08/2015 CCS August Newsletter

Photo: At the cutting edge of alternative ukulele music, Apron Strings go where other bands fear to tread, with quirky arrangements or obscure covers about issues such as love, hate, cheating, revenge and knitting. Funded to perform at the Waikato Museum ‘Sunday Sounds’ programme by Hamilton CCS.

Here is your August CCS Newsletter

Kia ora koutou,

Spring is in the air, daffodils are blooming, the clematis and kowhai are out in the north, lambs are starting to pop up further and further down the country and many of you will have been inundated with new CCS applications. If you are scratching your head about any of these please just give us a call.

Results from 2014/15

CCS continues to support amazing arts projects right across New Zealand. Below is a short summary of the past year gathered from your CCS reports and the annual evaluation reports. In the next few newsletters we’ll share further information as well as making improvements and developing new resources in response to your feedback. In the CCS Dropbox Folder you can find a document with a selection of projects that were funded in 2014/15. To our knowledge only Auckland and Whangarei don’t have access to Dropbox. Please let us know if this also affects you.

A snapshot of 2014/15

  • In 2014/15 CCS supported 1724 projects and distributed $3,394,098. Grants ranged in size from $90 to $17,000.
  • 67 local councils were involved in the distribution involving over 115 council staff, seven third party organisations, 468 assessors and 131 city or district councillors.
  • The reach and the diversity of projects supported by CCS continues to be strong with 56% of projects having a Māori, Pasifika, Asian, multicultural or other non-European cultural tradition.
  • Projects that were completed over 2014/15 had an average of 174 participants while the average audience numbered  928. The average subsidy per participant or audience member was $2.07.
  • Based on recently reported participant/audience numbers, projects funded in 2014/15 will reach an anticipated 299,976 participants and 1,599,872 audience members. That’s nearly two million people impacted by CCS!
  • In Auckland (where they also are able to capture data on the total value of projects supported) funded CCS projects leveraged an additional 2.4 million dollars in other funds and resources making the CCS contribution to these projects just 17% of total revenue.
  • CCS projects continue to attract significant amounts of volunteer labour and provide a strong focal point for community cultural expression.
  • 66 of 67 CCS administrators were satisfied or highly satisfied with our service to you. Face-to-face contact and workshops for CCS administrators and assessment committees appears to have a direct correlation to satisfaction levels.
  • However, we are seeing a decline trend in the number of applications received. There has been a 14% drop since 2011/12.  There are various reasons why this might be happening and we’d be interested in any feedback you have received from your community.

Sharing the stories

A reminder that if you receive good reports with great images then please check with the applicants if you can share these more widely and then send them through to us. We can then share these CCS success stories with other districts which in turn helps us to promote the scheme. 

Photo: Performers at the South Waikato Cultural Festival. Funded by South Waikato CCS

Guides and forms

Your feedback on the new Administrator and Assessor Guides and the CCS forms was very positive. Some of you are having trouble adapting the application and project completion forms and we are looking at how this may be made easier. Remember that if you need to access these forms they are all available in the CCS Dropbox folder, along with instructions on how to adapt them.

CCS payments made

The first installment of CCS funds for the 2015-16 financial year was paid this month.  A reminder that 7.5% of the year’s allocation can be used towards specific costs associated with promoting the scheme and this figure needs to be captured in your Grant Tracking Tool. These costs can include printing, placing ads in newspapers, costs for hosting workshops on making CCS applications but cannot support internal administrative costs.

Catching the numbers

This year will be the first full year that we will capture numbers of participants and audiences. These numbers help assessors to understand the reach of a project and also help us to tell the CCS story. Please make sure that all applicants include these figures in the application and project completion forms. If they haven’t you will need to go back and request these figures.


We appreciate the work that you do to provide reports accurately and on time. This is a reminder that all Grants Tracking Tool reports are due to us eight weeks from your closing date. If this is an issue for you can you please let us know in advance.

Schools policy update

In August we sent you an email providing additional clarity regarding the funding of schools-based projects. If you need to revisit this information you can find it in the FAQ document in the CCS Dropbox folder. Please make sure you share this information with your assessors and local schools. We will update this information in the Guidelines later this year.

Focus on Hamilton

Creative Waikato is the third party organisation that delivers CCS forHamilton. They have recently seen a big jump in the diversity of applicationsreceived. Creative Waikato and its assessment committee made a deliberate plan to attract more applications from Māori and ethnic communities. Adrienne (CCS Administrator) had this to say about the process:

“We knew that to find new applicants we needed to find new ways to promote the scheme and to do some very targeted promotion.  We made a promotion plan using the six different streams outlined in the CCS Administrators Guide.  This included radio advertising on Free FM 89.0 (Community Radio broadcasting in the Waikato region) and Radio Tainui (www.irirangi.net will help you find Māori broadcasting in your area).  Using these stations resulted in new applicants.

