund, click here.

Acorn’s annual
funding round

2022 Funding Round is now closed. 


Recipients can either be chosen by specific donors (what we call ‘tagged’) or can submit a funding application that will be assessed by our Distributions Committee. As part of our annual funding round, we also distribute funds for The Tindall Foundation in the Western and Eastern BOP.

Find the answers to all your funding questions in our funding round FAQs below:

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 Margot McCool or Jo Wilson on 07 579 9839. 

Acorn doesn’t fund the following categories: 

  • Individuals (other than specific scholarships – see our scholarships page) 

  • Groups that are not incorporated 

  • The purchase of capital assets where the total project cost exceeds $3,000 

  • Core education 

  • Overseas travel (other than through scholarships) 

  • Religious or political advocacy 

  • Retrospective claims 

  • Events - apply through Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund.

The following categories have been identified as needing extra support and have been selected as our priority funding areas this year. 

1.   Access to housing and reducing inequity

  • Improving the accessibility of owning or renting a safe, healthy home
  • Improving basic household financial skills
  • Providing tenancy support services 
  • Wraparound housing support for tenants or owners of sub-standard homes

2.   Initiatives supporting youth aged 14-24 years

3.   Health & Wellness/Safety

  • Reducing drug and alcohol abuse
  • Reducing domestic violence
  • Reducing child abuse

4.   Building stronger communities 

5.   Kaupapa Māori initiatives supporting cultural development and inter-generational transformation.

6.   Caring for the environment

7.   Donor Directed Funds: Funding is available as specified by individual donors in the areas listed below.  We recommend you contact us before submitting your application to ensure your organisation’s work lines up with donor objectives. 

  • Organisations supporting people recovering from addiction: $2,000
  • Organisations supporting people with medical treatment or conditions: $4,000
  • Children with specific health or education needs (funds need to go to a charitable organisation): $11,000
  • Organisations providing services to support the elderly: $10,000
  • Organisations benefiting the deaf: $4,500
  • Organisations supporting victims of abuse, particularly sexual abuse: $13,500
  • Organisations undertaking repairs for elderly/low-income housing: $1,000
  • Organisations aimed at providing relief of poverty: $14,000
  • Organisations supporting performing and/or creative arts: $2,000
  • Organisations providing animal welfare and/or training of assistance dogs: $2,000
  • Organisations facilitating environmental enhancement: $22,000

Our 2023 funding round will open in early May. 

We have one funding round per annum, which opens in early May, with a four-week submission period. 

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

2022 Funding Round now closed.

Acorn has recently moved to a simple one-step application process. 

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. 

There is no separate application form – 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. 

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