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Before you Apply

Please read the guidelines, these FAQs and the 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 three working days. 

The Max e-Grants programme provides small grants of up to $5,000 per grant to Ministry of Education licensed New Zealand schools and pre-schools to support children aged 4-18 years to achieve educational participation. The aim of the programme is to support students experiencing disadvantage or isolation. 

This programme does not support family daycare, or homeschool/correspondence students, or schools that are run by organisations that have charitable status and support their activities with 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.

No. The programme only takes applications from schools. However, you can discuss with the school to get them to apply for your child.

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 a small group of children or young people experiencing major social or educational disadvantages rather than contributing to the funding of large projects.

Projects need to fit within one of the following categories:

  • Equipment and resources (e.g. sports equipment, stationery)
  • Excursions or camps (e.g. annual year camps or one-off excursions)
  • Extracurricular activities (e.g. club fees, swimming lessons etc.)
  • Teacher support or tutoring (e.g. in, class aides, external tutoring)
  • Uniforms (e.g. sports or school)

We would prefer applications to remain in one category. However, we accept that in some situations, an application may be spread across categories to support a particular student. The application form gives you the opportunity to select a primary category that best fits your project, along with any sub-categories that your project may fit into.

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.

Please check this page for current project dates.

Each school is required to limit their applications to ONE (1) per application period. If a school lodges two applications, it is unlikely that more than one application per school will be granted.

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 attract a large number of applications each round, so there is competition between many worthwhile projects for the available funds. As a result, many worthy applications are unable to be funded.

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. Please check here for the dates related to the current round.

  1. 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 defined subgroup of children do not feel isolated or left out of activities due to social or economic disadvantage.
  2. Rather than applying for a project for a whole class or year, please tailor your application to individual children or a smaller group who are identified as at risk of missing out or being disadvantaged in some way.
  3. Consider whether there is an official source of funding for the project that you would like to apply for through the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Health. This is a small grants programme, and it cannot replace other funding sources.
  4. Provide a detailed and accurate budget with costs broken down. 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.
  5. It will be beneficial to avoid abbreviations and acronyms - please assume we don't know what they mean.

Barnardos and OfficeMax undertake 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.

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.

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 (the applicant) will be emailed to advise whether or not your application has been successful.

Please note that we do not have the resources to discuss details of why individual applications may have been unsuccessful. Please check this page for key dates.

Yes, in order to promote Max e-Grants to sponsors and continue to grow the programme, grantees are asked to sign a media permission form when filling in their grant agreement.

Photos sent to Max e-Grants as part of the acquittal process do not need to include students. In the past, schools have sent photos of drawings, thank you cards, or products bought with Max e-Grants funding.

Schools are not eligible to receive a grant in two consecutive rounds and must have successfully lodged their acquittal for any previous funds received via the grant programme.

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Application Process

  • Approval from the Principal of your school to make an application
  • Clear project description
  • Detailed budget of what the project will cost
  • Initials of the child/children you are applying for
  • School’s postal address and contact information

Please note there is a good help guide for applicants to assist with making your application online. There is more information on the Grants Process page, including an example application that may help you write your application.

The school is the applicant. If you are writing the application, you are the contact person.

Please note: The Principal of the school must 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.

In order to log in, you must first have registered as a new applicant in our online grant application system. The new applicant link is located below the email login field on the login page.

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

Please note Barnardos does not have details of your password. If you already have an account but can't remember your password, please click the ‘forgot password’ link on your Grantmaking account login page to request a new password, and the system will send you an email to reset your password.

Once you have started an application and saved where you are up to, you will automatically be emailed a version of your draft application.

This does not mean your application has been submitted. You can also log into your Grantmaking account and view it on the ‘applications’ tab under the ‘in progress’ dropdown selection.

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 an email with a confirmation stating your application number, which you should record. The confirmation will also include a copy of your application. 

Please note: You can also log in and check in the dropdown options of your applications that it is now in the submitted category.

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Funded Applications

Yes! Given these unprecedented times, we are happy to talk with you about possibly using the funds later in the year or having them diverted to another activity. Once you have considered what you would like to do with the grant, please email Barnardos at to let us know your suggested plan for when you will use the grant and/or how you would like to divert the funds. Once you receive confirmation from us that your plans are approved, you’ll be all set to proceed.

The grant is made for the project as outlined in the funded application, so it may not be changed without a request for variation. You cannot make any changes to your project description (such as children being supported, budget or dates) without contacting Barnardos, email The final decision to support grant variation rests with the Max e-Grants Funding Committee.

If your school has been successful in obtaining a grant towards your project, it may be for specific items in your proposed budget. This information will be outlined in your offer email. Please inform us of any changes, including project dates and minor budget changes, by emailing Barnardos at

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 already submitted an acquittal. As part of the approval process, each acquittal will be compared to the school’s original application.

*Acquittal (report on what took place and how the grant was spent).

First, please check that the Principal has accepted the grant online and all bank details are correct, as incomplete information may lead to a delay in your grant being paid. Grant payments are usually made within 6 weeks of Barnardos receiving bank details in the completed grant agreement form.

Login to your Grantmaking account and click the ‘requirements’ tab at the top of the page. Then use the drop-down menu (on the right of the page) to select 'New', and you will find the form there.

You need to log on to your Grantmaking account and click the ‘Requirements’ tab at the top of the page. Then use the drop-down menu (on the right of the page) to select 'New', and you will find the form there. Acquittals report on what took place and how the grant was spent.

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 attach relevant images. 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.

Please email Barnardos at, and we will provide you with our 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 the school name and grant number in any correspondence with us.