Community Funding Best Practices


Every funding body is different, and they all have their own set of criteria and preferences on what they fund. The three main types of charitable trusts relevant to esport organisations looking for funding are Regional Sport Trusts, Community Trusts and Pub Charities.

Although many share or have similar prerequisites, no two funders are the same, and as such it’s important to understand the different roles they play in our community to help tailor your ask to contribute towards their goals.

Regional Sport Trusts

There are 17 Regional Sports Trusts across New Zealand. The goals of a RST are to increase regional levels of physical activity and to strengthen regional sport and physical recreation infrastructures (which includes clubs).

Regional Sports Trusts often run training for club administrators, volunteers and coaches. They have access to funding sources and in some cases can provide direct funding for projects and programmes directly.

RSTs are a good link to schools as they work closely with schools in the region to promote opportunities to get involved with different sports. They can be a good way to promote what opportunities your club offers if your club is looking to grow your young membership.

Community Trusts

There are 12 primary community trusts that make grants to not for profit organisations delivering community benefits across the spectrum of education, health, sport and recreation, the arts, social services, environment, heritage, community development, and community economic development. Since inception, the trusts have provided grant funding to New Zealand communities of around $2.7 billion. For the year ended 31 March 2020, $134 million of grants were approved by the 12 community trusts.

Although when speaking about community trusts, they are often referring to the primary 12 in our list below, your region may have other local funding bodies and it’s worth doing some independent research to find what is out there and available in your community.

Community trusts generally have a wider scope of funding that isn’t specifically focused on sport.

We have a full article about the Community Trusts here

Pub Charities

Gaming machines in pubs and clubs (i.e. outside a casino) represent ‘Class 4’ gambling, which the Gambling Act 2003 classifies as high-risk, high-turnover gambling. Class 4 gambling may only be conducted by a corporate society and only to raise money for an authorised (e.g. community and non-commercial) purpose.

These organisations are referred to colloquially as pub charities, and part of their operation requires them to raise money for community and non-commercial purpose. Each of these societies have a different core purpose, but often support community sport, participation and active physical recreation. They are well known for funding uniforms, sports equipment, club rooms, travel to domestic competition and venue fees.


1. Define your purpose

The first thing you need to do, is very clearly define your purpose. Try to answer some of the following questions

  1. What are you trying to achieve with this funding?
  2. Who directly benefits from this funding?
  3. How many people will this funding impact?

The key to a strong purpose is having very clear and tangible answers to these questions. A valid purpose often makes these questions very easy to answer. For example

Funding for Esports Academy Day (Unclear Purpose)

  1. What are you trying to achieve with this funding?
    • Teach people about esports and have them compete in a tournament (This is a good intention, but has to have tangible outcomes)
  2. Who and how many people directly benefit from this funding?
    • Not sure, depends on how many people sign up. I expect 20 students (This answer shows the beneficiaries are intangible and is a sign of an unclear purpose)
  3. What positive impact will this funding have on the community?
    • People will learn about esports and want to play more (This answer becomes difficult to answer because the purpose does not contribute to the wider community)


Funding for Esports Academy Day (Strong Purpose)

  1. What are you trying to achieve with this funding?
    • Teach people how to participate in esport tournaments appropriately and safely (This is a good intention, but has to have tangible outcomes)
  2. Who and how many people directly benefit from this funding?
    • Community members aged 8-13 with a maximum class size of 20 students. The benefits will expand beyond the classroom as these students will be taught skills such as how to treat people appropriately online, and host their own tournaments with friends to positively impact their peers. (This answer demonstrates exactly who benefits and how)
  3. What positive impact will this funding have on the community?
    • This funding will allow the program to be free to participate in. Young people will be taught skills on how to treat others with respect, project management skills and encourage them to organise responsible activities for their peers. (This answer demonstrates how the funding will be used, and how it benefits the individuals as well as the wider community)

2. Meet the requirements

Once you have a clear purpose, you should attempt to find the type of organisation that is most aligned with what you are trying to achieve. Using our example above, even with a very clear purpose you are unlikely to have success with pub charities who are primarily looking for traditional sporting outcomes.

Once you have a list of organisations you may want to apply to, research their specific criteria and ensure you have all the information they require.

Here is a list of the most universal criteria for all funding

  • The applying body must be a registered non-commercial entity
  • You must provide a letter of support from your relevant governing body (In this case a Letter of Support from NZ Esports)
  • Your organisation must have been operating for over 12 months
  • You must be able to provide at least 12 months of financial records (Including bank deposit slip, profit & loss, and balance sheet)
  • You will be expected to document evidence of delivery for your project

3. Apply for your letter of support

Now you have a clear purpose, have researched and met all of the required criteria, it’s time to put your application together. You can use the NZ Esports Letter of Support application to help ensure you have the basic information required and then we can review your application to give you feedback and our letter of support.


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