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Funding Strategy 2018-2023

At Eastern & Central Community Trust, we’ve developed a funding strategy to help make more effective use of the money we grant. This was created in consultation with our communities, as we worked together to find out what was important and how we could contribute to making an ongoing positive contribution to our regions.

Our funding strategy starts with our vision:- Building stronger, more sustainable communities

We can help build communities that, over time, are stronger and more sustainable. Together with our communities, we have developed a shared vision to strengthen communities, so they are vibrant and thriving.

We believe stronger, more sustainable communities are:

  • Connected – Communities are connected and cohesive, and are safe places of belonging, caring, manaakitanga, and inclusion.  This means people in communities know each other, stick together, communities are safe places of belonging, caring, manaakitanga (which means hospitality, kindness, generosity or support), and inclusion.
  • Participating – People have the opportunity to be active, engaged, and participating in a wide range of positive activities.   This means there are low (or no) barriers for people to participate in things like sports, cultural activities, arts or being part of a club.
  • Self-determining – Communities have strong, active leaders, are collaborative, share resources, mobilise around a shared vision, and can determine their own success.  This means people work well together, listen respectfully, have honest discussions, and find the right solutions together.
  • Thriving and Equitable – People have equity of access to key services, networks and other supports. People, families and whanau are thriving and resilient across generations, and ecosystems are healthy and sustainable.  This means people from all backgrounds can find the help and support they need, when they need it. It means all whanau – from newborns to the elderly – are thriving, in a healthy, safe, clean and environmentally-friendly community.
  • Enterprising – Communities are prosperous and enterprising, supporting community self-determination and sustainability.  This means everyone in our community succeeds, through supporting local ideas and businesses, and taking care of each other in ways that we work out together, to ensure our natural resources are maintained for the future.


Principles of Practice – how we work

We believe the solutions to some of the biggest problems faced by our communities lie within our communities, and we’re here to do more than just giving. Our vision and funding strategy are underpinned by our Principles of Practice.  These principles describe the ways we work alongside our communities, grantees, and other partners.

We will:

  • Enable Communities – We will help empower communities to develop their own opportunities and solutions. We will listen to our communities’ ideas and draw on their expertise to inform the way we work.  This means we believe people in communities know what is best for them. We will listen and adjust our ways to help you achieve your communities’ goals.
  • Value Relationships – We will be a good team member and build effective relationships with our communities and partners. In our partnership approach, we are committed to being reliable, pro-active, adaptable, easy to work with, and trustworthy. This means we will do what we say we will do, and we will work with people to build relationships based on mutual trust and respect. We will look for solutions together, and make the process as easy as possible.
  • Be purposeful – We will be purposeful in the funding and other supports that we provide.  We will focus our funding on key priorities, and that we will support capability and capacity development. We will be thoughtful about what assistance we offer and how we help. We have some key priorities that we will focus on, as well as helping people and organisations build up the skills to set and achieve their development objectives. By using the process of capacity development, we will help increase the level of skills in the community over time, to help benefit our communities.
  • Value and share learning – We will recognise and value the knowledge and wisdom held by others. We are committed to continual learning and will share our experiences.  We know we have lots to learn from others, and we’ll share what we find out.
  • Work inter-generationally – We will support our communities now through the funding we distribute, while ensuring communities can access and benefit from our funding in perpetuity. This means that we will achieve impact now and for future generations. We will also monitor our giving to ensure equity across our region, over time.  With careful management, our investment funds are designed to help our communities forever. We focus on short and long-term solutions, and we’ll make sure that, over time, we give fairly across all of our regions.

Our Priority Outcomes

In order to deliver on our vision, we have identified six priority outcomes that we believe will contribute effectively to achieving this:

  • Increased community participation and social cohesion – Helping people be part of community activities, and supporting organisations that provide the “glue” that brings communities together positively, for a greater sense of belonging. This includes sport, the arts, creative and cultural opportunities.
  • Increased community resilience – Helping build stronger communities to deal with issues as they arise, and work on positive solutions that are effective in communities.
  • Increased equity of access to key support services – Enabling people to have fairer access to the support services they need.
  • Increased community planning, leadership, capacity, and self-determination – Helping build access to targeted learning for the community, which enables stronger leadership, community planning and a sense of direction for organisations and projects that are led by the community.
  • Increased community economic development and enterprise – Helping our community build successful job opportunities and enterprises where we live.
  • Increased environmental wellbeing – Helping create, enrich and maintain a healthy environment for everyone to benefit from – now and in the future.

Our Strategic Focus Areas

We have identified four groups within our community who will receive additional attention. Therefore there will be more support to organisations working with the following groups:-

  • Children and young people
  • Māori
  • Families affected by disadvantage
  • Older people

We believe that by helping these groups, we can help move the dial towards a more equitable society, and achieve our vision.  By being more thoughtful about the way we fund, and providing other methods of support, we believe we can help make a positive difference in our regions.

How does it work?

Under our new funding strategy we will focus our attention on organisations that work to achieve our priority outcomes. For many of the organisations that already apply to us for funding, this doesn’t mean anything will change, because you’re already working in the spaces that the community wants, and where our priorities match yours.

For others, this may mean rethinking how you’ll deliver a project or a programme – and we may be able to help you work on this, or arrange the right kind of networking or training that will pull everything together in the best possible way.

We also aim to do more than just giving money out. We have great networks and get to see what’s happening across our regions, and we’re happy to share the knowledge that we gain through our work with you.  

You can download a PDF copy of our Funding Strategy here.

How does ECCT Fund?

Funding Strategy 2018 – 2023