ECO Fund checklist - are you eligible?

Funding is available for anyone in the Otago region who is working on projects that will protect, enhance or promote the environment, including:

  • Community groups
  • Iwi/hapu
  • Incorporated societies
  • Community trusts
  • Resident and ratepayer groups
  • Landowner groups
  • Educational institutes

Please note that government organisations and their staff cannot apply to the ECO Fund.  

The ECO Fund supports not only shovel time, but also administrative support

  • The project occurs in Otago
  • The project involves or engages the community
  • Does one or more of the following:
    • Protect the environment
    • Enhance the environment
    • Promote the environment (e.g. does it create awareness in the community or educate school children?)
  • The project aligns with ORC work programmes. Projects that align with ORC's current priority areas water, climate change, urban development and biodiversity will be given preferred selection. See here for more information on what these priorities mean
  • The applicant can only submit one application per funding round
  • The project must have a defined start and finish date. We fund both one off projects and those running over multiple years with a need to report, then re-apply the next financial year
  • Applicants must disclose any other funding they have applied for or received for this project
  • All funding is GST exclusive
  • Successful applicants must agree to Otago Regional Council promoting their project
  • Successful applicants must agree to report on the project outcomes to ORC within a specified timeframe, and account for how funds were spent
  • Successful applicants agree to report on their project at a council meeting, if requested
  • Where applicants seek funding over $50,000, Otago Regional Council will only fund a proportion of the total project (to be determined on a case-by-case basis)
  • If the ECO Fund is over-subscribed in any funding round priority will be given to projects in threatened and vulnerable habitats and ecosystems
  • If successful applicants plan to seek more funding in a future funding round there is no guarantee that any future funding applications will be successful
  • The ECO Fund will not fund retrospective costs
  • If work funded is not completed within the given time frame or funds are not spent as agreed, Otago Regional Council reserves the right to request the return of funds unless otherwise agreed
  • Government organisations and their staff cannot apply to the ECO Fund
  • Decisions made by Otago Regional Council are final and are made at our sole discretion
  • The ECO Fund does not:
    • Fund projects for commercial or private gain
    • Provide funding to individuals
    • Cover maintenance for existing projects unless otherwise agreed
    • Fund retrospective costs
    • Assist in the response to any actual or potential enforcement action
  • If funding is requested for salary costs, only 50% will be funded
  • Funds granted expire 6 months after Council approval. If the applicant fails to uplift funds within the 6 months (unless otherwise agreed) funds will go back into the pool

The ECO Fund has $250,000 to contribute to environmental projects in the Otago community each year. This is split into two funding rounds (see 'When can I apply?').

Where applicants seek funding over $50,000 only a proportion of the total project will be funded (to be determined on a case-by-case basis).

If funding is requested for salary costs, only 50% will be funded.

Before you fill out our online application form there are some things you need to consider:

A defined timeframe for delivery:

  • Projects must have a clear timeframe for when the project will start and finish
  • If you are applying for funding for an ongoing project, include as much information as you can in your application, such as project stages and costs/funding requested for each stage

Specific funding amount:

  • Applicants must provide an outline of the allocation of funding requested and quotes where relevant

A description of your project including:

  • Where it will take place
  • Who will be involved
  • How it will benefit the environment and align with ORC's work programmes

If the application is for administrative support, has supporting information been given, e.g. number of hours, pay rate per hour etc.

If the project takes place on public, DOC or Maori land, you must include written permission from the landowner with your application.

We also have a cost breakdown template for displaying how your costs will be allocated.

There are two funding rounds per year, with application deadlines and decision time frames for each one.

We fund both one-off projects and those running over multiple years (with a need to report, then reapply).

Funding rounds are:

  • Round 1: 1-20 March
  • Round 2: 1-20 October

Decision timeframes:

Applicants will hear the outcome within two months of the close-off date for each round. 

We encourage community collaboration and partnerships. It's great to work with others who share the same environmental goals.

Your project will be assessed by an ORC committee using this assessment criteria.

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