Apply for $20,000 Grant: Applications open for Community Grants in Canada

Canada Grant Open: Applications open for Community Needs Grants

The Canadian Women’s Foundation is currently welcoming applications for Community Needs grants.

canada grants

These grants aim to offer short-term support to organizations engaged in gender justice work.

The focus is primarily on smaller grassroots organizations. The grants intend to address a variety of immediate needs within these organizations.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation provides funding to organizations across Canada, giving priority to communities with the most pressing needs. These organizations are actively engaged in addressing three critical priority issues: gender-based violence, economic development, and girls’ empowerment.

Potential applicants have the opportunity to seek funds for a variety of purposes, including covering existing program costs, piloting new projects, initiating timely policy or advocacy efforts, supporting organizational capacity-building or professional development, building networks, and/or addressing core operational and administrative expenses.

Funding Pillars

The funding provided will bolster your organization’s capacity to deliver programs, services, and advocacy initiatives. This support can be direct, covering program or service costs, or indirect, addressing core operational expenses. These efforts should align with one or more of the Foundation’s funding pillars.

Gender-Based Violence: These are organizations that offer support to women, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary individuals, as well as their children, who have endured violence. They may also focus on preventing violence among teenagers of all genders..

Economic Development: Organizations striving to enhance employability and economic opportunities for women, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary individuals facing low incomes, unemployment, or underemployment are encouraged to apply. However, proposals exclusively focused on poverty alleviation or offering direct financial aid will not be considered.

Girls’ Empowerment: Organizations that provide support for girls, Two-Spirit, trans, and nonbinary youth aged 9-13 through consistent group activities in exclusively female settings are eligible. These activities should aim to empower participants and foster a sense of belonging among them.

Funding Information

In 2024, approximately 25 grants, each worth up to $20,000, will be distributed.

What do they Fund?

The Community Needs Grants have the flexibility to cover various expenses, including direct program and service delivery costs, timely policy or advocacy initiatives, organizational capacity-building or professional development, networking efforts, and operational and administrative expenses.

Gender-based violence

This refers to housing or shelter and additional support services offered to women who have encountered violence, along with their children.

This involves crisis counseling, support, and informational services or hotlines, as well as systems navigation and case management for survivors of gender-based violence. This includes various forms of violence such as physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, financial, spiritual, harassment, or stalking.

This encompasses outreach services, participant-led support groups, and other programs or supports provided to survivors of sexual assault and harassment in workplace and campus settings.

This includes providing legal information, court support, or navigation programs to individuals involved in family, criminal, or other justice systems as a result of experiencing gender-based violence.

Economic development

Note: The Foundation will not consider programs or services solely focused on poverty alleviation measures or providing direct financial support.

Workplace navigation and inclusion programs offer support for workplace readiness, including within a social enterprise setting.

These are trades and technology programs designed to create opportunities for participants to enter skilled trades and technology fields. They encompass job-readiness training, placements, and apprenticeship programs.

These are self-employment training and business accelerator programs that offer one-on-one coaching, financial management training, assistance with setting business goals, and/or tailored marketing and sales training.

This refers to sectoral resource sharing, capacity building, or training opportunities, as well as knowledge mobilization by regional, provincial, or national groups.

Girls’ empowerment

Note: Programs or services seeking funding under this pillar must target participants aged 9-13 years.

Regular programming in schools or community settings is aimed at enhancing protective factors for girls. These factors include connectedness, confidence, and critical thinking skills, employing one of the following approaches:

  • Science, technology, arts, engineering, and math (STEAM);
  • Social and/or environmental justice;
  • Indigenous culture and teaching;

Group mentorship programs or services involve the participation of older students/youth, adults, and/or Elders;

Capacity-building with girl-serving organizations is facilitated through formal networks that focus on one of the following populations or issue areas;

  • Northern, rural, or remote communities;
  • Girls with disabilities;
  • Gender diversity;
  • Mental health.

More employees or extra operational and administrative assistance for organizations focused on empowering girls.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to qualify for a Community Needs Grant, you must show that your proposal meets the following criteria.

Charitable Status or Qualified Donees

  • Applicants must be registered non-profit organizations with a valid charitable number, or a First Nations Band recognized as a qualified donee by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  • If your non-profit organization is incorporated but lacks charitable status or is not recognized as a qualified donee, you can still apply by partnering with another organization that holds registered charity status or is a qualified donee with a mandate relevant to your proposal. In this case, the partnering organization’s Board of Directors will assume fiscal responsibility for the grant and ensure that the funds are spent for the intended charitable purposes. They will also be required to sign the funding agreement and collaborate with your organization to deliver the project.

Organizational Mandate

Gender-based programming, services, and/or advocacy are essential components of your organization’s mission, and you possess substantial experience in working with women, girls, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary individuals who encounter multiple barriers and are underserved:

  • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals
  • Black individuals
  • 2SLGBTQIA+ community
  • People with disabilities
  • Individuals living in rural, remote, or northern communities
  • Racialized communities
  • Refugees, immigrants, or individuals without legal status
  • Individuals living on low incomes
  • Older adults/seniors
  • Youth
  • Sex workers

Your organization is grassroots with a limited budget, as defined below:

  • Shelters or transitional housing providers with an annual operating budget of less than $2 million.
  • Non-shelter or housing organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $1 million.
  • Larger organizations, such as Band Councils or shared platforms, may submit an application on behalf of a non-profit organization without charitable or qualified donee status.
  • Note: The Foundation can only provide funding for one proposal per charitable organization under this call.


The Canadian Women’s Foundation does not provide funding to:

  • Individuals
  • Federal, provincial, or municipal government agencies and school boards
  • For-profit organizations or businesses
  • Fundraising events
  • Conferences, festivals, seminars, and symposiums

For further details, please visit the Canadian Women’s Foundation website.

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