Before you apply | Application Process | Funded Applications


Before you apply

Please read the guidelines, these FAQs and terms of conditions of the programme on this website.

If you are unsure that your proposed project is eligible or have any questions relating to your application, please complete this form quoting your application number if you have already lodged it or received funding. We aim to answer your email within two working days throughout the year except the five business days prior to the current grant round cut off date when we try to reduce this turnaround to one working day to ensure you meet the closing deadline.


Can any school apply?

The programme is open to schools across New Zealand that have been registered by the Education Department to operate as a school. The programme supports children from pre-school through to the end of secondary school, age range of 4-18 years. The project needs to support specific children who are completing their school education.

Schools can include:

  • Primary/Intermediate
  • Secondary
  • Daycare
  • Pre-School
  • Early Childhood Centre

Please note this programme does not support family day care or home school programmes or schools that are run by organisations that have charitable status and support their activities from general fundraising. The programme does not support projects aimed at children under 4 years or students in tertiary programmes or programmes aimed at supporting students entering employment that are not being run by a registered school.


Can schools make joint applications?

For projects meeting the overall aims of the grants programme one school may apply on behalf of a group of schools to address an issue faced by specific students in a particular geographical area. In this incidence one school can complete the application and include the names of the partner schools. If successful, the school lodging the application is responsible for acquitting the grant.


We are a small community group running a project in a school and believe our work fits within the guidelines of this programme. Can we apply?

No. The programme only takes applications from schools. However, if the school is working in partnership with a small community organisation that is running a programme that meets the needs of specific children and that project meets the overall guidelines of the Max e-Grants programme, then the school may choose to lodge an application to assist that project. The project does need to be integrated into the school programme.


What activities may be supported by a Max e-Grant?
The aim of the Max e-Grants Programme is to support a child/children experiencing major disadvantage and isolation in the school system.

The grants programme gives preference to small, discrete projects that meet the needs of an individual child or group of children or young people experiencing major social or educational disadvantage, rather than contributing to the funding of large projects.

One of the main aims of the programme is to ensure that a child or young person experiencing disadvantage does not feel separated or isolated from his or her peers due to circumstances beyond their control. The grant should help the nominated child/children undertake increased participation in school activities and can include, but is not limited to, assistance for:

  • Uniforms for school or sport
  • Excursions/School camps
  • School supplies/equipment (for the nominated child/children)
  • Direct teacher/teacher aid support in the classroom
  • External tutoring or in class


I would like to apply for assistance across a number of categories. Is that possible?

We would prefer applications to remain in one category. We accept that in some situations an application may be across categories to support a particular student.


Does the Max e-Grants programme have more than one closing date a year?
At present, there are two application closing dates each year. However, the grants are offered subject to funding being available. Please check this page for current closing dates.


When does the funding need to be spent?

Please check this page for current project dates.


How many applications can my school submit for each closing date?
Each school is required to limit their applications to ONE (1) per application period.

Please note that the grants system will not automatically reject multiple applications from the same applicant in the same round. However, if a school lodges more than one application for one round none of the applications will be assessed. Please note schools will not be contacted to withdraw applications.


Will all eligible applications be successful?
Unfortunately, no. While we would like to be able to assist all children experiencing disadvantage to make the most of their education, there is a limited pool of funds available for the programme. Max e-Grants are attracting a large number of applications at each closing date, so there is competition between many worthwhile projects for the available funds. As a result, many worthy applications are unable to be funded.


Can I still apply for funding to cover costs for a project that has already taken place?
Applications are not accepted for retrospective funding of activities, i.e. projects that are already underway or completed or which will commence prior to the project start date advertised for the round.


Our school has many children that we consider are in need of assistance but we will not know their names until later in the year. Can we just apply for a group of students and name them if we receive the funds?
Unfortunately, no. The project and the student/s are linked and the school will have to nominate specific students' initials on the application form.


How do I make my application more competitive?

