Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) Funding Update

As many of you are aware the criteria for COGS funding has changed and information about this was sent out in February 2019.

Please note that although an update was sent out in March 2019 this update only related to the funding formula and not the criteria.  The changes to the criteria remain the same as set out below.

The changes to COGS include who can apply to COGS and the ability to request funding for up to three years in one application.

The changes to who can apply to COGS are:

  • your organisation must have less than $2 million annual operating expenditure for each of the past two years to make a request to COGS
  • your organisation includes your national/regional office and any branches under the same legal entity

These changes have been made to ensure that funding aligns with the purpose of COGS to support smaller organisations with limited access to other funding.

The table below explains what we mean when we talk about an ‘organisation’ and ‘operating expenditure’ and if your organisation is eligible to request COGS funding:




An ‘organisation’ includes the national and/or regional office and any branches that come under the same legal entity.

Branches of your organisation that are legal entities in their own right are considered as separate organisations.

Your organisation must be a legal entity to request $10,000 or more for any one year.

The level of operating expenditure

You will not be eligible to request COGS funding if your organisation has operating expenditure of $2 million or more for each of the past two financial years.

‘Operating expenditure’ does not include large, one-off capital works (usually projects), depreciation, or money your organisation owes (such as loans).


What does this mean for individual Centres and Associations within the New Zealand Playcentre Federation who currently have COGS grants towards projects yet to be completed?

  1. All Playcentres are required to continue to submit their results reports for existing grants, (including multi-year grants), to their local Lottery Community funder – as they have previously done. This will include results reports for any grants made that were decided in the February/March 2019 funding round.


What does this mean for individual Centres within the New Zealand Playcentre Federation seeking grants for the April 2019 funding round and in following years?

The majority of Centres will not be able to apply for COGS funding as they are not legal entities.  There are Associations and a handful of Centres that were historically set up as separate legal entities that will be eligible to apply for COGS funding.  The eligibility of those Associations and Centres was discussed with the Department of Internal Affairs.  As the amalgamation process will be completed prior to the COGS application round being finalised Associations will be ineligible to apply.  Application from those Centres eligible to apply would be assessed taking into account that the changes have been made to ensure that funding aligns with the purpose of COGS to support smaller organisations with limited access to other funding.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation will submit a single ‘consolidated’ grant request to Lottery National Community for future Lottery Community funding requirements. This request will include the funding requirements of the individual Playcentres as well as those of the NZPF National office. If provided with a Lottery National Community grant, the NZPF National office will have the responsibility to allocate the funding across the individual Playcentres.

This will reduce administration time for centres because instead of the Playcentres submitting individual results reports for the expenditure of their grant funding, the NZPF National office will submit just the one combined results report to Lottery National Community.


How to apply for inclusion in the NZPF single ‘consolidated’ grant request.

The NZPF are currently developing an online application form which will be available on the Playcentre Website and we will advise when this is completed.  In the meantime, collect all the information you would normally provide to COGS except for the audited financial reports as these will be provided by NZPF.  Similar to the COGS application process the Playcentre online application form will require you to provide:

The name, phone number and email address of someone from your group we can contact to discuss your request.

What do you want funding for?

What are the expected benefits/outcomes?

How do you know this is needed?

How will you address the need?

How will you show you have achieved it?

How does your request align with the purpose or priorities of this fund?

Which ethnic groups or communities will benefit from your activities or project?

Amount Requested excl of GST

A budget for the amount requested.

How many years are you requesting funding for?


Timing of the Lotteries National Community funding?

Applications will need to be with NZPF by the end of Term 2 (5th July) in order for the consolidated application to be submitted on time.

The decision meeting for Lotteries is held on 2nd Oct, which means it will likely be early November before funding is received.  Centres applying for funding will need to advise if this timeframe will adversely affect their day to day operations and alternative funding options can be discussed.