Funding Opportunities

Collated information on funds and support for the digital inclusion community

Digital Equity and Inclusion Funding & Support

Are you looking for funding support for a digital equity project or to help someone get digital access?

DECA is not a funder BUT we have funder relationships and on this page we highlight some of the organisations that may be able to help provide digital inclusion support, and funds you can apply to in Aotearoa. Some of these are digital equity specific and some are more general.

Scroll down for:

  1. Funding for community digital equity projects or programmes
  2. Digital equity programmes offering support to people in need
  • Help getting internet at home
  • Devices
  • Digital skills and wrap around support programmes

This list is reviewed and updated on a six monthly basis and in response to additions or edits emailed to info@digitalequity.nz. The intention is for this list to grow, we'd love your contributions.

This information is available here on the DECA website, by email request and if you'd like to down load this information the pdf is here.

1. Funding for community digital equity projects or programmes

BNZ Foundation

In 2022 BNZ will launch a foundation to support initiatives that help New Zealand communities thrive, including support of digital equity. 

Digital Boost Alliance - community commitments

Members of the Digital Boost Alliance offer support with access to technology to drive productivity and improve wellbeing and social inclusion.

Contact them if you have an idea for a “community commitment” that a Digital Boost member could support. 

Foundation North

Foundation North provides funding and support to community-based initiatives in Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau, with a particular focus on Māori and Pacific peoples. It supports activities that have impact for increased equity, social inclusion, community support, and regenerative environment.  

There are two programmes that are open all year, and that you can apply for online at anytime:

There are also more specific funds that are open from time to time.

Contact: Click on the links for quick response and community grants and check out the funding page on the website. You call also call 0800 272 878 or email info@foundationnorth.org.nz

InternetNZ

Offers community grants.  Recent funding rounds have focused on community digital inclusion projects.

You can sign up to receive notifications when grant funding applications are open. 

Kānao - Regional Development Unit (part of MBIE and MPI)

The Regional Strategic Partnership Fund has $200 million to support regions to take steps towards achieving their economic potential.  This funding has previously been used to fund rural and marae digital connectivity projects. 

Note: this fund does not cover skills training.  Applicants need to be able to co-fund projects.

Contact:Talk to to a regional advisor from Kānao.  Applications tend to be made through regional partnerships, so talk to others in your region (including your council or regional economic development agency) about a joint proposal.

Lottery Grants Board

The Lottery Grants Board funds projects or activities that connect communities, improve wellbeing and the quality of people’s lives. 

It has a number of grants, for projects, organisation costs, leadership, research and training. For example, the Community Organisation Grants Scheme provides grants to NGOs delivering community based social services, projects and events.  There are contributions for running and operational costs, development costs (e.g. for hui, training and planning), and project and event costs.  There is scope for multi year funding. 

It also has tools and resources that may be useful for community groups. 

Contact: Call the Department of Internal Affairs on 0800 834 824 or email community.matters@dia.govt.nz.

Ministry for Ethnic Communities - Ethnic Communities Digital Inclusion Fund

The Ethnic Communities Digital Inclusion Fund aims to ensure ethnic communities can use digital technology to take part in Aotearoa New Zealand’s society. 

Contact: For all enquiries please contact 0800 824 824 or email community.matters@dia.govt.nz. (This funding round closed on 23 May 2022.)

Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment - Curious Minds

Curious Minds has a contestable fund each year, to support projects that help New Zealanders engage with science and technology.  

There is $1.6 million for the 2023 round.  Funding available per project is between 50k and 150k. Projects are funded for 11 months, and need to run between 1 February and  31 December 2023

Contact: Email curiousminds@mbie.govt.nz 

Proposals for the 2023 funding round closed in August 2022. 

Spoiler alert - it's a big application form.

Ministry for Pacific Peoples

The Toloa Capability Fund supports emerging STEAM providers to develop programme designs, elevate capability, develop infrastructure (for programmes delivering to Pacific communities). 

The Toloa Substantial Provider Fund supports providers to deliver STEAM programmes. 

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.  Digital skills are part of technology.

Contact: Email inquiries to toloa@mpp.govt.nz 

These funds are not currently open for applications.  Contact MPP for upcoming rounds

Match/Te Puna Taurite - a new matching service by Philanthropy New Zealand

Match|Te Puna Taurite is a new service to help those seeking and distributing philanthropic funding in Aotearoa.  Fundseekers will be able to post funding requests to get in front of multiple funders with one action. 

Contact: You can stay updated by subscribing to the MTPT newsletter and through the Philanthropy New Zealand | Tōpūtanga Tuku Aroha o Aotearoa website.

