Finding the right grant for your project can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, blindfolded! It can be even more difficult if you don’t know where to look.
In this post, I’ll share with you three types of funders you can approach for your next project. Being aware of these types of funders will increase your chances of finding grants, since you’ll have a better idea of where to look.
There are many types of funders, but for now, let’s look at these three:
1. Corporate Foundations
Where was the last place you bought groceries? Went out to eat? Bought gas?
It’s likely the companies you do business with every day have a corporate foundation.
Foundations are usually separate from the company, but derive much of their funds from the parent company and its employees. For example, the Co-operators Foundation contributes a percentage of The Co-operators’ pre-tax profits to various non-profit and charitable projects in Canada.
Corporate foundations usually support causes, which often, but not always, align with the parent company’s core business activities. Want to raise funds for your local food bank? Try looking at Loblaws or other grocery stores in your community. Upgrading the computers in your school’s lab? Check out Best Buy or other tech-focused companies.
2. Private & Family Foundations
Private and family foundations are the second type of funder. Typically, private and family foundations are registered charities that provide grants to other registered charities. Some make grants available to other “qualified donees,” basically, individuals or groups that are not charities, but are still eligible based on the funder’s specified criteria.
There are two main types of foundations:
- Private Foundations. Private foundations derive their funds from a family, like The Sifton Family Foundation, or an individual, like The David Suzuki Foundation. Individuals or family members often play a significant role in the governance of a family foundation.
- Public Foundations. Funds for public foundations come from a range of sources, including other foundations, individuals, and government agencies. A community foundation, like the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, is an example of a public foundation. Community foundations are often endowment based, and work diligently to benefit their local community. Community foundations exist across Canada. You can search for one in your area on the Community Foundations of Canada website.
Government funders are the third type of funder you need to know about. This includes government agencies at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels.
- Municipal. Municipal governments often fund projects that benefit the city as a whole, such as projects that create and maintain green spaces, promote arts and culture in the city, and enhance neighbourhoods, like the City of London’s SPARKS! Neighbourhood Matching Fund.
- Provincial. Provincial governments fund projects that impact communities across the province, like Ontario’s Ontario150 Partnership Program.
- Federal. The Federal government funds nation-wide initiatives. For example, the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund is an investment in cultural infrastructure.
So what should you do next? Take a look at each funder’s website to determine if their funding priorities align with your program or project. If they do, apply! If they don’t, record the funding opportunity somewhere so you won’t forget about it. In the future, you might have a program or project that does align.
Want to learn about more funding opportunities? Download our Funding Opportunities resource. We list additional funders in each of the three categories.