Foundation Grants

Announcing our 2024 Foundation grant recipients!

Agur Lake Camp Society – Campground Assistant

Autism Okanagan – Penticton Youth and Adult Program (YAP) for People with Autism

B.C. Wildlife Federation – South Okanagan Wetland Restoration

Cawston Primary School PAC – Subsidized Lunch Program

Columbia Elementary PAC – Hot Lunch Equality Fund

Desert Sun Counseling and Resource Centre – Cindy Taylor Safe Home (multi-year grant: year 2 of 3)

Dragonfly Pond Family Society – Family Get Together

Inclusive Community Garden Society – Community Garden Greenhouse Completion Project

Incredible Edible Penticton – Raised garden bed replacement

Kaleden Community Association – Making Pioneer Park More Accessible

Keremeos Senior Center Society – Equipment and Security Upgrades

Lower Similkameen Community Services Society – Similkameen Starfish Pack

NeighbourLink Summerland – Christmas Senior Care Packages Program

Oasis United Church – Food Cupboard 

Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance – Meadowlark Nature Festival

Oliver Senior Centre Society – Safety and Security Upgrades

OneSky Community Resources – Operating Support for Aging Well Penticton

Osoyoos & District Arts Council – Portable sound equipment for public concerts

Osoyoos Seniors Centre Association – Technology upgrade: multi function printer

Penticton Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts – Operating and Bursary Support

Penticton and Area Access Centre – Triage Receptionist

Penticton Art Gallery – Gifts of Madness: community-wide arts project focused on mental health

Penticton Recovery Resource Society – Discovery House (multi-year grant: year 3 of 3)

Penticton Soupateria Society – Meals Program

Princess Margaret Secondary School – Maggie’s Lunch Program

Princeton & District Community Services Society – Princeton Meals on Wheels

Ryga Festival Society – Marketing and Communications Support

South Okanagan Loss Society – Families Living With Loss Program

South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) – Survive to Thrive EXPLORE Program

Summerland Food Bank & Resource Centre Society – Seed to Feed Program

Summerland Singers and Players Society – Marketing, outreach and promotion support

TFL Technology for Living – Technology for Independent Living Program

The Canadian Red Cross Society: South Okanagan HELP Service – Replacement Bed Rail Assists

Trout Lake Elementary School – Breakfast Program

Vermilion Forks Elementary School – Vermilion Forks Breakfast Club

Vermilion Forks Metis Association – Metis Threads & Traditions

General Information

Who can apply for a Foundation grant?

We will consider funding projects, programs and activities of not-for-profit and charitable organizations which align with the charitable aims of the Foundation. The applicant’s project, program or activity must also demonstrate a fit with our funding guidelines and priorities. Please see our 2024 Foundation grant funding guidelines or contact for more information.

If you’re an individual hoping to host a neighbourhood event or fund a small local project, please consider applying for a neighbourhood small grant here. The next application cycle for the Neighbourhood Small Grant program will take place in Spring 2024.

What’s the timeline?

Foundation grants are made annually. The chart below details the typical timeline for a Foundation grant cycle:

Mid-August Mid-October October – November
End of November/early December
Early January
Application cycle begins. Application cycle ends. All applications must be received by 5pm on due date.Grants Committee reviews applications and make recommendations.Community Impact Committee & Board of Directors receive and approve grant recommendations. Applicants are notified.Grant payments can be made to successful applicants.

Planning Documents

Read through the 2024 Funding Guidelines here:

Read a copy of the 2024 grant application questions below:

View examples of project summaries here:

Frequently Asked Questions

Grant decisions are made by a volunteer Grants Committee that reviews applications received. The Grants Committee is made up of independent community members from across the South Okanagan Similkameen.  Smaller, community-specific committees may also contribute to the process by evaluating applications from their community/area and providing the Grants Committee with their non-binding recommendations.

We do not make grants for projects specifically intended to promote a specific faith or faith-based perspective.  However, faith-based organizations are encouraged to apply for projects that provide direct support or benefit to the wider community.

We provide grants to charities and non-profits for projects, programs and activities taking place within the boundaries of the RDOS. If you are unsure of your eligibility based on this criteria, please contact us before applying.

We have more than 100 endowment funds, and all have the opportunity to assign grant criteria to their money.

