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Funding subscription renewed for second year

    Local community groups will have another year to take advantage of grant opportunities through a specialised subscription that enables them to tap into funding sources.

    Rotorua Lakes Council and Rotorua Trust have partnered for a second year in Strategic Grants’ Grants Expertise Management Systems (GEMS) funding portal. The aim of the partnership is to increase the funding received by Rotorua community groups, helping support activities that make Rotorua a better place to live, work and play.

    Rotorua Trust Grants Manager Jackie McCullough says the GEM system is a great tool for local non-profit organisations to attract new funding streams to Rotorua.

    “In the past financial year, the demand on Rotorua Trust’s grants budgets has escalated. We see organisations increasingly needing financial support from more than one funder to enable their projects and programmes to continue.

    “We want local organisations to use the tool to its full capacity. The tool can be personalised to provide the best value and we know that organisations that use this tool have reported increased funding in the last year.”

    In 2020 the portal helped local groups to access more than $178,000 worth of grants. A survey of the groups using the subscription highlighted that groups were spending less time searching for funding opportunities and had identified at least one new funding opportunity through the funding portal.

    The Excel Grants Calendar which is part of the subscription service, had enabled 80% of the survey respondents to be more prepared when applying for grants because of the advanced notice about funding opportunities.

    The GEM system enables subscribers to access funding opportunities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Council and Rotorua Trust have secured subscriptions for 100 groups and currently, 65 local community groups are signed up. This means there are 35 spots available for local groups wanting to access this service.

    Training and support is also available online and a training hui with Strategic Grants will take place in April. Current and new subscription holders are welcome to attend.

    The main eligibility criteria for groups include:

    • being non-profit
    • being a legal entity (e.g. Trust, Incorporated Society)
    • having annual revenue under $1.5M
    • delivering projects that benefit the community and are located within the Rotorua area
    • the ability to attend a training session 
    • completing and submitting a 10-minute participation survey after six months and 12 months.

    For more information about the GEM subscriptions or to sign up contact Jackie McCullough at or phone 027 206 5449

    Photo: Youth Encounter Trust –  Dirt Bike Encounter Therapy Course 2020 (with participants from Awhina Activity Centre).