Grants and Investment Readiness Program

The Community Foundation offers four ways for qualified donees to apply for capital for their projects and initiatives.

Investment Readiness Program

About this program

The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) is part of a national initiative led by Community Foundations of Canada and funded by the Government of Canada to provide non-repayable capital to social purpose organizations to seed and grow social enterprise across the country.

This program is designed to prepare social purpose organizations to accept future investment by facilitating organizational growth through business planning, capacity enhancement, or development of new enterprise. Upon completion of a project or initiative funded by the IRP, applicants will see their social purpose organization primed and ready to access investment.

Information about the Investment Readiness Program nationally can be found at https://irp-ppi.ca/.

What you need to know to apply

This program is open to social purpose agencies located and working in Southern Alberta. Eligible organizations include charities, non-profits, co-operatives, and for-profit social enterprises. Unlike the Community Foundation’s granting programs, applicants to the Investment Readiness Program are not required to be a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Eligible organizations can apply for non-repayable capital to research, launch, design, measure, and scale up their social enterprises in order to get ready for future opportunities to accept investment. This program can assist organizations at any stage, from refining a new idea to scaling up and preparing for new investments.

Non-repayable capital awarded through the IRP is intended to be used to access and support expert advice or services, including but not limited to: 

  •  Exploring a new business idea or developing a business plan to test your idea
  •  Creating a marketing plan to reach new audiences
  •  Planning new products or services to grow revenue
  •  Preparing documentation to approach potential investors

Capital received through the IRP is not eligible for use toward core operating costs. The purpose of this capital is to move your enterprise forward along the spectrum from idea to investment-ready.

Successful applications will demonstrate how the organization’s capacity will be enhanced or expanded as a result of participation in the Investment Readiness Program.

Information and resources

Glossary Video

Next application deadline

Applications will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. on February 10, 2020. Further opportunities to access funding will be announced in 2020.

Community Priorities Granting Program

About this granting program

Awarding half a million dollars annually, the Community Priorities Fund sustains our biggest granting program. Support for this program comes from over fifty years of donations, beginning with the first gifts the Community Foundation received in 1966. Donors choose this fund as a way to allocate their gifts to support the needs of the day, as represented by applications for funding. This program supports a wide range of projects from communities throughout our region.

What you need to know to apply

Prior to filling out your application, please read through our Grant Application Guidelines to see if your project is eligible for funding. Your organization must be a CRA-recognized qualified donee or apply in partnership with a qualified donee to be eligible. Learn more about qualified donees here.

Support this granting program

As a donor, you can establish an endowment within the Community Priorities Fund. Investment income generated by your endowment will support the twice-yearly grants issued by this program. You can also make a donation online.

Next grant deadline

Applications will be accepted until Monday, March 16, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Previous grant recipients

To view grants awarded through the Community Priorities Fund, click the buttons below.

2019 Fall 2019 Spring 2018 Fall 2018 Spring 2017 Fall 2017 Spring 2016 Fall 2016 Spring

Varley Fund for Rural Life

About this granting program

The Henry S. Varley Fund for Rural Life was established by local rancher William "Bill" Long and named in memory of his uncle, Henry Stewart Varley. The Varley family ranched southeast of Pincher Creek in the community of Fishburn for a century.

The purpose of this fund is to provide support for a high quality of life throughout rural Southwestern Alberta, through organizations, projects, and initiatives that enhance rural communities. Grant applications to this fund are accepted twice yearly.

What you need to know to apply

This fund will grant to projects in the following areas: Innovation, Community Collaboration, Education and Training, and Information and Research Initiatives. 

Before you begin your application, we encourage you to read through the Grant Application Guidelines to ensure your project is eligible for funding. Your organization must be a CRA-recognized qualified donee or apply in partnership with a qualified donee to be eligible. Learn more about qualified donees here.

Support this granting program

The Varley Fund for Rural Life is a Field of Interest Endowment Fund. Investment income generated by the endowment supports the twice-yearly grants issued by this program. You can also make a donation online.

Next grant deadline

Applications will be accepted until Monday, March 16, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Previous grant recipients

2019 Fall 2019 Spring 2018 Fall 2018 Spring

"Since 2013, the Community Foundation has granted over $490,000 in 30 communities throughout our region for projects that help our communities stay vibrant."

Youth in Action Grants Program

About this granting program

The Youth in Action Granting Program aims to empower young leaders by supporting youth-led initiatives that will benefit the community. Projects funded through Youth in Action grants must be initiated, led, and organized by residents of Southwestern Alberta up to 25 years of age, in collaboration with a charitable partner.

What you need to know

This granting program accepts applications once per year. Applicants can request a grant of up to $2,000 for their project. To encourage creative, dynamic projects, Youth in Action project proposals are assessed on a case-by-case basis to evaluate how well they exemplify the granting program's mandate.

Before you begin your application, we encourage you to read through the Grant Application Guidelines to ensure your project is eligible for funding. Applicants must apply in partnership with a qualified donee to be eligible. Learn more about qualified donees here.

Next grant deadline

Applications will be accepted until Friday, February 28, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Other Granting Programs

Periodically, the Community Foundation facilitates one-time grant funding in acknowledgment of special events or milestones. This section is provided for informational purposes only.

Community Fund for Canada's 150th

About the Fund

The Community Fund for Canada's 150th was a national initiative and collaborative effort delivered by the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta, in partnership with the Government of Canada and community leaders from across the country.

Criteria

The Community Foundation considered applications for grants of up to $15,000. Eligible projects were required to match the value of the grant requested (either by in-kind or cash contributions) and must have been connected to this exciting milestone. This could be done by encouraging participation in Canada 150 activities and events, by inspiring a deeper understanding of the people, places, and events that shape our country, or by building vibrant and healthy communities for all.

Projects funded through this grants program

In total, 11 projects received funding.

Community Fund for Canada's 150th