There is a contact form for enquiries.

Spark Foundation

The Spark Foundation invests in partnerships that support digital equity, across digital access, digital pathways and digital wellbeing.  

Please note: they are currently only considering initiatives that support digital pathways, with prioritisation on Rangatahi Māori, and Pasifika youth. 

Please see the resources available section for existing Foundation funded access and wellbeing initiatives such as Skinny Jump, Ciena Students Fund, Awhi Matihiko Refugee digital settlement, RAD: Recycle a Device, The Light Project and Digital Discipline that may support your community

Contact: If you want to chat to the Spark Foundation team about funding, please send an email to sparkfoundation@spark.co.nz and provide a bit of information about you or your organisation and how the work you’re doing supports pathways into the DigiTech sector for Rangatahi Māori and Pasifika youth.

Te Puni Kokiri - Marae Digital Connectivity Programme

Offers the following for rural marae: broadband service for 5 years, installed hardware and service desk support.

Contact: Email questions to maraeconnectivity@tpk.govt.nz

Check out the website for info on eligibility and how to apply and timeframes.

The Trusts Community Foundation

Note: as funding comes from gaming machines the Trust has to meet a lot of requirements under the Gambling Act and this tends to play out in the application process.

The Trust can support initiatives that advance education, support the relief of poverty, are beneficial to community and environment, and promote cultural activities.

It usually only funds things happening in the areas where they get funds from gaming machines.  The website suggestion you view its gaming venues page to ensure there is a “venue” in your area

Contact: Applications can only be made online. There are funding rounds every month, except December.  Here is a link to the funding round schedule. As a general rule funding rounds close on the 10th of each month

You can make queries using this contact form, by email to grants@ttcfltd.org.nz, or phone 08000 882 3583 (press 2 when prompted)

Thankyou Payroll Charitable Trust

This trust has grants between $100 and $3000 for projects that contribute to community wellbeing, resilience or sustainability.  And a giving circle round of $20 000 for charities and community organisations

Contact: There is a contact us and apply now form on the website. Use the contact form or follow the Facebook page to find out when grant rounds are running.

2. Digital equity programmes offering support to people in need

Help getting internet at home

Ciena Jump for Students fund

Students from decile 1-5 schools can access the Jump service for free until December 2022.

Jump for students: https://www.skinny.co.nz/jump/ciena

Spark are currently in discussion with Ciena about an extension into 2023 - TBC

Ministry of Education

Fully funded home internet connections for whānau of school/kura aged children who aren’t connected

Contact: is through your local kura or school. This programme finishes at the end of the 2022 school year.  You need to get in touch with your school or kura as soon as possible, preferably by mid August so that they can submit an application by the end of August. 

Spark - Skinny Jump

Skinny Jump - subsidised broadband (from $5 per month) is available to any home for whom cost is a barrier to internet access. A modem is provided for free and home must be able to receive 4G Broadband coverage at their address. 

Free access for school aged students through Ciena - see above.

Standard service: https://www.skinny.co.nz/jump/home/

Ministry of Social Development/Work and Income

A special needs grant  or recoverable assistance payment may be available for one off assistance with an internet bill if MSD consider it to be an “essential or emergency cost”.

Contact: Apply to Work and Income online or phone 0800 559 009. 

No time constraints - but note these are one off payments, not ongoing support

RCG: Rural Connectivity Group

A working group made up of Telcos and Govt -  Crown Infrastructure Partners to prioritise new infrastructure and upgrades in isolated areas of NZ.

Stepping Up - support to connect to Skinny Jump

(run by Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa)

DIAA partners with the Spark Foundation to deliver Skinny Jump through its partner network.  It provides a Jump set-up, which will activate your free modem, create your pre-pay Skinny account, and set up an online agreement. So that everything is ready to go.

Contact: Email steppingup@diaa.nz or phone 0800 463 422

Devices

DigiTautua

DigiTautua Has provided laptops to students during COVID.

Applications are via an online expression of interest form.  You need to provide a letter from your school confirming enrollment and why they can’t provide a device.

Contact: Here is a link to the expression of interest form

Digital Wings

Digital Wings considers applications from community, whānau and hapū organisations for digital technology equipment.

Contact: Here is a link to the contact form. You can also call 0800-DIGI-WINGS

Ministry of Social Development/Work and Income

Funding for school costs may cover a laptop or tablet if the school or kura says it is an essential part of the kit.

There may also be scope to get device funding if its required for a training programme.

