Residents who have significant community projects or services in need of funding of between $100,000 and $500,000 can now apply for a BayTrust grant.
It is the first time BayTrust has offered a grants round of this size.
The trust will be holding free public roadshows in Rotorua and Kawerau next month to explain what type of projects can qualify for funding and the application process.
BayTrust chief executive Alastair Rhodes said the trust supported many organisations in the community through small grants.
"However, in this funding round we are looking for significant projects that will make a real difference in our communities," said Mr Rhodes. "This new funding round is a major step for us as we look to further support community groups and ensure the Bay of Plenty is the greatest place to be."
Last year the trust developed a new funding framework and set of outcomes that grant recipients must now focus on.
The roadshows would explain the criteria and attributes the trust was looking for, he said.
"We are looking for community-led solutions to problems or issues. Collaborations between different community groups who are working to achieve similar goals are often very effective and are favoured by BayTrust."
Capital projects would be considered where the grant represented up to 20 per cent of the total project cost, Mr Rhodes said.
Those interested will not need to formally present ideas or bring information, and the roadshow is open to everyone.
Expressions of interest will be called for in late February, and a shortlist of applicants to present a full business case will be confirmed in July.
The final granting decisions will be announced in late August. A total of $2.4 million is available in 2016/17 throughout the Bay of Plenty for strategic funding.
-The roadshows will be held at Kawerau Enterprise Agency, 60 Onslow St, Kawerau on February 11 from 1.30pm to 3pm, and at Rect House, 1358 Eruera St, Rotorua from 9.30am to noon on February 15. More information is available at Baytrust.org.nz