  • Consider the overall aims of the programme when writing your application. One of the main themes of the programme is inclusion. The focus being that an individual child or group of children does not feel isolated or left out of activities due to social or economic disadvantage.
  • A priority for the programme is to support children living in isolated rural and remote areas, indigenous communities and recently settled refugee or migrant communities.
  • Consider the size of the grant and whether the amount is appropriate for the scale of the project that you wish to apply, for example if it is an ongoing issue or a larger project, if successful could the application have an impact by covering the first stage of a larger project or deal with a component of the project? Or is the project beyond the scope of this programme's ability to fund?
  • If you are applying for support for a project for a whole class or year, consider whether everyone in the group requires support to attend the activity. The programme is trying to address ‘major disadvantage’ for individuals.
  • Schools sometimes consider the total value of the project for students without addressing the specific aims of the programme. As an example, an application to send three students to the school camp who would not attend without assistance from the programme should meet the guidelines. An application to reduce the price of the school camp for everyone in the year would not meet the guidelines of the programme.
  • The programme is about supporting children that are experiencing major disadvantage and it is presumed their circumstances are known to the school. The school is asked to provide the initials of the child and if successful, the child and the grant are linked. The programme is not about providing a grant for the school to decide at a later date which children it will support. 
  • Consider whether there is an official source of funding for the service that you would like to apply for through the education department or health department. This is a small grants programme it cannot replace other funding sources.
  • Provide a detailed and accurate budget. This not only provides more information on your project but should we not have enough funds to support the whole application we may be in a position to fund particular items. The programme supports applications for amounts up to $5,000. If you are applying for the full amount, please show evidence in your budget that the full amount is required.
  • It will be beneficial to avoid abbreviations and acronyms - please assume we don't know what they mean.


Will the privacy of the child/children receiving assistance be protected?
Barnardos undertakes every precaution to ensure privacy. You will see from the application form that we only ask schools to provide the initials of the child/children to ensure anonymity. We do not undertake any publicity without obtaining the permission of the school, and if given, all names will be changed.


Does my application require support from the child’s family?
No. If successful, the grant is made to your school for the project as outlined in the application. The grant is paid directly to the school's bank account.


When will I find out if my application is successful?
Generally, the process of evaluation, assessment and approval takes approximately eight to ten weeks from the funding round closing date. After the assessment meeting, you will be emailed to advise whether or not your application has been successful. The website is updated regularly regarding the dates for both decisions and future rounds. Please note that unsuccessful applications will not be automatically considered in future application rounds.


My school received a grant in the previous application round. Can we re-apply in the next round?
Schools are welcome to apply again once they have lodged their grant acquittals.

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Application Process

What will I need before completing the application form?

  • Project description and budget including initials of the child/children you are applying for
  • Approval from Principal to apply
  • School’s address and contact details

Please note there is a good help guide for applicants to assist with making your application online.


I would like to see what questions are being asked on the application form before I decide to register. Can I preview the form?
Yes. To preview the application form just click on the ‘Apply Now’ on the home page and then click on the available round link.


Who is the applicant? Myself or the school?
The school is the applicant. If you are writing the application you are the contact person.
Please note: The Principal of the school needs to be aware of the application if they are not submitting it. If a grant is made it needs to be accepted and approved by the Principal of your school. The Principal’s email address is required on all applications. If your application is successful the grant will need to be acquitted by your school.


How do I login?
In order to login, you must first have registered as a SmartyGrants user. The registration is found at the beginning of the application form and includes ‘Your Name’, ‘Organisation’, ‘Email Address’ and ‘Password’.

Subsequent logins need to be made with the same email address and password under which you registered.


Forgotten Password
Please note Barnardos does not have details of your password. If you already have an account but can't remember your password please click here to request a new password and the system will send you a new password and then when you have logged in you can change your password.


How do I review my application before submitting?
1. Go to the link
2. Click on Apply Now
3. Log in (email and password)
4. Click on the current round submissions
5. Review your submission
6. When you have completed all the compulsory questions click on SUBMIT on the right.


I have clicked on SUBMIT and nothing happened.
Please check that you have:

  • Completed all mandatory questions
  • Not used alpha characters in a number question field
  • Have not gone over or under the word limit on a question
  • Presented dates in the format dd/mm/yyyy

If you are still experiencing technical problems, please email


How do I know if my application has been submitted?
When you have reviewed your application and checked that all the required fields have been entered, you can submit your application. You will then receive a receipt confirmation stating your application number, which you should record. The receipt will also include a copy of your application. Please note if you do not receive a confirmation your application has not been received.


What is SmartyGrants?

SmartyGrants is a secure online grants management system used widely across New Zealand and Australia. Applicants join the SmartyGrants system by creating their own user name and password. Only the account owner and SmartyGrants have access to the username and password. Funding applications are completed online; the grants team review, decide and then notify applicants of the outcomes. This notification is sent to the email address submitted on the application. Successful applicants then log into their SmartyGrants accounts and complete their agreement forms including bank details online. Once the project has been completed the applicant again logs into their SmartyGrants account to complete their grant acquittal.

