Budget and funding


Planning event finances during the early stages of development can make it a lot easier in the long run.  It is important and ideal to work through these stages.

Planning for all income and expenditure and evaluating what activities are affordable.

If you need any advice or help, please contact us.

Draft a budget

To have a clear idea of the costs to run an event, you should draft a budget. 

Here are some tips in drafting a budget:

  • be as realistic as possible with your costings
  • include ALL areas of the event programme
  • get realistic quotes and more than one for each item
  • estimate income (if any) before the event
  • costing each activity or aspect of the event may help you in obtaining a sponsorship or a grant
  • your expenditure can't exceed your income
  • when you have worked out your proposed expenditure, it should be equal to (or less than) your income
  • check if there are costs for permits and extraneous services
  • make allowances in the budget for any extra costs.

Overseeing and approving the budget

Depending on the size of the event, it's a good idea to form a committee that can help with planning and managing the event.

It is the role of the committee to secure funds for the event and to ensure that the event comes within budget.

The committee is accountable to other organisations, such as funding bodies, and can help ensure that funds are well spent.

The financial aspect should be monitored by someone with knowledge in that background.

The tasks include:

  • estimating costs and drawing up a draft budget
  • presenting financial reports to the committee
  • establishing a receipting and expenditure system
  • establishing prices for:
    • admission tickets
    • workshop fees
    • charges
    • stalls
  • controlling the sale and operation of ticketing
  • establishing a system for revenue collection on the day
  • sourcing the required resources
  • arranging an audit if required.

Operating the budget

Stick to your budget. If there isn't enough funding for everything planned, where can costs be reduced?

Make sure money donated or pledged is received, receipted and spent on the desired area. All monies spent is accounted for.

A certain amount of cash in hand will be required for minor or on-the-spot expenses. Finalise all event accounts, use your money. Others can be found for no cost or at a reduced rate.

Before the event, all money agreements with artists, performers and hire companies must be confirmed in writing. This will avoid confusion and disagreement later.

Remember some performers and suppliers need a deposit at the time of contracting. Advance funding may be required.

Important!  If the event is ticketed, while selling tickets the money must be kept in trust until the event has taken place.  Ticketing income cannot be spent on event related expenses or elsewhere before the event as it is still the property of the ticket purchaser.

Ticketing can be a vital aspect of your event and an important avenue for marketing.

A recognised ticketing service can provide essential marketing support, internet sales channels and will ensure the monies collected are held in trust.


One of the first and most important questions asked when planning an event is "Where is the money coming from?"

Apart from earned income, there are various income sources to help finance the event.

Timing and preparation are major considerations when applying for funding.

For large events, planning should start at least 10 - 12 months in advance, as applications will also have to be submitted months ahead. It can take several months from that date before the results are notified.

Wherever you apply, the principles are the same:

  • get the application in before the deadline
  • check the criteria and address in your application 
  • if you get a grant approved, it can take a couple of weeks for the payment to be received
  • check the payment terms of the fund
  • make sure you include a detailed budget.

Funding administered by us

The Whangārei Event Development Fund supports new, diverse and innovative events for the District, which have the potential to be self-sustaining without our funding in future years.

Eligible events are those that are new and significant, such as those that can demonstrate District or region wide appeal. 

Event Development Fund

Community-based events, or established events, can be supported under the Community Fund and / or Creative Communities Scheme.

Community Fund

Creative Communities Scheme

Other funding sources

Lottery grants

Issued by Department of Internal Affairs, the funding covers a wide range of areas such as;

  • lottery welfare
  • lottery youth
  • lottery aged
  • lottery environment and Heritage
  • lottery community Facilities
  • lottery Marae Heritage and Facilities
  • lottery health research
  • lottery general.

For more information, contact your local Department of Internal Affairs office.

Pub charities / gaming machines

Licensed gaming machine societies must donate at least 33% of their turnover to authorised purposes (non-profit organisations).

The society's address will be on the Site Approval Certificate displayed near the gaming machine - contact the Society or the Bar Manager to enquire about funding.

The Department of Internal Affairs has some information about funding for community groups on their website:

Casino and non-casino gaming - funding for community groups (dia.govt.nz) 


Sponsorship can be both in-kind and in cash.  A business or an organisation which matches your event, target market or your organisation, presents a higher chance that both parties share the same benefit.

You should approach a potential sponsor with a proposal.  This proposal should:

  • outline your organisation
  • all the details of the event
  • the benefits the potential sponsor will gain from your event (e.g. signage at the event, logos in advertising)
  • what you would gain from the sponsor (e.g. cash, product).

Once a deal is finalised, ensure an agreement between both parties is drawn up to outline the obligations of both parties and have it signed off by both parties.

Once your event has finished, send a thank you letter to the sponsor and include photos if possible.

Have a 'Plan B' - what will you do if you don't get funded?