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Helping New Zealand build strong communities


Lottery Minister’s Discretionary FundTe Tahua Mā Te Minita Anō Te Tohatoha

The Lottery Minister's Discretionary Fund provides grants to not-for-profit organisations and individuals for community projects that fall outside the scope of the Lottery committees that distribute grants.

The Lottery committees cover a wide range of community purposes so please check these before requesting a grant from the Lottery Minister's Discretionary Fund. If a grant request is the responsibility of a Lottery committee then it cannot be funded by the Lottery Minister's Discretionary Fund.

What we fund

In addition to considering requests for projects that fall outside the scope of other Lottery funds, there are four priorities that are only available through the Lottery Minister’s Discretionary Fund. These are:

  • Overseas travel - for assistance towards airfares, accommodation and travel costs for a representative to attend an event or conference overseas. Individuals or organisations need to show how their attendance will benefit the New Zealand community or a significant sector of the New Zealand community.
  • Volunteer fire-fighting services – for small contributions towards one-off projects. Organisations need to show how the grant will benefit the community and show evidence that funding is not available from the National Rural Fire Authority or the New Zealand Fire Service (Fire and Emergency New Zealand from 1 July 2017).
  • Animal welfare - organisations need to show how the community will benefit from their animal welfare project.
  • Training for financial planning and/or good governance – supports representatives from community groups to attend a training course or community groups hosting in-house training using an external training provider. Organisations need to show how the grant will benefit the community – this may be by opening the planned workshop, short course, refresher or intensive course to other community groups. Training must be provided by a recognised professional training establishment or an individual with suitable qualifications and experience in financial planning and/or good governance. Trainer fees and assistance towards reasonable related venue costs, travel and accommodation will be considered.

Note that individuals cannot request grants for volunteer fire-fighting services, animal welfare projects, and financial planning and/or good governance training.

Funding for outcomes

Outcomes are all the changes, benefits, learning and effects that happen, or start to happen, as a result of activities, projects or services. Grants are made to organisations and individuals whose requests show how they will achieve and measure their outcomes. For more information, see Outcomes-focused decision making for Lottery grants.

What we don’t fund

Lottery grants may not be used for:

  • conferences or forums, unless the primary reason for attendance is training in financial planning and/or good governance
  • registration or training that maintains an individual’s registration with a professional organisation
  • repaying or servicing debt
  • refinancing loans, deposits or underwriting projects
  • permanent residential housing services or community housing
  • commercial, political and/or religious objectives, including employment and/or business initiatives, commercial enterprises, political advocacy or projects which seek to change legislation
  • fundraisers and projects which seek to raise funds in or for a specific sector, or are involved with the training or employment of fundraisers
  • projects which seek to redistribute funding to others
  • overseas aid or disaster relief
  • alcohol and drug treatment, education and support services
  • gambling education/prevention/treatment services
  • medical expenses, operations, treatments or the purchase of major items of health equipment
  • capital investment or trust funds
  • projects or activities completed (retrospective funding) or items bought before the request is made
  • a second request for the same project in the same funding year (1 July to 30 June).

The Lottery Minister’s Discretionary Fund is unlikely to fund:

  • educational and/or cultural exchanges overseas, where there is no benefit shown for the New Zealand community or a significant sector of the community
  • sporting projects
  • arts projects.

How much to request

There is no limit to the amount that you or your organisation can apply for.

Grants over $10,000 can be made only to organisations with legal entity status. Grants to groups without legal status are limited to a total from all Lottery committees of no more than $10,000 to any group in any financial year (1 July – 30 June).

Because of high demand on limited funds, the Lottery Minister’s Discretionary Fund cannot often provide funding to the level requested and is more likely to contribute towards the project. The amount granted is at the Minister’s discretion, and depends on the funds available, and the number and quality of the requests received.

Requesting a grant


  1. Review the information on Requesting a grant to see if you or your organisation meets the requirements for this Fund.
  2. For organisations, find out what supporting documents must be available on your organisation profile or online at Charities Services.
  3. Complete a budget to submit with your request, and one independent letter of support.
  4. Log in to our online system to create or update your organisation’s profile, and individual profiles for the request contact people.
  5. Complete an online request form – there is an online form for individuals and also an online form for organisations.


Requests may be made at any time but please allow 4 - 12 weeks for your request to be reviewed, once all the required information has been received.

An advisor may need to contact you with additional questions. Note that if your project or travel commences in less than 12 weeks' time, please call 0800 824 824 (between 8am and 5pm Monday to Thursday, 9am and 5pm Friday) to discuss whether there is enough time for your request to be considered.

If a grant is offered

If your organisation is offered a grant, you will be sent an email and invited to login to review and accept an online grant agreement.

The agreement will include full details of any reporting you need to provide, a payments schedule and any special conditions for your grant.

You may accept the agreement online, or contact us if you want to discuss the reporting requirements or special conditions. However, the amount we offer is not negotiable.

All reporting is done online. You will also need to provide any other information we require. This may include a progress or final report on the income and expenditure relating to the budget sent with your grant request.

Promoting Lottery Grants Board support

If a grant is awarded, you or your organisation must acknowledge the Lottery Grants Board's support in any publicity materials, such as event programmes, and in annual reports.

Your privacy in Lotto promotions

Some organisations who receive lottery grants may agree to take part in activities led by Lotto NZ to promote their initiatives and how the funding has changed their communities for the better.

Personal information submitted as part of a lottery funding request will only be shared with Lotto NZ for publicity purposes with the permission of the grant recipients. The sharing of personal information between the Lottery Grants Board and Lotto NZ is managed by a Privacy Agreement between the two organisations.