Seeking funding for nonprofits in Canada? ABCD has you covered. Find grant support and funding for nonprofits in Canada to help grow your impact.

Canada Grant Systems and Funding for Nonprofits

Seasoned veterans in this NPO sector are likely already familiar with grant systems and funding for nonprofits in Canada. However, for those new or entering the field, or trying out a new role, finding opportunities for funding can seem a daunting task.

At ABCD, our mission is to make life easier for nonprofits. We not only develop affordable, intuitive, and effective database management software. We can also assist nonprofits in finding the tools and resources they require, including funding opportunities in Canada.

Join us in this guide to nonprofit grants in Canada. Find information on funding opportunities, including from: the Federal Government; provincial, territorial, and municipal funding; and private and public foundations.

Discover all your small or growing nonprofit needs to know about grant support and funding opportunities in Canada.

What are nonprofit grants?

Grants, and likewise grant writing, entails applying for funding from government bodies, community organizations, foundations, or corporations. These come in a variety of forms, from provisions of in-kind services, to credits from a specific vendor, or funding in general.

Grants are typically categorized by the type of institution providing the funds. These include: government grants (federal, provincial, or municipal), foundation grants, and corporate grants.

The funding from these grants can be restricted to certain activities, or completely unrestricted. They can help fund your nonprofit’s next initiative, which is in fact what many NPOs rely on grant money to accomplish. Funding can seed new programs and support core operating costs.

Traditionally, grants must relate to funding a specific function, project, or program. They most often do not apply to funding the non-profit agency as a whole. This means that, when applying for a grant, ensuring that your application is specific and focused is key to obtaining funding.

See what Dani Alexandria has to see about grant writing in the video below –

How to find nonprofit grants

How a nonprofit finds grants firstly depends on the type of agency and its geographical location. In Canada, one of the best places to start is with your local community foundation. Here you can find a list of supported programs, along with the recent grants they have provided. 

It’s also always a good strategy to stay up-to-date on the latest events in the grant space. For this, you might consider setting up Google Alerts to monitor specific keywords so you don’t miss anything. Some keywords to monitor for finding news and upcoming programs include:

  • Grant Support
  • Grant Writing
  • Grant / Grants
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Grant Applications

Beyond this, another valuable resource for obtaining funding for nonprofits in Canada are reliable grants directories. Some are completely free for nonprofits to use, while others require a small fee. Directories like Grant Connect come with a monthly subscription, or are available in a limited version in local libraries and resource centres across Canada.

Funding sources for nonprofits

Now, let’s break it down. The following will tell you exactly how and where to look for grant support and funding for nonprofits in Canada.

1. Federal Government Funding

With Canada’s federal budget making strides for nonprofits and charities, this sector is receiving an unprecedented show of recognition. There have been extensions to major emergency support programs, and many measures targeting much needed aid for charities and nonprofits.

This budget is a great step forward for NPOs and other social good agencies. It shows a real and significant commitment to using funds to support the volunteer, charity, and social good sectors pivotal to improving our society.

To find current and upcoming funding opportunities, research the funding programs from Employment and Social Development Canada. Find funding programs for jobs, training, and social development, as well as opportunities for solicited organisations.

Looking for more government funding programs? Have a read through Charity Village’s Government Funding Programs to see if one might be right for your NPO.

2. Provincial / Territorial Government Funding

With Canada a federal jurisdiction of ten provinces and three territories, nonprofits can also access different funding in different areas. For example, there are funding programs like:

These are only a few examples, but serve as a reminder for all nonprofits to follow not only federal funding options. Each province / territory has valuable resources for nonprofits looking to improve the local community, and will be just as worthy of your attention when trying to find funding for your nonprofit.

Seeking more local funding opportunities? Canada GrantWatch provides a platform to find nonprofit and small-business grants for NGO, community, or religious organisations.

3. Municipal Government Funding

Other funding opportunities for nonprofits include those accessible through local municipal governments. Municipal grants for municipalities and local government organizations offer funding for services in the local community.

These can be for example projects to support the conservation and understanding of local heritage. It can be an initiative to improve the quality of life of the local community, or one to support artistic and cultural activities. 

There are grants for projects for environmental conservation, local awareness, criminal justice, and all sectors of social good activities. Just remember to look into Canada’s municipal grants when researching funding opportunities for your nonprofit.

4. Foundations for Funding

The final way to find funding for nonprofits includes private foundations and public charities. A private foundation is a not-for-profit entity, generally created by a single benefactor, often an individual or business.

In contrast, public charities operate on funding or support from the public. They receive grants from individuals, governments, and private foundations. Some of these even provide grants, but the majority provide direct service or other tax-exempt activities. 

Private Foundations

Philanthropic Foundations Canada is a member association of Canadian grantmakers, including private and public foundations, charities, and corporations. They offer unique perspectives and approaches to grantmaking, foundation governance, and up-to-date sector data and practices. 

Private foundations such as these promote the growth and development of grantmakers in Canada, providing membership services, resources, and advocacy. They help nonprofits connect with wider networks of philanthropists, and to find the funding opportunities available for them.

Public Foundations

Finally, there is Local Community Foundations Canada (CFC). This is the national leadership organisation for Canada’s 191 community foundations. 

Working with organisations across Canada, CFC helps drive local solutions for national change on the issues that matter most to Canadians. Their movement connects community foundations, Canadians, and partners to build a brighter, stronger, and more sustainable future.

Discover more on grant opportunities and funding for nonprofits

At ABCD, we take pride in helping nonprofits find the tools and resources they need for success. Whether it’s helping NPOs find funding for new initiatives, or our solutions for better nonprofit data management, ABCD wants to help.

Contact us today to learn more about ABCD, as well as funding for nonprofits in Canada to help you implement ABCD in your social good agency.