After surveying our applicants we also found that word of mouth (through a friend, etc.) is still the main way that people hear about CCS funding.  Our website and other social media are the next most effective ways to promote the scheme. We offered workshops in ‘Making a Successful Funding Application’ but found that we had more new applicants from offering an open door for enquiries, one-on-one meetings, and getting other people who are already working in these communities to help us to promote the scheme.”

Photo: The Writing Bug provides a fun and educational way for children aged 2 to 8 years to learn Te Reo. This show was presented to over 2,500 local children and accompanying adults.

Creative Waikato is the regional arts development agency for the Waikato. Check out their website here.


Continuing our series, here are some more questions we’re frequently asked – along with the answers!

Question: Are repeat projects eligible?
You are all likely to have applications that come to you for the same project year after year. Sometimes these are very strong projects and produce great community outcomes. But sometimes they lack a little in growth or innovation and there is almost a sense of expectation from the applicants and a sense of obligation by the assessment committee to fund these as a result of this expectation.

Whether or not these projects are seen as a priority for support is at your assessment committee’s discretion. The committee needs to look at the criteria relevant to the application i.e. participation, diversity or young people, and compare the application with other projects under the same criteria. Is it a strong project? Are they able to source funds from elsewhere? Is the project developing or growing?

Sometimes an assessment committee chooses to send a clear message to applicants about the types of projects they will prioritise. It can be useful for assessment committees to discuss this issue before a funding round closes so that the priority areas can be conveyed to applicants before they draft their next application and the process remains transparent.

For example: In Rangitikei the assessment committee met to discuss the types of projects they wanted to prioritise in their area. After looking at what they felt made a particularly strong CCS project they decided they wanted to encourage applications for projects which:
  • demonstrated growth
  • demonstrated quality and excellence
  • promoted partnership and inclusion
They identified these priorities clearly on the front of the application form under Local Funding Priorities. By doing this they have given repeat applicants a clear steer about how they will prioritise applications. These priority areas still fit within the broader CCS criteria and the scheme’s intentions. The committee has also clearly identified for themselves what they will prioritise which can make for a more strategic conversation at the meeting when looking at repeat projects versus new projects.
Question: Money in the bank:
It is not uncommon to receive an application from a group that has enough money in the bank to potentially cover the costs of the project. However, these funds are sometimes tagged to other projects (e.g. development of venues or purchasing of equipment) or reserves held to make sure that the group or organisation remains viable or can close down or transition in a steady way if something unforeseen happens (staff illness, earthquake, etc). If an organisation does have significant reserves we would expect them to clearly articulate what these are being held for and why they can’t use these for this project. An administrator may need to request this as additional information once the application has been received.

Question: Are maintenance costs eligible?
CCS cannot support the buying or maintaining of capital items. This includes piano tuning, repairs on venues, servicing photographic equipment, etc. Groups who are wanting support for buying or maintaining capital items will need to go to other funders. These can be found in Fundview (which can be accessed free of charge via your local library) or they can do a search on the Ministry for Culture and Heritage website.

Question: What should we do when there are ineligible costs in the budget?
We want applicants to show the full cost of their project, however some of these costs, such as food or the purchasing of capital items might be ineligible. As long as there is other income in the budget that can cover the costs of these items this is not a problem. You can tag the CCS funding to the eligible costs and make sure this is noted in the letter to the successful applicant.

Question: What literature projects are eligible?
CCS can support fiction and non-fiction writing projects. These might be collective or individual writing projects. ‘Fiction’ includes, but isn’t limited to: novels, novellas, short stories, poetry, children’s fiction, young adult fiction, graphic novels, illustrated picture books, and speculative fiction such as fantasy fiction, science fiction, detective fiction, and historical fiction. ‘Non-fiction’ includes, but isn’t limited to: autobiography, biography, essays, social commentary, literary criticism, reviews, analytical prose, non-fiction written for children, young adult non-fiction, and writing about the physical and natural sciences.

However, CCS cannot support research for, or the writing of work that:
  • is funded by other government agencies – for example: film, radio and television scripts; writing and research projects supported by the History Research Trust
  • is part of an education course – for example: textbooks and other works created for primary, secondary or tertiary educational purposes; academic theses or coursework undertaken as part of any tertiary education programme, including coursework in creative writing
  • we don’t consider to be literature – for example: instruction manuals, guide books, phrase books, and do-it-yourself and how-to books (including travel guides, gardening books, and recipe books); bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopaedias and professional reference works; newsletters; hymn books; and publisher catalogues.
Question: When is it best to steer people to Creative New Zealand’s other funding programmes?
If a project has regional or national significance and the applicant has a track record of success they may be eligible for support via one of our other funding programmes. These programmes are highly competitive so before someone makes an application we recommend that they speak with the relevant artform adviser. You can find a contact list here. If you are unsure about whether to steer someone towards these programmes please get in touch.
All the best,
Briar, Helen and Mel