Apply For a Grant

Thank you for your interest in the Community Foundation Grants Program. The 2018 Grant cycle is now closed.

The 2019 Grant Cycle will open August of 2018.  For more information please contact Sarah Trudeau at or call 250-493-9311.

For a list of the 2018 Grants please click here.

Please read through this page first before you start your application.  To apply, click the green button on this page that says, “Start Your Application.”

August 25th, 2017October 20th, 2017 November 2017December 2017Early January 2018
Application cycle begins.Application cycle ends. All applications must be received by 5pm.Grants and Community Committees review applications and make recommendations.Board of Directors approves grant recommendations. Applicants are notified.Grant payments can be made to successful applicants.

If you received a grant in 2017 and your project will not be completed by the time the 2018 Grant Cycle opens please contact to arrange for an interm report to be completed.

If your 2017 project is complete you will need to fill out a Final Report found here and submit it by the 2018 application deadline (October 20th, 2017)

 Grant Writing Seminars Workshops: Stay Tuned!


If you were unable to make it to a workshop download the presentation:


The 2017 application process involves two online steps:

  1. Creating or updating your profile on the Community Knowledge Centre.
  2. Completing an ONLINE application form for your project or grant request.
    NOTE: We will no longer accept paper applications.  All applications must be submitted online.  If, for some reason, you are unable to use the online application form, please contact our office.

STEP #1: Community Knowledge Centre (CKC) Profile

You must have a CKC profile in order to be eligible for funding.  All existing profiles MUST BE UPDATED as part of the application process.

Note: You do not need to have completed your CKC profile in order to start your application BUT your profile must be completed by the application deadline of 5pm on February 10th, 2017.

If you DO NOT have a CKC profile please complete this form to get started.


If your project requires multi-year funding please contact our office BEFORE beginning the application process.

You can download the application questions to help plan your application in advance.  Projects requesting $1,000 or less qualify for a short-form application process.

NOTE: the documents below are for planning purposes only!  Please do not submit a PDF as your formal application.  You must complete the online application form by clicking the green button below.


If you would like to review approved projects from previous years you can download a sampling below:




2017 Grant Recipients are reminded that they will be ineligible for a grant in 2018 if the terms of the 2017 grant have not been fulfilled.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are faith-based projects eligible for funding?

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.

Can you apply for funding outside of the service area of the CFSOS?

Short answer: no.  We provide grants to charities and non-profits operating within the boundaries of the RDOS.

Do demographics play a role in deciding who will get money?

We have 108 endowment funds that all have the opportunity to assign grant criteria for 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 play a role in the decisions, but how that plays out is based on the criteria chosen by the donors, not by the CFSOS.

What happens if you can’t find a sponsor charity?

It is very rare that we cannot find a sponsoring charity for a worthy project.  However, if that does happen there is no way for the CFSOS to legally provide funding.  Because we have issued tax receipts for the many donations that fund our grant cycle, we are obligated by the Income Tax Act to provide grants only to registered charities or qualified donees.

What happens if I forgot to submit last year’s grant report?

If you forgot to submit your report please contact our office 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 2018 application deadline of October 20th, 2017.

How soon do we receive the money?

2018 Grant awards will be awarded at the November 28th, 2017 board meeting but will be payble starting January of 2018, 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.

How are the applications reviewed and judged?

Applications are initially reviewed by 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 history of past grants, quality of past grant reporting and promotion by recipients, and other background details that may assist the committee in making its decisions.

The Board of CFSOS appoints a Grants Committee comprised of 5 board members and 2-3 independent community members.  The committee members first review and rate the applications independently.  Individual rankings are combined to create an aggregate ranking of all applicants.

Applications are ranked on merit using five key criteria that remain confidential.  This means that a seniors project will be ranked in direct comparison to a heritage project, for example.

The Committee then meets to discuss the specifics of who will receive grants, and for how much.  An initial discussion of the aggregate rankings takes place which sometimes results in an applicant moving up or down the list.  After that, the applications are reviewed from the top down until we run out of money.

When the Committee approves a grant amount, staff immediately confirm which endowment fund is available to grant for that project.  Because most endowment funds have some grant criteria, it is possible that we won’t have money 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 not receive funding.

How long does it take to decide who will receive funding?

We have posted our timeline at the top of this page.  The plan is to formally approve the 2018 grant recommendations at the November 28th, 2017 board meeting.

After that approval, unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.  Successful applicants will be phoned directly to discuss next steps.

What are eligible expenses?

As of the 2017 granting year, 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 charity or project, wages associated with a specific program, bridge financing, capital costs, 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.

How much money is available this year?

We will be granting over $400,000 in 2018.  However, about 1/2 of the granting is pre-designated by donors.  That means that about $200,000 will be available for the grant application process.

Keep in mind that the Foundation doesn’t usually have FULL discretion with the grant decisions.  Most 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.

What are ineligible expenses?

Grants are not made for:

  • capital deficits.
  • retroactive funding or for any project expenses to be incurred prior to the Foundation’s decision date.
  • annual fundraising campaigns, form letter requests or telephone campaigns.
  • the establishment or addition to endowment funds.
  • debt retirement, to provide reserves or for mortgage pay-downs.
  • funding sabbatical leaves or student exchanges.
  • projects whose primary purpose is to promote religious activities or beliefs.
What is the average amount of funding?

Most of our grants probably average about $5,000, but this is not intentional or required.  We usually have one grant of around $15,000.

2 thoughts on “Apply For a Grant

  1. Pingback: CFSOS Confirms Grants of More Than $215,000 in 2014. | Community Foundation

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