Some of these endowment funds restrict granting based on geography (only Penticton, for example) and/or a field of interest (only animal welfare).

So the answer is, yes, demographics can play a role in granting decisions. However, these decisions are made based on the criteria chosen by the donors, not by the CFSOS.

If you forgot to submit your report for a previous year’s grant, please contact before proceeding through the application process. We will still accept your report, but your application will only be eligible for funding if the report is in before the application deadline or you have made prior arrangements with the Grants Manager (because the project for which previous funding was received is not yet complete, for example).

Grant awards are generally approved at the Board meeting following the Grants Committee’s decision-making process. This Board meeting is usually held in late November. Grants are payable starting in January of the following year, assuming the project is ready to receive the funds. 

We do not release money until the charity confirms they are ready to use the money.  For example, if your project begins in March and you won’t be spending money on it until June, you will be eligible to receive the money in June. It’s important to note that you will not receive the money until you formally request the funds.

Applications are initially reviewed by Foundation staff to ensure they are complete, meet the basic requirements for applying, and include enough information to allow the Grants Committee to make informed decisions.  Staff also provide additional information to supplement the application, including a history of past grants and other background details that may assist the Grants Committee in making its decisions.  

Grants Committee members first review and rate the applications independently. Applications are ranked on merit using several key criteria that remain confidential.  This means that a seniors’ project will be ranked in direct comparison to a heritage project, for example. The individual rankings are combined by staff to create an aggregate ranking of all applications. 

The Committee then meets to discuss the specifics of who will receive grants, and for how much.  A initial review of the aggregate rankings takes place, which sometimes results in an application moving up or down the rankings list.  After this initial review, the Committee begins to make its funding recommendations. The process generally moves from the top of the rankings list downward until all available funding is allocated. 

As the Committee recommends a grant amount for an applicant, staff immediately confirm which endowment fund is available to grant for their application.  Because most endowment funds have some grant criteria, it is possible funds will not be available to grant to a specific project, even if it ranks very high on the list.  For example, if the top three projects happen to be for youth, we may run out of “youth-specific” funds after we award #1 and #2.  In that case, the third high quality youth grant request could potentially not receive funding. 

Foundation staff take the Grant Committee’s funding recommendations to the Community Impact Committee, a sub-committee of the Foundation’s Board, for review and approval. Finally, the Foundation Board confirms the Community Impact Committee’s decision.  

From application deadline date (usually mid-October) to final approval by the Foundation’s Board (usually end of November), the decision-making process typically takes 7 to 8 weeks.

After the Board’s approval, all applicants (successful and unsuccessful) are notified by email. This generally happens in the first week of December.

The Foundation will accept application requests for most types of expenses.  In fact, it’s easier to consider what we won’t fund as you will see in another FAQ.

We will fund the start up of a new project, wages associated with a specific program, bridge financing, organizational development activities, training costs, operating expenses like rent (under certain circumstances), and most other things you can think of.

It’s important for applicants to understand that the Foundation wishes to invest in change, but we recognize that change takes time.  We don’t want to be a revenue line item on your annual operating budget, but if you need an infusion of cash to get started (or stay afloat) then perhaps we can work together.

If you have plans for how to improve the long-term prospects of your charity or clients, but need funding to test the idea and move towards measurable outcomes then, again, maybe there’s a fit.

The total amount of funds available for granting is determined annually. In 2023, we had over $375,000 available to grant.  However, about 1/2 of this annual granting was pre-designated by donors.

Keep in mind that the Foundation doesn’t usually have FULL discretion with its grant decisions.  Most of our funds have some criteria that we must honour when selecting recipients.  For example, the Smith Family Fund may have $10,000 available for granting, but if Mr. & Mrs. Smith have specified animal welfare projects as their area of interest, then we can only grant to groups that fit that criteria.

  • Establishing or adding to endowment funds
  • Establishing or adding to operating reserves 
  • Establishing or adding to a capital campaign 
  • Sponsoring a general fundraising event 
  • Projects that have a primary purpose of promoting political or religious activities or beliefs

In 2023, most of our grants fell in the $5,000 to $15,000 range. However, we encourage you to apply for the amount you need to successfully run your project, program or activity.

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