Fonterra Grass Roots Fund

Fonterra Grass Roots Fund

Frequently asked questions

Which browser should I use to make my grant application?

Below are the different browsers that can be used to complete your application:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari
  • Internet Explorer 9 (or higher)

Can I save my application, leave the application and continue it later?

Yes, you can leave the application, just hit the "Save and Next Page" button first at the base of the page. To continue your incomplete application form, simply refer to the email sent to you labelled 'User Application link' and use your allocated application password to log back in and complete your application form.

PLEASE NOTE:  Any incomplete applications that remain after the closing date will be deleted. 

Do I need to fill out every field?

No. Only mandatory fields are required, however the more information you enter, the more consideration the Committee will be able to give your application.

Do I need to breakdown the detail of the funding I am requesting?

When completing the area requiring financial information regarding your application, you will be asked to enter that information in to a “table” structure, please ensure that you complete this in full.

You will be required:

  1. To provide all quotes made out to your organisations name for the initiative
  2. Each item must be on a separate line of the table even if multiple items are on one quote. That may require you to have the same quote shown multiple times support each line of your funding request
  3. You must collect the final column which states the amount you are requesting
  4. The total amount of your applicant request must be entered in the box below the table

What is the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund?

The Fonterra Grass Roots Fund is a global community grant program focusing on the dairy communities where our staff and suppliers and their families live and work.

What does the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund aim to achieve?

Fonterra is dedicated to supporting communities where we operate. Our community goal in Australia is to make a valued difference to the social wellbeing, nutritional health and long term sustainability of the communities that support our business and allow it to prosper. The aim of the fund is to support communities to get their projects, ideas and initiatives underway.

What has the program achieved since it started?

Since 2011 we have supported over 340 initiatives that focus on bringing communities together, caring for the environment and promoting healthy lifestyles and dairy nutrition. Our sponsorship funding has helped to build school vegetable gardens, supported sports, community and surf lifesaving clubs, and aided the purchase of essential equipment for emergency response services.

What types of Initiatives and Activities are supported by the progamme?

We are committed to programmes which share our vision, values and cooperative spirit. Specifically, initiatives must fall into one of three categories:

  • Bringing Communities Together
  • Caring for the Environment
  • Promoting Healthy Lifestyles and Dairy Nutrition

How much funding can groups apply for?

Support is provided from $500 to a maximum of $5,000 per application.

How do we know that you have received our application?

Upon submitting your application, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application

What will we have to do if we are successful?

The Fund requires a simple Accountability Report to be completed along with the uploading of verification of expenditure (receipts and a photo/s of your completed initiative.). The Accountability Report, is an online document and a link to this Report is found in your Applicant Dashboard,

A link to access your Dashboard and will be sent once you submit your application
A guide of the accountability report will be send to you in the submitted email
Another link will also be included in the Approved Grant email that you will receive upon the grant being approved.

The Report must be completed and all receipts and a photo must be loaded and returned within 2 months of the initiative being completed.

Do I need to upload additional information?

No, but if you have some relevant information as part of your pitch, which you think would well support your application then it would be advisable to attach it. There is the ability to attach a Word, PowerPoint or image file; please be aware that the maximum file size is 50MBs.

How do we address any unspent amount of a grant?

Any unspent amounts greater than $100 must be returned to the Fund and can’t be applied for any other purpose the funding was granted against.

Can groups apply more than once within a year?

There aren’t any restrictions on the number of times groups can apply for different initiatives. However you can only submit an application for a particular initiative request once within a year. If it is unsuccessful, you must wait until the following year to re-submit it.

Who decides which applications are successful?

There are seven Fonterra Grass Roots Fund committees which manage, approve and support local initiatives for their local communities. They assess applications against key criteria and guidelines. The committees are made up of Fonterra staff and our farmers.

How do we apply?

Please complete the online application form on our website Applications will only be accepted via the Fonterra Australia website. If you need any assistance with the online process, please contact your local champion contact details are outlined at the bottom of this FAQ.

What kind of proof will I need to supply for my Bank Account details?

For the bank account that you nominate you will need to supply either

  • A copy of a printed bank deposit slip
  • A screenshot of your online bank account showing the account name and number
  • A copy of your bank statement showing the account name and number

When are applicants reviewed?

Applications will be reviewed upon closing date for applications.

How will we know if we've been successful?

You will be contacted by a member of the committee confirming whether your application has been successful or not. If successful, they will detail next steps around the grant process.

If I'm not successful can I find out why?

We receive a large number of requests for support each year, and unfortunately we can’t support them all.

We aren’t able to respond to queries regarding an application, but if you think your application meets all of the criteria you do have the option to reapply.

What makes a good application?

Here are a few tips. Make sure your application fits within one of the three criteria and make sure you read our Fonterra Grass Roots Fund Guidelines to check your organisation is eligible. Clearly outline how you will use the grant if successful. Keep it short and concise. Source a costing quote for the equipment/work to be done (include the cost of including the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund Logo if this is possible).

If requesting funding as part of a larger project please include information on what other support you have raised and how our support will help you reach your goal.

Please let us know if there is an opportunity for our Staff and Farmers to come and help out on the project.

How do we promote our project/event when we've received our grant?

We would love you to promote our support of your initiative, whether it be on social media, your local community noticeboards or with the local media – just let us know. We also want to hear about how your project is going so we can share it with our staff, farmers and local community.

You can share your stories with our Communications team via,

Which regions are convered by the programme?

We will consider applications from all areas within New Zealand, and have split these into eight areas.


  • Northland - Northland to Warkworth
  • Auckland – Warkworth to Pukekohe
  • Central North Island (Upper Waikato) - Pukekohe to Cambridge
  • Central North Island (Lower Waikato) - Remaining Waikato
  • Central North Island (Bay of Plenty) - Greater Bay of Plenty region, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay
  • Lower North Island - Taranaki, Manawatu, Wanganui and Wellington
  • Upper South Island - Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman, West Coast, Canterbury
  • Lower South Island - Otago and Southland

How do I contact the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund if I have other Questions?

The best way to get in touch with us is by sending an email to our grants team at 

Why can’t I progress past this stage of my application?

It is most likely because you have not filled in an entry into a mandatory field. Check if there are any highlighted questions. If there are you will need to enter information into the mandatory field.

If you are having a technical system or program issue with making an application, then please click on the support link to lets us know by completing the email support request form.

We will endeavour to respond the same day if your request is filed before 12 noon or the following day if your request is filed after 12 noon. The help desk response will only be available Mondays to Fridays and not on public holidays.

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