As any not-for-profit organisation or community group knows, finding funding can be hard work. Matching your project with the criteria required by funding agencies can be like steering a three-wheeled shopping trolley in a rush-hour supermarket. And that’s not to mention finding out what funding is available in the first place.
But help is at hand. The Funding Information Service was set up for just this purpose – to match organisations, groups and individuals seeking funding (or other assistance) with potential funding bodies, and to make that information easy to use and access.
Now in its 17th year, the Funding Information Service is itself a not-for-profit organisation, financed entirely by subscriptions to its services. Working across all sectors – community and voluntary, Maori, education and training, environment, arts, sport and recreation, culture and heritage, business, economic development, central and local government – the service provides three online searchable databases about funding, and some of the best news is that in many places you can access them for free.
The Funding Information Service provides, and constantly updates, three online searchable databases, containing between them nearly 3000 records about funding, awards, scholarships, sponsorship, donations, pro bono work, and much, much more.
FundView provides comprehensive information about sources of funding available to community and voluntary sector organisations in New Zealand. There are currently around 620 funding schemes listed in the database with a combined worth of almost $1 billion. That’s a lot of funding!
Funding organisations listed include government, local government, statutory, local and charitable trusts, service organisations and corporations. For each funder, FundView provides details of what funding is available and for whom, how and when to apply, contact details and other helpful information.
An easy to use online form enables the database to match your service or project (including its purpose and what aspects of it you’re seeking funding for) with the available funding schemes, meaning that you don’t have to wade through pages of funding criteria, just to find out that you’re not eligible or that the deadline has already passed.
BreakOut is a database about funding for education. Information on 2200 awards, scholarships and grants is listed on the database, mainly for tertiary study, research, personal development, sport and art. Like FundView, BreakOut is searchable, making it easy to find the funding that fits what you want to do.
Launched in June 2006, CorporateCitizens contains information about New Zealand businesses and companies that are committed to building relationships with community and voluntary organisations, and have social responsibility programmes such as volunteering, sponsorships, pro bono work, donations and cause-related marketing. The database is growing rapidly – there are currently over 80 companies listed, with around 10 more signing up each month.
How can I search the databases?
The three databases are funded entirely by subscriptions. The Department of Internal Affairs, Studylink and the Ministry of Social Development all subscribe to FundView and BreakOut, as do most local authorities, and the databases can be used for free at their regional offices and service centres, public libraries, community centres and CABs. Some MPs also make FundView available at their electoral offices.
The Funding Information Service’s website
contains handy maps for each of the databases, showing where you can access them for free. Click on your region and the map brings up a list of locations: in the Waikato alone, there are 54 places where you can use FundView for free, and 28 that also have BreakOut.
For those wanting to subscribe, free trials of all the databases are available from the website.
And that’s not all…
In addition to the databases, the Funding Information Service’s website
is a resource in its own right for groups and individuals offering community services. There’s an invaluable checklist on making your funding application as best as it can be, as well as information on applying for funding in kind, writing a marketing plan, sponsorship, planning a project, developing a business plan and running a meeting. Funders can also update their information online through the website using FunderNet.