Vital Grant Stream

The Victoria Foundation is broad in scope and provides supports across the non-profit sector including the arts, environment, food security, housing/ homelessness, health, youth engagement, and more. The annual Community Grants Program supports registered charities and other qualified donees whose work benefits community wellbeing within the Capital Region.

After welcoming applications to our 2024 program from February 1 to March 7, 2024, the application portal is now closed. Thank you very much to each organization that applied.

For additional information on our program timeline and funding decisions, please see the application guidelines or the accordion section below: “What Happens After I Apply”.


Program Guidelines Infographic

Collaboration Grant Stream

Starting in 2024, the grant streams will have separate intake timelines. We will now accept applications to the collaboration grant stream during fall 2024. More information will be shared in spring 2024.

Key Program Dates

To receive up-to-date information about our Community Grants Program and other funding opportunities, sign up for our mailing list.

2024 Application Process

The goal of the 2024 program in to strengthen the non-profit sector and long-term resilience of our community by supporting eligible local organizations with flexible, general operating funding. We sought to meet this goal by aligning our grant process with Trust-Based Philanthropy principles to promote equity, centre relationships and increase accessibility. In addition, we recognize the historical and systemic barriers to funding for some communities and encourage applications from organizations who are working with equity-deserving groups.

Program Guidelines | Qualified and Non-Qualified Donees | Application Questions

  • Who do we fund?

    We fund federally registered charities and other qualified donees* working within the Capital Region (see map HERE). See infographic HERE for clarity on how different types of qualified donees can apply to the Victoria Foundation.

    *A qualified donee is defined under the Federal Income Tax Act as those organizations that can issue official donation receipts for gifts they receive from individuals and corporations. For a full list of types of organizations that qualify as qualified donees, see the CRA website HERE. If you have questions about your eligibility, see HERE.

  • What is eligible for funding?

    Eligible expenses include:

    • General operating costs
    • Staffing costs
    • Program adaptation
    • Technology adaptation and upgrading
    • Projects, programs or initiatives
    • Organizational capacity building (including staff wellness, training and professional development, costs associated with organizational mergers, fundraising for general operating, etc.)
    • Modest capital costs critical to the organization fulfilling its mission (including purchasing or upgrading physical assets including technology, safety equipment, vehicles, office equipment, etc.)

    What is a general operating request?

    General operating requests include expenses incurred through normal operations such as rent, heating, insurance, honorariums, staffing and equipment costs. If you are unsure if your general operating costs are eligible, please contact the grants team.

  • What is not eligible for funding?

    Ineligible expenses include:

    • Fundraising campaign costs and contributions
    • Sponsorships
    • Capital campaigns (e.g., for new buildings, land, monuments)
    • Political activities that are prohibited by the Canada Revenue Agency
    • Grants primarily benefiting individuals (outside of the activities of eligible organizations)
    • Deficit reduction (e.g., debts or loans)
    • Retroactive requests (any expenses incurred before February 1, 2024)
    • Requests without specific benefit to the residents or environment of the Capital Region
    • Religious activities or services including faith-based programming or proselytizing
  • How can I apply?

    We hope to make the Community Grants Program as accessible as possible.

    The first step is to create a new account on our online grants portal after it opens on February 1, 2024. Even if you have applied in the past, you will have to create a new 2024 account with updated contact information.

    The portal can be accessed through this webpage:

    From the main page, select the “2024 Applications” link. This will take you to the current application portal where you can register a new account.

    For organizations that do not have a federal charity registration number (i.e., other qualified donees including First Nations), please contact the grants staff and we will generate a number for you. This will allow you to complete your account registration.

  • What funding streams are available?

    Vital Grant Stream: Up to $30,000

    The Vital Grant Stream is the only funding stream available for the 2024 Community Grants Program. This funding stream is for any organization seeking a grant for their charitable purposes and activities.

    You can apply for a Vital grant through our online grant portal. Application Question List: HERE

    In 2024, we anticipate an equally high demand for funding as what we saw in 2023. Aligning with a trust-based philanthropic approach, the Victoria Foundation tries to fully fund requests whenever possible. We encourage you to apply for the amount appropriate to your organization/ project’s needs.

    Collaboration Grant Stream

    The 2024 Collaboration Grant Stream is not available for applications at this time. Based on applicant feedback and Foundation staff capacity, we are transitioning this grant stream to have a separate Community Grants application intake period, anticipated Fall 2024. More information will be available in summer 2024. Please subscribe to our granting e-news to stay up to date with information about this grant stream.

  • What are the granting focus areas this year?

    The Community Grants Program provides support across the non-profit sector including the arts, environment, food security, housing/ homelessness, health, youth engagement and more. Supporting a broad range of organizations is important to community wellbeing. In addition to this broad-based approach, we will prioritize support to address pressing needs as identified by community, informed by sector reports, and as identified through the most recent Vital Signs Report. The 2023 Vital Signs Key Issue Areas that received the lowest grades are:

    1. Economy
    2. Getting Started
    3. Housing
    4. Safety
    5. Transportation

    In addition, the Victoria Foundation recognizes long-standing structural and systemic inequities within our community, and is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity and inclusion in our programs. In pursuit of these values within the sector-wide scope of Community Grant funding, and to prioritize and centre their work at the forefront of their communities, we encourage applications from equity-deserving groups.

