Chapter 4

Grants and funding for your football club

A growing number of grants, loans, and other types of funding are available to football clubs.

An illustration of a female footballer kicking a football over a line of bar graphs

We explore everything small football clubs across New Zealand need to know about access to grants and funding.

The importance of funding for women’s football

Earlier this year, Xero announced a global partnership with FIFA Women’s Football.

With the growing participation of women in the game and its rise in popularity in recent years, Xero is excited to contribute to a positive change in women’s football, small businesses, and communities worldwide.

We talk about ‘better numbers off the field, better numbers on the field’, because we believe that, for women to thrive in football, support off the field is just as important as on it. Many small football clubs are non-profit organisations that want to enable women and young girls to play football in their local communities. Accessing funding and grants can make all the difference to their financial viability and provide a platform for launching successful community-based women’s football programs.

Financial support available for football clubs

Football clubs rely on club income, including sponsorship, summer programmes, and hiring out their facilities. Yet, many small football clubs often encounter financial difficulties. According to FIFA, 70% of women’s football clubs operate at a loss.

The good news is that there are now a growing number of grants, loans, and other types of funding available to football clubs. In recent years, the world has seen sporting organisations pledge to increase funding for women’s football. An example from the UK is the announcement that the Premier League will increase its funding for FA Women’s National League clubs to £4.5 million. To grow women’s football clubs, the Premier League has also pledged £1.75 million to the FA’s new network of Girls’ Emerging Talent Centres.

Finding the right funding for your club

There are many resources out there that can help clubs find the best funding or grant. Sport New Zealand (Sports NZ) provides investment to boost access to opportunities for specific groups, and to organisations where we don’t already have a partnership investment model in place. Have a look and see if your club qualifies for one of the Sports NZ funds. They also have a directory of play, active recreation and sport awards, grants and scholarships. You can search the directory to see the many funds offered. Alternatively, there are other options for funding available to football clubs.

New Zealand Football Foundation

The New Zealand Football Foundation (NZFF) believes in the power of ‘football for good’, and funds projects and initiatives that support local communities. The foundation also has put in place initiatives, working with partner organisations to ensure the benefits of football are accessible to every group in Aotearoa. Their impact extends far beyond the field: the projects they lead themselves, and those that they support financially, generate access not only to the game itself, but to the wide range of opportunities outside football.

To date, the NZFF has donated over $1,830,000 to assist with the growth of football throughout New Zealand. It issues grants once a year to initiatives which serve one of their four key pillars: women and girls, youth, social impact, and innovation. The foundation is committed to finding, funding, and supporting local communities who believe in the power of sport to change lives for the better every bit as much as they do.

The New Zealand Football Foundation grant application process is closed for 2022. Applications will be open in August and September 2023.

New Zealand Community Trust

The main focus of the New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) is to provide funds for amateur sport; around 75% of their grants are distributed to support amateur sport. The balance is distributed among a range of charitable causes in the areas of health, rescue services, education, arts, culture, heritage and the environment.

Alternative sources of funding

Gaming machine societies

Funding and grants from larger sports organisations are not the only funding options for your club. Many local authorities and communities also offer help to champion sport in the community. Gaming machine societies such as the Grassroots Trust are also an excellent resource for funding and often work with individuals or groups on their needs. Speak to your local gaming society and for details of funding opportunities they offer.

FundingNZ

Applying for funding can be tricky, as funders take many factors into consideration. If your club would like help with your proposal writing or the construction of the actual funding process FundingNZ can help.They have extensive experience in funding applications to most New Zealand charitable trusts and have the necessary expertise to make applications on the behalf of sports clubs. Contact them directly for a free confidential consultation.

How Xero is supporting small football clubs

Xero believes that financial viability is important to the success of women’s football clubs. Our partnership with Football New Zealand and with FIFA are aimed at championing the growth of women, on and off the pitch. With this in mind, we’re working to provide educational resources to help football clubs with their financial and business management.

How to use Xero to help manage your club (section 2 of this playbook)

Using Xero for football club accounts and finances

Xero can help improve your club's financial health and help grow the game. Here’s how to use Xero for your club finances.

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