First Light Foundation

First Light Foundation

Frequently asked questions

Can we apply for funding from anywhere in New Zealand?

First Light Community Foundation gives priority to applications providing a benefit to the citizens and organisations in the areas where the funds are raised.

Which browser should I use to make my grant application?

Below are the different browsers that can be used to complete your application:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari
  • Internet Explorer 9 (or higher)

Are there conditions attached to grants?

Yes. Please see the Terms and Conditions within the application.

Can we be reimbursed for expenses?

No. Grants must be approved prior to any purchase/event/trip being undertaken. Retrospective grants will not be considered.

How will the grant be paid?

Payment will be direct credited to the recipient organisation's bank account. You will need to include a deposit slip with your application.

Will our organisation be audited?

First Light Community Foundation grant records will be inspected and audited by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). The First Light Community Foundation is required to render details of all donations to DIA. Any grant application is made with the understanding that if any DIA officer so requests, the applicant organisation shall agree to and participate in any such inspection/audit.

What are the closing dates for applications and when will we know if our application is successful?

The cut-off date for receiving your grant application at the office is 5.00pm on the last day of each month.  If the application is not in the office on this date, then it is not accepted for the next month’s grant meeting and may be rolled over to the following month.  The Directors generally meet on or about the 20th of each month and aim to confirm grant decisions within 1-2 working days of the meeting.

How is the application assessed?

The First Light Community Foundation Board of Directors meet monthly to consider all funding applications. Decisions are made, taking into account, the available funds, the merit of the application, the compliance of the application, and the overall community benefit. Applications submitted in any given month will be considered at the Directors meeting of the following month. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

How will I know if our application is successful?

The First Light Community Foundation Board of Directors meet monthly to review grant applications. All approved, deferred and declined applications will receive notification by email 1-2 business days following the meeting. All applications will be retained by the Foundation.  The results will also be published on the website.

What will we have to do if we are successful?

The First Light Community Foundation requires an acknowledgement of grant form to be returned to the Foundation along with verification of expenditure (receipts etc.). The audit reconciliation must be returned to the Foundation within three months of the approval date. Failure to comply with the conditions will result in the Foundation seeking a full refund of the grant.

Do grants include GST?

Grants are GST exclusive; no grant made by the First Light Community Foundation has GST content.

  • When a grant recipient is GST registered, a grant will only be made for the GST exclusive component.
  • When a grant recipient is not GST registered, a grant may be made for the full GST inclusive cost of the goods or service.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Any Charitable Organisations that furthers or improves local and national educational services, furthers or improves local and national amateur sport, promotes the advancement of culture or religion or contributes toward welfare assistance or the relief of poverty.

Sport, not social

Social activities are not recognised as authorised purposes because they give a personal rather than community benefit. For example, a group of friends or acquaintances going on an annual ski trip cannot claim the trip is an authorised purpose just because there is an element of sport in an otherwise social activity. In contrast a genuine ski club that members of the public can join and that offers coaching and development programmes would be more likely to be an authorised purpose.

Amateur, not professional

Professional sport cannot be an authorised purpose because of its commercial character.

A bona fide sporting activity

Sometimes an activity is presented as a sporting activity, but its real nature is entertainment, social, personal gain or commercial.

DIA considers a bona fide sport to be one where the activity, club or organisation;

  • Is affiliated or aligned to a national body.
  • Is genuine and real (eg. has standards and rules).
  • Is played regularly as part of significant competition.
  • Has a President and Secretary.
  • Has regular meetings where minutes are recorded.
  • Audited or reviewed financial accounts.

An incorporated organisation will usually find it easier to meet these criteria than an unincorporated group. The First Light Community Foundation is not permitted to fund either dress or training uniforms. Playing uniforms are allowable, and they must remain the property of the Club.

What will not be considered for funding?

The Terms and Conditions have an itemised list of purposes that are unauthorised for grant consideration. Please keep in mind this list is not exhaustive. Feel free to contact the grants department if you have any specific questions. The Directors prefer to fund projects that will have a long-term benefit to the recipient organisation.

Can venue operators benefit from a grant?

No, venue operators cannot make any decisions or recommendations about applications or receive completed application forms.

Do I need to provide more than one quote?

Yes, you must provide two competitive quotes for each item requested.  When only supplying one quote you must provide a valid reason, for example, they are the only suppliers of this equipment in New Zealand.  Being a sponsor is not a valid reason on its own.

Are we required to use the quotes that are supplied with the application?

Yes, you must seek approval from the Foundation if you are changing suppliers, please include a reason for this.

Can I purchase goods before the First Light Community Foundation has had their grants meeting?

This is considered as retrospective and goods cannot be claimed before the approval date of the Board meeting.

Can goods be purchased from overseas?

To meet the DIA requirements all goods and services must be purchased within New Zealand and paid for in NZ currency.

If we receive funding from First Light Community Foundation and have also been successful in receiving funds from another Trust, do we have to give the money back?

Yes, if you have received funding from another source for the same purpose, the Foundation will require the Grant Applicant to repay that funding portion of it, if the total exceeds the amount for the stated purpose.

I am applying for funding for the salary of a staff member; what information do I need to provide?

The First Light Community Foundation requires the following information to support an application for funding for salaries and/or wages and must be uploaded into the application:

  • A copy of the current signed employment agreement and job description.
  • Timeframe for when you will require the funding for example 4 weeks from 3rd March 2014 to 28th March 2014.

Do I need to include a copy of the full meeting minutes with my application?

