The Community Foundation solicits and accepts grant applications from organizations that meet our funding guidelines. These grants are supported by the generosity of donors who have directed their funds to unrestricted purposes or to a broad field of interest. Grants may also be selected for funding by one or more donors.

A voluntary Grants Committee, comprised of representatives of the community, evaluates applications and in some cases makes recommendations to donors. The Grants Committee awards the grants within the parameters of the available funds as well as the policies and strategic direction set by the Foundation’s Board of Governors.


Grants are made only to organizations recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as registered charities. Applicants must demonstrate fiscal responsibility and have a committed volunteer board. Organizations must be based in Ottawa or projects must benefit residents of the Ottawa region.


In awarding grants, particular consideration is given to projects that:

  • benefit the broader Ottawa community and improve the quality of life for its citizens;
  • are innovative and use a community development approach to build on the assets and strengths of the community in order to respond to evolving issues and emerging priorities;
  • address issues that cut across various sectors in order to meet common purposes and goals;
  • address the root causes of identified local issues and work on long-term solutions in an effort to achieve systemic change;
  • realize transformative and sustainable results with a moderate amount of funding;
  • foster collaborative solutions and encourage more efficient use of resources (e.g. through partnerships, networking, sharing, effective use of volunteers, etc.).
  • Applicants are also encouraged to demonstrate how their projects help to build the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities.


The Community Foundation provides grants to fund projects in the following sectors:

  • Animal Welfare
  • Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Social Services

Funding Restrictions

Community grants are not provided in support of:

  • ongoing core operations (e.g. permanent staff salaries, etc.)
  • fundraising events or campaigns;
  • partisan political or religious activities;
  • individuals;
  • sponsorships;
  • deficit reduction;
  • equipment purchases for administrative purposes.

Please note that:

  • Organizations should complete and report back on a project before applying for additional funding.
  • Priority for funding will be given to organizations that have limited fundraising and/or marketing capacity.
  • We will accept only one application at a time from an organization, unless one application is on behalf of a partnership.
  • The Grants Committee receives only the information provided in the application, so avoid referring to attachments. Any attachments you provide are kept on file for reference but are not distributed.
  • We strongly encourage the use of our online application process for submissions.
  • If you are unable to apply electronically, we will accept your application by mail, but we do not accept applications by fax. If submitting your application by mail, please use standard paper (8½” by 11″), single-sided, and not in a presentation binder.

Application Deadlines: Feb. 1 and Oct. 1

To be considered in each grant cycle, complete applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the deadline date. (As fewer funds are generally available for the fall grant stream, we strongly encourage organizations to apply in time for the Feb. 1 deadline.)