Prioritising applications and allocating funding

The assessment committee meets to decide which applications should have priority for funding. The committee focuses its discussion on:

  • what level of support there is among committee members for those applications that scored highly on the Assessment Scale (a total mark between 16 and 20)

  • which “middle ground” applications (a mark between 11 and 15) should be given priority

  • strategic funding decisions and local funding priorities that may see applications given priority even though they haven’t scored as highly as others.

It’s appropriate to support a project if the application is eligible and meets the funding criteria and the assessment committee believes the project should have a high priority.

Grants can be made as general contributions to a project or they can be tagged to a specific aspect of the project.

If an application has stated that the applicant is also asking for funding from other sources, the committee will need to consider how likely it is that the applicant will get that other funding and therefore whether the project will be viable.

Taking a strategic approach to funding decisions

Usually there’s pressure on CCS funds and it’s not possible to fund all of the creative projects taking place in our communities. Assessment committees will need to take a strategic approach to funding and make decisions that represent the best use of the funds available. It’s preferable that the best applications are given adequate support to ensure that they have a good chance of success, rather than spreading funding too thinly over a larger number of applications.

Funding decisions should also be made from a district or city-wide perspective. Rather than considering individual projects in isolation, it’s important that assessors are aware of the arts environment in the city or district as a whole and that they aim to fund projects in a way that develops and enhances the arts throughout the local area.

Declined applications

If the committee decides to decline an application they will need to identify the reason for the decline. These are:

  • D1: ineligible application

  • D2: does not meet funding criteria

  • D3: low priority for funding

  • D4: incomplete application

Specific factors for the committee to consider

When deciding whether a proposed project should be a priority for funding, the committee should consider and discuss the following questions:

  • Is there evidence of demand from the community?

  • Will the project provide increased, sustained or long-term benefits for the community?

  • Will the project contribute to supporting the local arts priorities identified by the local council?

  • Is there potential for the project to develop?

  • Has the project received CCS support previously and, if so, has the project developed in any significant way?

  • Given that priority should be given to strong projects that are likely to be successful, is the proposed level of funding support adequate to ensure that the project will succeed?

  • What does the arts environment look like in the local area, and where is support needed? How will the project contribute to the development of the arts within the district or city?

Deciding the appropriate level of funding for an application

Assessment committees should award the amount and type of assistance that they agree is appropriate, regardless of the amount the applicant has asked for. If the committee decides to grant less than the amount asked for, it must be confident this won’t risk making the project unviable.

Local councils or assessment committees must not set an upper limit on how much funding applicants can ask for. However, it’s good practice to manage applicants’ expectations, and applicants can be given information about the range of funding amounts that have been granted in the past.

Councils and assessment committees also must not specify the level of an applicant’s minimum contribution to a project (whether personal or through other funding sources) as a requirement for eligibility under the scheme.

Projects benefiting more than one council area

Projects that benefit more than one council area can be supported. Individual CCS administrators should liaise with the administrator in an adjacent local council where appropriate.

Co-operation and joint support

Assessment committees may co-operate and jointly support projects that take place in adjacent local authority areas. This may be achieved through administrators liaising informally with other administrators and committees.

If your council would like to establish formal processes for co-operation and joint support, or would like to operate a joint assessment committee, this must be agreed in writing with Creative New Zealand.

Whether your process is formal or informal, it is recommended that administrators (and relevant management) of the adjacent council discuss and agree the following:

  • The principles and considerations behind recommending that applicants submit applications to both committees, eg:

  • shared audiences

  • projects that sit across both boundaries

  • the funding/infrastructure available in each district for different types of projects

  • impacts for applicants

  • timing of closing dates

  • proportions of requests

  • implications of one committee funding and another not.

  • Under what circumstances administrators will or won’t recommend that applicants submit to both committees

  • How administrators will convey this advice to applicants

  • How administrators will ensure your advice is consistent

  • How administrators will keep each other in the loop.