Contact: Apply to Work and Income online or phone 0800 559 009

RAD: Recycle a Device

RAD provides refurbished laptops (usually chromebooks) to youth, prioritising students from year 5 and above ~9 yr olds -24 year olds.

Contact: Use this contact form

Digital skills and wrap around support programmes

[This section covers digital skills programmes, and programmes that provide a mix of support - eg. skills plus device plus internet]

Programmes for older New Zealanders:

Appy Seniors (run by Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa)

Appy Seniors provides training content specific to smart phones and covers the ten most commonly used apps.

Contact: Register your interest here

Email the Stepping UP Programme Manager, sue@diaa.nz Ph 0800 463 422

Better Digital Futures for Seniors (run by Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa)

Better Digital Futures for Seniors supports seniors (aged 65+) seeking help going online. Sessions are delivered in small groups at local libraries, community centres, retirement homes, marae and other locations throughout the country.

Contact: Find out about upcoming classes, and register, here

Email the Stepping UP Programme Manager, sue@diaa.nz Ph 0800 463 422

Digi-Matua Programme - run by 360 Tautua Trust

Community-based for Pacific by Pacific digital skills and support.

Contact: www.360tautua.org 

Digital Seniors

Community-based digital hubs, digital skills trainings and support for seniors. Began in the Wairarapa and growing.

Contact: www.digitalseniors.co.nz 0800 373 646

Programmes for seniors (funded by MSD Office for Seniors)

The Office for Seniors funds the Better Digital Futures programme which is run by Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA).

It also funds Pacific Senior Connect, run by the 2020 Trust.

The Office has also set up a Digital Inclusion Action Group for organisations working with seniors.

Contact: Register interest online for the Better Digital Futures programme online and someone from DIAA will be in touch.

For information about Pacific Senior Connect, contact warren.williams@2020.org.nz

Email ofs@msd.govt.nz  to join the Action Group. MSD funding for these programmes was for three years, from 2019.

SeniorNet

SeniorNet has a community learning network and an online platform (SeniorHangouts) that support and motivate people to confidently use technology in their everyday lives.

Contact: Click here to join or find out more about SeniorNet and SeniorHangouts.

Programmes for Pacific communities:

Digi-Matua Programme - run by 360 Tautua Trust

Community-based for Pacific by Pacific digital skills and support.

Contact: www.360tautua.org 

Programmes for Māori:

Whanau Ora commissioning agents 

E.g. Te Putahitanga o te Waipounamu provide digital set-up support to families in their scope in South Island

Programmes for people new to Aotearoa:

NZ Red Cross - Awhi Matihiko

Provides a device, internet and basic skills support to former refugees in their first 12 months of settling into NZ

Refugee Connect

(run by the 20/20 Trust and funded through the Ministry of Education)

The Refugee Connect Programme helps refugee families new to Aotearoa to use digital technology.  

Refurbished computers, internet access, digital skills training and technical support are provided.

Other programmes:

Stepping Up

(run by  Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) and partners) 

Stepping up offers a number of free community programmes. 

Digital Steps (for adults) has 40 ‘Digital Step’ classes, each taking around 2 hours to complete.  Classes are free and run at local libraries and community centres.  Participants need to bring their own devices.  

Digital Banking classes help adults gain knowledge and confidence with online banking.  These classes are held online and in person in some locations.  

Digital Wellbeing for All builds the capacity of librarians to provide digital literacy training for their communities with a special focus on internet safety.

Contact: Click here to find out when and where Stepping up classes are being run.  This link will take you through to registration. 

Click here for the digital banking classes. 

Register here to express interest in the professional development programme for librarians.  

Contact sue@diaa.nz, phone 027 313 3447 or 0800 463 422.

Family Connect

(run by the 20/20 Trust)

Family Connect is for adults with low or no education qualifications.  It is delivered in partnership with emergency housing organisations, churches, libraries, District Health Boards, social and community organisations.

Contact the 20/20 Trust by using this contact form.  Or phone on 0800 27 20 20.

Programmes for rangatahi:

Code Club teaches how to create games, make and design websites and code interactive stories.

The Electric Garden uses gardening to teach digital technology concepts.

Recycle a device teaches how to refurbish a laptop, that is then donated to someone in need.

Game Tan, Gamefroot, and Get into Games Aotearoa! introduce tech through the development of games.

Digital Natives Academy (DNA) inspires the next generation of digital leaders through three pou; coding, animation and esports. DNA takes a Te Ao Māori worldview and are open to all.

Please get in touch to add your digital inclusion funding or support initiative - info@digitalequity.nz

Last updated August 2022