Yes, the full meeting minutes of the committee/executive meeting must be included with your application.  The minutes must include the following and be uploaded to the application:

  • Full names of all committee members
  • A resolution to apply for funding from the First Light Community Foundation, for the purpose and amount for which your organisation is applying for funding.
  • Minutes including resolution must be certified as true and correct and signed by the Secretary/Chairperson or other executive member.
  • Minutes should preferably be on the letterhead of the applicant organisation.

How soon before an event should I apply for funding?

Preferably you should apply at least three months before the event but no later than one month.

How do I apply?

Simply scroll down the page to the 'Let’s get started' area, select the category that best fits the type of grant request. Then register your details as the person making the application in the section marked 'Person making the application' and click on the ‘Save and Next Page’ button. This will open a screen in which you can complete, and save your application.

Are there different application forms for different categories of grants?

No, there is only one grant application for you to complete.

Do I need to fill out every field?

No. Only mandatory fields are required, however the more information you enter, the more consideration your application will receive.

Can I save my application, leave the application and continue it later?

Yes, you can leave the application, just hit the save button first at the base of the page. To continue your incomplete application form, simply refer to the email sent to you labelled 'User Application link' and use your allocated application password to log back in and complete your application form.

Why can’t I progress past this stage of my application?

It is most likely because you have not filled in an entry into a mandatory field. Check if there are any highlighted questions. If there are you will need to enter information into the mandatory field.

Do I need to attach a file?

No, but if you have some relevant information you think would support your application then it would be advisable to attach it. There is the ability to attach a Word, PowerPoint or image file, please be aware that the maximum file size is 5MBs.

Uploads: In steps 5 and step 7 you will be asked to upload certain information. To assist you in completing your application have the following file available to upload as requested in the above mentioned steps:

Step 5

  • Certificate of Incorporation, name the file Certificate of Inc.
  • Minutes of the Committee or Executive Meeting, name the file Minutes.
  • Resolution, including the name of the Trust, authorised purpose and amount to be applied for, name the file Resolution.
  • List of Committee Members full names, name this file Committee Members.
  • Set of Accounts, being the most recent, (latest) for the last full year, name this file Accounts.
  • Organisation’s Bank Deposit Slip, matching the name of the party applying, name this file Deposit Slip.
  • Audited Accounts, if funding is required towards general running costs, then your most recent set of annual accounts must be supplied, along with copies of the last 3 month's invoices relating to those costs, name this file Audited Accounts.
  • Proof of Affiliation, this is only required if you are a sports club or belong to a national body, name this file Affiliation Letter.
  • Endorsement Letter from the Principal, this is only required if you are applying for a school or school team, name this file Principal’s Letter.
  • Proof of Events, this would be a copy of a flyer/invitation or entry form, name this file Event Details.
  • IRD Tax Exemption Certificate, if your organisation is a Registered Society please provide a copy of your IRD Tax Exemption Certificate, name this file Tax Certificate.
  • Vehicle Letter of Commitment, this is only required if your application involves funding for a vehicle and if so a letter regarding the non-private use of the vehicle is required, name this file Letter of Commitment.
  • Details of purpose/intentions for the use of the vehicle, if you uploaded a file for Vehicle Letter of Commitment, please provide the detail regarding the purpose and intentions of the use of the motor vehicle. name the file Details of Purpose Intentions.

In Step 7 of the application you will also be asked to upload the following documents.

  • A Preferred Quote, the quote must be on the supplier’s letterhead and should not be more than 3 months old.  The quote must be addressed to the applying organisation and must match the amount of the funding being applied for. name this file, Preferred Quote.
  • Competitive Quote, which is the second quote as a comparison to the Preferred Quote. If it is not possible to provide a competitive quote then please upload a letter of explanation as to why, name this file Competitive Quote.
  • Employment Contracts/Service Contracts, which are the contracts of the individuals or contractors that your organisation is seeking funding for, they must be signed by both parties, you may upload as many of these as you need, name this file Employment Contracts.
  • Job Descriptions, these are the written job descriptions that have been supplied to the individual to define their role and responsibilities. You may need as many of these as you require, name this file Job Description.

  • Proof of Identity, a (Driver's License or Passport) is required for persons authorised to make an application. Please upload with photo and signatures clearly visible, name this file ID Full name of person.

Why am I having problems uploading documents/files?

If you are having problems uploading documents/files, please make sure you have the latest version of Flash Player installed on your computer. To get the latest version, go to

How long will it take for me to be notified whether or not my grant application has been successful?

Once you have applied you will be sent a confirmation message, acknowledging receipt of your application, along with notification of how many days before you receive notice of your success or otherwise.

What are my obligations if I am successful?

The obligations of all applicants that are successful are described in the Terms and Conditions section of the application, please read this carefully.

My funding application has been declined, how soon can I reapply?

Grant applicants can reapply as often as they wish, however you must complete a new application form each time ensuring quotes and minutes are relevant.

Will my information be shared with other parties?

No, your information will only be shared internally and is protected in line with the Privacy Policy contained within this application, please read it carefully. If your application is successful, then First Light Community Foundation would have the right to promote the grant in their media communications including social media pages and website.

A system or program issue

If you are having a system or program issue with the application, then please click on the help desk (Support) link above and let us know by completing the email support request form. We will endeavour to respond the same day if your request is filed before 12 noon or the following day if your request is filed after 12 noon. The help desk response will only be available Monday to Friday and not on public holidays.

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