The Borrin Foundation’s trust deed governs our grant-making. Our grants can fund work in the following areas:

  • Legal research: this may include socio-legal research, multi-disciplinary research, applied research, action research, evaluation work or dissemination of research. It may also include pulling together existing research, or research in preparation for a larger project or service.
  • Legal writing: this may include a wide variety of writing about any topic related to the law or the legal system.
  • Legal education: this may include providing information about legal matters, rights or obligations; providing workshops and seminars for the public or practitioners; or providing education to a variety of age groups about legal or constitutional matters.
  • Legal lectures: this may include presentations, conferences or symposium.
  • We can also fund work that ‘promotes the undertaking’ of any of the above.


To be eligible for grant funding your proposal must:

  • fit into one or more of the above areas
  • benefit New Zealand.

Note: We have separate eligibility and guiding principles for our Fellowships and Awards.

Guiding principles for grant funding

Our guiding principles for grant funding help the Grants and Scholarships Committee to make decisions about which projects should receive funding. Make sure you understand the guiding principles when considering whether your project idea is a good fit for Borrin Foundation funding.

We aim to fund high-performing people and organisations whose knowledge, skills, commitment and passion will contribute long-term to the achievement of our vision.

Our funding, through grants, will take into account the potential of a proposal to:

  • have a significant and enduring practical impact on the lives of New Zealanders
  • be a catalyst for change
  • address systemic issues
  • build capacity
  • engage the broader legal community including practitioners, policymakers, judges and academics
  • develop insights into our legal system through inter-disciplinary collaboration
  • target areas that are either under-resourced or under-developed and where there is a clear need for external support.


Generally we do not fund:

  • existing mainstream academic activities or facilities in schools, universities or other educational institutions, unless they are innovative in terms of delivery or access
  • activities where our funding is likely to be viewed as a substitute for public funding
  • government organisations (with the exception of independent statutory bodies, if public funding for the relevant project would not otherwise be available)
  • profit-making projects – however, we may fund a repayable subsidy, which requires repayments to be made to offset the cost of the original grant
  • international projects that do not benefit the people of New Zealand – funding may be contributed to an international project if a component benefits New Zealanders, or if there is a demonstrable benefit to New Zealand from the wider project
  • retrospective grants – to cover spending incurred before an application
  • service delivery or operating costs for business as usual.
  • University overheads