Tips and tricks for applying

What a successful grants application needs to have in it

Are you thinking of applying for a 2022 Puna Pūtea | Social Action Grant, but aren’t sure what to include in your application?

Our tips below cover what our independent judging panel will look for in a successful grants application. 

To be successful in your application, you’ll need to: 

  1. Clearly describe how your grants project will end unfair judgements and discrimination towards people who experience mental distress. What sorts of unfair judgements and discrimination will your project challenge, and how? How will your project uphold the rights of people with mental distress in your whānau, community, workplace or iwi?  
  2. Clearly describe how your project will help to drive equal outcomes for your community, or for our priority groups - people with severe mental distress who may also be Māori and/or Pasifika. 
  3. Show how your project aligns with our kaupapa Māori principles here. How will your project incorporate best practice or tīkanga in a way that supports people with mental distress? How will your specific mātauranga or knowledge make your grants project fly?  Choose one or more of the Nōku te Ao: Like Minds kaupapa Māori principles and talk to them in your application. 
  4. Show how you will reach people who haven’t experienced mental distress with the stories and views of people who have. This practice, which is called the Power of Contact, is a proven way to help end mental distress discrimination and increase understanding towards another person’s experiences. To be effective, the project’s leader or leaders need to create a situation where people feel a sense of equality with one another; there is an opportunity for whanaungatanga/to get to know each other and actively co-operate; information that challenges negative stereotypes about people with mental distress is provided; and all participants have a mutual goal they can pursue together by taking tangible actions. 
  5. Have clear goals and objectives, and a realistic and detailed budget. What outcomes do you want your grants project to achieve, and why? Is this possible within your budget and the grant amount you have applied for, and if not, how have you saved on costs? Attach quotes if possible. 
  6. Demonstrate creativity and innovation. Have you noticed anyone doing something similar? If so, what could you do better? What does your grants project offer that others don’t? 
  7. Use positive, hopeful and safe language around mental distress. See our media guidelines for tips on using language that is mana-enhancing, respectful and puts the person first. 
  8. Consider how your project might pivot to suit the COVID-19 landscape. In this ever-changing environment, all applications must show how they would continue if affected by COVID-19. 

Some don’ts 

Our grants criteria is specific – your project needs to help end mental distress discrimination.  

To give your grants application the best chances of success with our independent judging panel, avoid our project don’ts below. 

  • Don’t simply raise awareness of mental distress. It’s important that people take action to end the unfair judgements and discrimination that people with mental distress can face. Simply raising awareness about mental distress is not enough to end mental distress discrimination – we need to give people some tangible things they can do or say. 
  • Don’t focus on helping people with mental distress to recover. We want people to support, include and show aroha to our whānau with mental distress, regardless of whether they recover. Studies show that people are more likely to experience mental distress discrimination when they are unwell and need our support the most. 
  • Don’t try to fund the impossible. Think about how your project will realistically be achieved in terms of time, money and skills. If your wildest dreams can’t be achieved within the grant amount, scale down your project and see if it will fit. 
  • Don’t focus on other types of discrimination. Many people face discrimination based on race, culture, gender or sexuality, for example, but our grants are specifically designed to help end mental distress discrimination. We welcome and appreciate projects that include multiple forms of discrimination, such as mental distress discrimination and racism, but your project must focus on ending mental distress discrimination to qualify. 
  • Don’t focus on anti-bullying or suicide prevention initiatives. While these initiatives are very important, these grants are not designed to fund them. 
  • Don’t propose a project that has already been completed. We want to work with you to support your project as it happens – we can’t do this if it’s already been completed. 

So – are you ready to apply?  

Feeling inspired and ready to help end mental distress discrimination? It’s time to start your grants application process!

  1. First, download our Puna Pūtea/Social Action Grants criteria document here and have a read of it. 
  2. Click on the ‘Apply now’ button below. This will take you to our online application hub, where you can start your application. You’ll need to include a proposal within it, which can be either a video of up to 10 minutes (hosted on YouTube, Vimeo or another external hosting platform) or a written proposal of up to 1,500 words. You can save your application mid-way and come back to edit it later. 
  3. Send in your completed grants application by 5pm, Friday, 11 November 2022. Funding decisions will be communicated back to you by February 2023. 

Nau mai, haere mai – we welcome your applications!