The Non-Profits Guide to Federal Grants in Canada

08 SEP 2021
The Non-Profits Guide to Federal Grants in Canada

Every year, billions of dollars are allocated to federal grants. Getting a slice of the pie requires skill, resources, accountability and patience!

There are an estimated 170,000+ registered charities and Non-Profits in Canada. (Source: Imagine Canada). One of the top-most priorities for Non-Profit leaders is to get revenue. When the annual budgets are chalked out, Non-Profits estimate the revenue from different sources. These sources include individual contributors, corporate sponsorships, grants, membership fees and fundraising events. Irrespective of the size of your Non-Profit organization, it is critical that you plan the allocation of your funds wisely.

Grants are likely the most desired revenue channel. Although lot of small and medium-sized Non-Profit organizations may think this is beyond their league, we urge you to keep an open mind towards your approach to grant funding. With planning and patience, you can receive the desired grant to meet your program’s objectives.

Grants are huge monetary gifts, generally provided by large and established organizations.

They are generally categorized by the type of institution providing the funds. These include government grants (federal, provincial, or municipal), foundation grants, and corporate grants. In this blog, we are going to focus on federal grants.  Receiving grants can help you to meet one of your much-awaited projects or initiatives, or it can act as technology enablement that takes your organization to the next level of operation.

So, where do you go searching for government grants? Wait, before we get there, there are a few things you need to know. Ask yourself:

  • What kind of funding do I need, from whom, and for what purpose?
  • What is the estimated budget and how am I going to utilize that budget?
  • Do I have collective data to showcase the impact of our previous programs?
  • Which are the provinces, and communities my non-profit serves?
  • What is the burning desire behind our cause?
  • What type of grant does my Non-Profit require? Is it an operational or technology grant or special initiatives, equipment, program development, etc?
Where to look for federal grants in Canada?

Answering the above questions will provide you with greater clarity on what it is that you are seeking. It will further boost your confidence in your prospective grant search. The whole process takes time, so be patient. Here’s where to look for government grants in Canada.

  • Explore the different grants and funding available from the Government of Canada.
  • Research the current and funding opportunities for jobs, training and social development projects provided by the Canadian government.
  • Other federal grants especially in Ontario include FedNor, the Government of Canada’s economic development organization for Northern Ontario, Northern Development Initiative Trust, Eastern Ontario Development Fund, Ontario Trillium Foundation, etc.
  • Apart from federal grants, Non-Profits in Canada can also look for foundations in their province/territory that are serving their local communities. Find a list of local community foundations and identify the ones that will support your cause.
  • Grant directories are another great source to scout for grant opportunities. Some of these directories are free for non-profits. While others like Grant Connect charge a fee to access the available resources.

Another smart way to stay updated with the latest happenings is to set up Google Alerts. Set up keyword alerts that are relevant to your topic of interest. In this case, you could set up keyword alerts for:

  • Government grants for non-profits Canada
  • Non-profit grants Canada
  • Canada grants for non-profit organizations
  • Non-profit grants Ontario
  • Grants for non-profits Alberta
  • Technology grants for non-profits Canada
  • Federal funding for non-profit organizations
  • Federal grants
  • Government grants non-profit

For more on non-profit funding opportunities, check out Canada Grants and Fundraisers and Canadian government grant programs. Get details on the complete Government of Canada Budget 2021 here: “Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience”.

Study shows that it can take up to 200 hours for the average Non-Profit to craft a winning federal grant application! Here’s a useful guide on how to write a grant proposal.

You are now equipped with the knowledge on where to look for grants and how to write a winning grant proposal. But did you know that grant writing is a numbers game? Let us find out the role of data analytics and grant management.

Data analytics and grant management

Data collection, quantitative and qualitative is important. Funders are interested in numbers. They want to know how the funds allocated will be utilized and what impact it is going to create.

It is therefore important for Non-Profit organizations to collect data and use it effectively.

GiveLife365 has a module on grant management. It helps Non-Profits manage the grant lifecycle effectively, from the discovery of a prospective grant to successful execution. Using the CRM’s task-based workflows, ensures you don’t miss any of the deadlines/milestones the grant requires. GiveLife365 functions help Non-Profits:

  • Manage the funding organizations
  • Track fund disbursement and status of underlying projects
  • Improves tracking grant applications
  • Manage review processes, impact, budgets, constituent information, and data reporting all in one place!

GiveLife365’s expertise in data analytics is powered by Microsoft’s Power BI analytics tool.  The CRM solution equips you with data that is transformed into rich visual representations that reveal insights and spot trends. These insights can be mapped across different functions like volunteer contribution, volunteer hours dedicated to achieving program objectives, marketing campaign metrics, etc. The qualitative data in the form of stories of impact can also be used to enhance your grant proposal. Learn more about “Non-Profit Marketing Guide To Leverage User-Generated Content “.

The data you track should directly be linked to helping you get more funding. When applying for grants, collect and present data that will help demonstrate the impact of work for the community.

Set up SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) objectives. Track the supporting data and metrics to measure its achievement. Collect details on past successes and prepare a long-term strategy showcasing your commitment to the funders. All this effort and patience will help you win your next federal grant!