Wellington Community Trust’s Climate Action Fund is a 2 million dollar fund. Its purpose is to support community-led movements that tackle climate change. It is open to organisations that can deliver measurable outcomes around reduced carbon emissions, carbon sequestration, and community and ecological resilience, in the greater Wellington region.

We believe the greatest potential to move the Wellington region to carbon neutrality will come from:

  • Investment in Advocacy: Challenging and changing existing policies, power structures, and behaviours
  • Building Community Resilience
  • Building Ecological Resilience
Who Can Apply?

Single organisations or coalitions may apply to this fund, with at least one organisation having a charitable purpose. Other coalition partner organisations may include: 

  • Iwi or mana whenua 
  • Charitable organisations or incorporated societies 
  • Schools or university departments  
  • Local or regional councils 
  • Social enterprises 
  • Individual private consultants  
What Can I Apply For?

Applicants must be able to show their work contributes to at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Measurable decrease in atmospheric carbon emissions
  • Measurable increase in carbon sequestration 
  • Measurable increase in community resilience
  • Measurable increase in ecological resilience 

Examples of work that applications may request funding for include but are not limited to: 

  • Advocacy to local/central/regional government 
  • Public campaigns around large-scale behaviour change 
  • Community-based behaviour change
  • Work that directly sequesters carbon or reduces carbon emissions  
  • Work that directly supports community resilience 
  • Salaries, project activities, engagement activities, learning and evaluation, capability development, operating costs, equipment* and some capital costs*

*We will consider funding equipment and capital where the applicant can demonstrate there is a direct link between that equipment or capital expenditure and the projected outcomes

How Much Can I Apply For?

We want to create significant impact with this fund; therefore applications are expected be for a total minimum of $100,000, and a maximum of $1 million. Applications may request multi-year funding for a total of up to three years.


Applications must focus on at least one of the following areas:

  • Community-led advocacy 
  • Community Resilience
  • Ecological Resilience

Applications must meet at least one of the following criteria:  

  • The initiative is led and driven by regionally-based groups with a deep understanding of local needs. The development of the initiative will have involved the people who will benefit
  • The initiative prioritises communities that will be most disadvantaged by climate change
  • The initiative involves meaningful active participation by the people and communities who benefit most 

Applications must meet all of the following criteria 

  • The initiative can demonstrate the potential for lasting and long-term impact
  • The initiative reflects significant experience in the climate action space 
  • The initiative must include the ability to review and measure its impact and produce and share learning that will contribute to a broader movement of change
  • All partners have considered their own environmental impact and have a robust policy/plan in place to mitigate
  • Activity that contributes significantly to negative ecological outcomes 
  • Individual conservation initiatives like the restoration of one wetland or tree-planting in a specific park 
  • Work that supports a single school, business, facility, or home to become carbon neutral  
  • Activity that generates profit for personal gain 
  • Purely research work, such as academic research, reports on the current amount of atmospheric carbon in the region, or reports that recommend climate change action  
  • Purely individual education work, such as raising awareness of the impact of climate change for children  
  • Retrospective funding for an initiative that has concluded 
  • Duplication of a service that is primarily the responsibility of a local, regional, or central government body
  • Initiatives that provide a core government service
  • What is a coalition application? A coalition application involves creating a single application that will fund an initiative delivered by several different organisations working in the climate action space. The purpose is to encourage initiatives that may be too big or complex for any one organisation to deliver within a three-year timeframe. Coalitions must register as a separate organisation in WCT’s funding portal even if some of the members have already registered. At least one member of a coalition must have charitable purpose. We will ask one of these members to act as the fund holder for any grants received.
  • What additional information will I need to supply if applying as a coalition? Applications from coalitions must include information about the governance and processes of working together, including roles and responsibilities
  • Can I request funding for an established, existing initiative, or for a new initiative? Yes
  • Can my initiative have national impact? Yes, if it’s locally led from the greater Wellington region.
  • Can I request some capability-building funding in my budget for my initiative? Yes
  • Can I request funding for equipment or capital expenditure? Yes, where there is a direct link between that equipment or capital expenditure and the projected outcomes 
  • What information do I need to supply about how I will evaluate my programme? Please include the amount of money this evaluation will cost you, in your budget.  
How to Apply & Timings

Application to this fund is a 2-step process:

Expressions of Interest are now closed.

If successful, you will be invited to submit a full application.


Expressions of Interest Closes11 November 2020
Shortlisting / Invite for Full Application9 December 2020
Full Application Closes27 January 2021
Board DecisionLate March 2021