Tips for writing a good application


  • First, check whetheryour organisation and project are eligible.

The ECO Fund supports community projects that protect, enhance or promote Otago’s environment. Find out if your project is eligible.

If you have received a grant from us in the past, make sure your final report has been accepted. 


  • Scope your project by outlining its objectives, location, timeline, activities, outputs and monitoring.
    • It is easier for us to assess well-defined projects. Be clear about the scope of your project, what you plan to do and why
    • If your project is part of a bigger programme, please explain which components you are seeking ECO Fund support for
    • You will be asked to report on your project’s outputs (what you actually deliver) – make sure your project outputs are achievable
    • It is important for your project to have long-term benefits – think about how you will maintain and monitor your project outcomes

  • Good financial budgeting
    • Prepare a realistic budget. You will need to report on your project’s budget and the use of the funding
    • One of the assessment criteria evaluates a project’s value for money (for example, how much work will be undertaken for the ECO Fund level of investment, consider how much your group will contribute – either in-kind or cash), so consider this when developing your budget. Check out the ECO Fund assessment criteria
    • Funding of salary costs is capped at 50%. If you are applying for salary costs, provide evidence of how the rest of the salary costs will be funded. The applicant’s contribution to salary could be from other grants, existing group funds, existing staff capacity or volunteer contributions allocated to the same project position
    • If you are successful with your application and GST registered you can include the GST cost in your invoice to us, but you should not include GST in your application
    • If you are successful with your application but NOT GST registered, you will not be able to invoice us for the GST amount. However, to cover this potential extra cost we will add the GST cost to your overall grant
    • Request quotes from suppliers well in advance as they may need time to get back to you

  • Check the ECO Fund application example.
    This document shows the questions in the 2024 ECO Fund application form, along with the amount and type of information expected. Please note that the bigger the project, the more information is usually required, but please be succinct and to the point!  Read more here

  • Save documents that you will provide in one place, for example:  
    • a project site plan
    • permission or management agreements
    • a list of plants for your project and a planting plan
    • letters of support
    • detailed budget


  • Legal considerations

    If successful, you will need to sign a funding agreement that details the responsibilities of each party. Make sure you understand these. View the funding terms and conditions.

    If successful, you will be required to provide:
    • Evidence that any contractors have public liability and motor insurance legal liability cover to the value of at least $5,000,000.00 each and that they have appropriate health and safety plans in place
    • Landowner agreement(s) or permission(s) for work on your project site
    • Evidence of bank account details under the applicant’s name
    • Any resource consent necessary for your project


Often community, catchment groups and individuals are involved in environmental enhancement projects such as wetland restorations, fencing of waterways, riparian planting or creating walkways for their communities.

Parts of these projects may require resource consents from the ORC or your city/district council.

Speak to the ORC consents team before applying to the ECO Fund to establish whether your project needs resource consent.

Email or phone 0800 474 082.

If your project requires resource consent from the ORC, it may qualify for funding of the consent application processing costs.

Find out more about consent information.

This funding does not currently cover flood protection bylaw fees.

Applying for funding of the consent application processing costs does not affect your eligibility to the ECO Fund.

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