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Funded Applications

Can I vary the details of the project once the application has been funded?
The grant is made for the project as outlined in the funded application, so it may not be changed without a request for variation. Please note that you cannot make any changes to your project description (such as children being supported, budget or dates) without contacting Max e-Grants email The final decision to support grant variation rests with the Max e-Grants Funding Committee.


What if budget details of my funded project change?
If your school has been successful in obtaining a grant towards your project it may be for specific items in your proposed budget. If so, this will be outlined in your offer email. Please inform us of any changes, including project dates and minor budget changes.

The completion date for your project determines the date when your acquittal is due. You will receive an acquittal reminder email approximately three months after the completion date for your project if you have not submitted an acquittal. As part of the approval process for the school’s acquittal of its grant, the acquittal will be compared to the original application.


What is a sort or swift code?
In New Zealand this appears as the first six digits of your full account number. If your school is successful in receiving a grant the payment will be paid into the main school account via electronic banking from Australia. You need to be sure that the account numbers you are providing are accurate for the payment to be made. Please contact your banking institution if you are unsure. Bank charges that are incurred due to incorrect payment details will result in a reduced grant being paid to your school.


I have received my offer email. Why have I not received my payment?
First please check that the Principal has accepted the grant online and all bank details are correct.

Grant payments are processed to schools in groups and in weekly cycles. Some schools accept their grants immediately, others do not. Please be advised that it may take some weeks for your grant to be processed through the system. Please ensure that the full bank details of your school’s main account have been provided, as incomplete information may lead to a delay in your grant being paid.


I do not see where to go to accept the grant?
Login to SmartyGrants, go to my submissions and complete the grant agreement form.


The email says I have to complete a grant agreement. Where is it?
Login to SmartyGrants, go to my submissions and you will see the grant agreement form.


Why is the grant money being sent to me from Barnardos Australia, not Barnardos New Zealand? Isn't Max e-Grants a New Zealand programme?

Max e-Grants is a programme run solely for New Zealand schools by OfficeMax in conjunction with child welfare charity Barnardos. Barnardos in Australia and New Zealand work very closely together. The Max e-Grants programme is managed by Barnardos Australia because for this particular programme they have the infrastructure and are able to easily administer the programme making best use of existing resources.


Why have I received less than the approved grant amount?
All payments are processed from Australia and some International Money Transfers deposited into New Zealand bank accounts may incur a receiving fee from the New Zealand banking institution, usually around $15. In this instance, you should first contact your banking institution to check whether they have removed bank charges from the grant payment, and then requesting the receiving fee be waived due to the nature of the deposit. It is then the bank's decision to waive the fee or not, on a case-by-case basis. 


Why am I being charged for providing incorrect bank details?
Please ensure you provide your full bank details correctly so that your grant can be paid into your school account from Australia. If you are unsure, please confirm with your bank that the details are correct. If you provide incomplete/incorrect information and the payment is processed, the bank will charge a handling fee for returning the grant. Unfortunately, this fee will be passed on to the school, as we have no way of confirming if the bank details are correct before we make the payment.


What do I need to do once my funded project has taken place?
You need to log on and acquit your grant online in the SmartyGrants platform. The acquittal is a report on what took place and how the grant was spent. When you log on you will then be able to see the acquittal form in ‘My Submissions’ and the school’s application that was supported. You may preview the acquittal form online.

It is the responsibility of the school to acquit the grant. We understand teaching staff change but the grant is accepted by the school Principal and the school needs to make arrangements for someone who has been involved with the project to write the acquittal. If your school has an un-acquitted grant, future applications will not be considered.

As part of the approval process for your acquittal it will be compared to your original application, therefore you need to explain if there are any differences.

Please provide as detailed a report as possible and where appropriate, attach images. Please note that the size of the boxes on the online form expand to 500 words. If you are downloading and printing a form, please add further pages if you have insufficient space to answer the questions.

Information from acquittals assists in increasing sponsorship for the programme which increases the budget for all schools applying in future rounds. Please provide as much information as you can about what was achieved with the grant, including outcomes or changes observed in the recipient's behaviour and academic performance.


My school did not use all of the grant. How do we return the balance?
Please email us and we will provide you account details so you can return the balance. When you are completing the acquittal form please explain and show in your budget section that not all the grant was used. Please always provide school name and grant number in any correspondence with us. Please do not send Barnardos Australia a cheque in New Zealand dollars. We shall either provide our bank account details or a cheque can be sent in Australian dollars.


I can’t find the acquittal form
Login then go to 'my submissions' and you should see the acquittal form. If you can’t see it please email

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