Grants

The Community Foundation offers three permanent granting programs.

Response and Recovery Granting Program & Emergency Community Support Fund

About these granting programs

Emergency Community Support Fund: This fund provides over $545,000 to local charities working with vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded through the Government of Canada’s $350M Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF), this program is a partnership with the Community Foundations of Canada, the United Way Centraide Canada, and the Canadian Red Cross. The Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta is one of more than 100 community foundations across the country participating in this much-needed program. For more information on this fund, including applicant guidelines, please click here

This fund is designed to support our community’s most vulnerable such as seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans, refugees and newcomers to Canada, women, children and youth, LGBTQ2+ people, Indigenous people, and racialized people.

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Grants Program: In order to address the urgent needs arising throughout our region, the Community Foundation is providing grants funding for frontline charitable organizations serving those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant applications will be considered for projects in four priority areas: food, shelter, health care, and families with children. It will also facilitate support for recovery efforts in the months ahead.

For more information on both grants programs, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page. 

What you need to know to apply

All charitable organizations in Southwestern Alberta, regardless of when they last received a grant from the Community Foundation, are eligible to apply for funding. 

To ensure that you are applying to the appropriate fund and that your project is eligible, please contact the Community Foundation’s Grants Coordinator, Caitlin Gajdostik, at grants@cflsa.ca.

Grants will be allocated based on the following criteria:
 •
Community need
 •
 Available Community Foundation funding

    Support the Response and Recovery Grants Program

    All donations received by the Community Foundation for the COVID-19 response and recovery will go right back out to support the community. They will not be added to any permanently endowed funds. 

    If you are interested in supporting the COVID-19 grants program, please contact Executive Director Charleen Davidson at cdavidson@cflsa.ca or 403-328-5297. You can also donate online through the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta’s listing on CanadaHelps.org—choose “COVID-19 Response and Recovery” from the funds listed. Gifts are eligible for a tax-deductible donation receipt.

    Donors with a Donor-Advised Fund at the Community Foundation can support response and recovery efforts by requesting to make a contribution from their fund and are asked to contact Charleen to discuss arrangements.

    Next grant deadlines

    Until July 27, 2020, the Emergency Community Support Fund will award grants on a rolling basis.

    The deadline to apply to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Grants Program is 4:00 p.m. MST on June 12, 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

    Henry S. 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.

    Previous grant recipients

    Click on the buttons below to view projects previously funded through the Youth in Action Granting Program.

    2019 Youth in Action Grant Recipients 2018 Youth in Action Grant Recipients

    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