The Love Wānaka Community Fund provides an opportunity for our visitors, and our visitor industry, to support our communities’ efforts to protect and preserve our natural environment (te taiao), the treasures (taoka) it holds, and the people who call it home (our whanau).

What funding is available?

Love Wānaka raises funds to support local environmental action. Each year, funds will be available on an annual, contestable basis to local charitable entities who work in the climate, conservation, and biodiversity spaces and who deliver tangible benefits for the environment – both now and into the future. 

Applications for the 2024 funding round are now closed. Check back here in 2025!

How is funding allocated?

Our independent distribution committee oversees the allocation of charitable funds, assessing all applications and making recommendations to the Wakatipu Community Foundation (our charitable partner) to allocate these funds on behalf of Love Wānaka.

The Wakatipu Community Foundation provides oversight and input into all funding decisions to ensure charitable intent is upheld across the entirety of the grant process.

Neither Lake Wānaka Tourism nor Destination Queenstown are able to dictate or influence how or where funds are allocated.

What type of funding can we apply for?

Organisations can apply for funding to support one of the following:

Programme costs
A component of the broader work provided by an organisation, generally with a specific, targeted impact.

Project costs
Time-bound, one-off activities that have a clear budget and deliverables.

Operational costs
The core costs associated with the ongoing operations of an organisation, programme, or initiative.

Social enterprise models
A commercial venture, established by a charitable organisation, to support its mission and move the organisation toward financial sustainability. Funds can be used for the associated operational costs but are not to be taken for private benefit.

Eligibility Checklist

To be eligible for funding, organisations must meet the below criteria:

Localised benefit
Funds are allocated per their area of origin. The geographic boundaries are in keeping with the Regional Tourism Organisation’s operating boundaries.

Love Wānaka exclusively serves the Lake Wānaka region, bound by the Haast Pass in the North and the Cardrona Saddle in the South, including Hāwea, Luggate, Albert Town, Cardrona and Makarora. Funded projects or organisations must create benefit within this geographical area.

Charitable registration
To be eligible for funding, you must apply on behalf of a registered charitable entity and demonstrate both charitable intent and public benefit. Funding cannot be used to further the private financial interest of individuals or other non-charitable organisations.

Environmental impact
To be eligible for funding, your organisation and / or initiative must demonstrate how it will benefit this region’s environment. This includes, but is not limited to: native revegetation efforts, biodiversity enhancement projects, pest and exotics control, waterway health and protection initiatives, waste minimisation efforts, and more.

Special consideration will be given to initiatives that will provide –

Long-term benefit;

Opportunities for locals and visitors to engage in, connect over, or contribute to;

Opportunities for locals and visitors to see and understand the benefit (of the funded project);

Opportunities for collaboration and / or complimentary benefit to other projects, initiatives or organisations in the region.

Timeline and Process

Applications for the inaugural Love Wānaka funding round are now closed.

The next funding round is expected to open April 2025.

In the meantime, please reach out to [email protected] with any questions, ideas, or initiatives you have in mind.

We’re always up for a coffee and kōrero and to better understand how we can help you (and our incredible environment) to do what you do best.