The Ministry spends around $7.1 million a year on a wide range of Youth Development opportunities. We provide funding for community-based services to support young people, aged 12 to 24, to develop and use knowledge, skills and experiences to participate confidently in their communities.

The outcomes we fund

The outcomes the Ministry funds are increased capability and resilience for young people.

Building capability is about young people developing the competencies or skills that people require to live and participate in their communities, including:

  • thinking
  • communication
  • managing self
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing.

Building resilience refers to young people having a stronger sense of identity and sense of self-worth, a greater ability to deal with change and loss, and to make responsible decisions in their lives.

We collaborate with non-government organisations, district and city councils, corporate entities, philanthropic organisations, charitable trusts, incorporated societies, organisations set-up under statute and limited liability companies.

Youth Development

Youth development refers to activities and programmes designed to build the capability and resilience of young people aged between 12 and 24 years. The focus is on opportunities such as:

  • leadership, of self, others, and/or influence
  • mentoring: for the participant or the participant mentoring others
  • volunteering.

Current funding available

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Small Communities Youth Grant Fund is now available. Read more.

Find out more useful funding information and opportunities on the Generosity website and the Department of Internal Affairs website.

Ministry of Social Development Approvals

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Providers contracted by the Ministry of Social Development must have the capability and capacity to deliver quality social services on an on-going basis.

Ministry of Social Development Approvals assesses organisations, often under legislation, against a set of standards at a level that reflects the type of services they deliver. This means that both MSD and the provider’s clients can be confident in the services that are delivered.

Community Investment Strategy

Funding for youth development sits under the MSD Community Investment Strategy, which aims to get the best results for available funding by changing how we work and contract with service providers.

The Community Investment Strategy aims to better align funding to those with the highest needs, and to programmes and providers can show they are meeting these needs successfully. It will be implemented over a three year period between 2015 – 2018.

The Strategy is being implemented through six key elements.

  • Focusing more clearly on priority results, including results measures in providers' contracts.
  • Building the evidence base so funding is directed at services that have proven results.
  • Improving the quality of data collection so services can be targeted where needed most.
  • Setting a clear direction for future funding so providers can understand our priorities and we can work together to achieve results.
  • Simplifying compliance requirements, so providers can focus on delivering services.
  • Building provider capability to support providers to be sustainable, and help providers move towards results-based contracts.

The Community Investment Strategy applies to all social services purchased by our Community Investment business group and the Ministry of Youth Development


To find out more about the Community Investment Strategy visit the Community Investment webpages on the MSD Website

Latest news

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See the latest announcements from our Minister on the Beehive website.

Read and subscribe to the Community Investment Update – a newsletter for Ministry of Social Development funded providers.

Streamlined contracting with non-government organisations

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The Ministry of Social Development uses the whole of government contracting framework when purchasing outcomes/contracting with providers.

Visit the Streamlined Contracting with Non-Government Organisations website.