    Equity-deserving groups are those that:

    • actively seek social justice and reparation in order to disrupt those power dynamics/imbalances
    • identify and work to reduce or eliminate barriers to equal access, opportunities, and resources due to disadvantage and discrimination
    • Equity-deserving groups include, among others:
    • Indigenous Peoples
    • Black and racialized people
    • Women
    • People with visible and hidden disabilities
    • LGBTQIA2S+ communities
    • Newcomers (immigrants and refugees who have landed in the past 5 years)
    • Children and youth (ages 0-29)
    • Seniors (ages 65+)

    We recognize the intersectionality of issues and identity and are continuously looking for ways to better understand and prioritize different needs. See How are applications assessed? for more information.

  • What do I do if I have a current grant with the Victoria Foundation?

    Submission of final reports from previous years is not required for your organization to be eligible to apply for funding in 2024.

    If you have received a grant in the past and have spent 100% of the funds, submitting the related final report is required to complete the requirements of that grant agreement. As part of our due diligence process for new requests, staff review all active and closed grants an organization has with the Foundation, and this may influence the application review process.

    If you have any questions about previous grants and final reports, please contact

  • Can I apply for more than one grant?

    In general, organizations may submit one application per charity number through the Community Grants Program per calendar year.

    Organizations with multiple Chapters or locations that use the same charitable number can apply once. Such organizations may include large universities, municipalities, school districts, and organizations with national and local branches. Coordination and communication within these organizations is recommended before applying.

    For exceptions involving charities working in partnership with an equity-deserving non-qualified donee, see Who do we fund?

  • How much was distributed in past years through the Community Grants Program?

    In 2023, $4.89M was distributed to 199 applicants, with a 66% applicant success rate. Read the 2023 Distribution List HERE and the 2023 Press Release HERE.

    In 2022, $4.32M was distributed to 191 applicants, with a 73% applicant success rate. Read the 2022 Distribution List HERE and the 2022 Press Release HERE.

  • How is the Community Grants Program funded?

    The Community Grants Program distributes grants to qualified recipients using funding from the following sources:

    • Discretionary Funds: Victoria Foundation holds endowed funds established by donors who have given our board and staff discretion to allocate funding across a broad range of community wellbeing issues. We choose to distribute this funding to local organizations through the Community Grants Program. The investment of these endowed funds and the annual distribution rate that is applied to the market value of the funds each year determines how much funding we have available to allocate through the program.
    • Donor Advised Funds: Donor Advised Funds are established by donors who want to remain an active participant in annual granting. Sometimes they choose to support organizations which apply to the Community Grants Program. Applications are not proactively shared with donors, but if a donor comes forward with a particular interest in an organization or cause area, and it connects to an organization that has applied to the Community Grants Program, staff will let the donor know. The donor will then have the opportunity to make a donor advised grant recommendation to support that application.
    • Community Action Funds: Community Action Funds are non-endowed funds which allow donors to give confidently to areas of greatest need within cause areas that matter to them. From January 1 to May 22, 2024, all gifts made to the Community Action Funds will be allocated to approved Community Grants Program applications.
  • How are applications assessed?

    The Community Grants Program will utilize a trust-based philanthropy framework to assess all applications. Some key values of this approach include equity, humility and transparency.

    Strategic Initiatives grants staff conduct an initial due diligence review on each application, then assess applications based on 4 main criteria. Criteria are listed below in summary form. As a broad-based funder, the Foundation will also consider funding based on geography, specific subsectors, issue areas and equity-deserving groups in final recommendations. In addition, we know that certain populations and causes are in greater need at certain times, and we adjust our focus annually to direct funds to areas of greatest need. This is weighted with our overall support of the sector to create a vibrant and caring community for all.

    1. Organization Strength & Resilience (20%)
      • Mission alignment with request; organization connection and contribution to community; organization governance and decision-making.
    2. Community Need & Impact (35%)
      • Organization holds clear understanding of community needs; request is aligned with issue(s) identified by community (e.g., Vital Signs, sector reports, advisory groups); organization works strategically with partners; well-considered impacts; geographic reach (depth and/or breadth) of request.
    3. Demographics (25%)
      • Request will benefit one or more equity-deserving group; organization and request’s depth of focus on serving equity-deserving groups (e.g., led-by/inclusion in design and decision-making/targeted programming); organization offers targeted programming to serve the needs of certain demographic(s).
    4. Financial Need (20%)
      • Budget is supportive of planned activities and within proven fiscal management of organization; organization has a strong financial need and will be significantly impacted by funding; potential for transformational impact on organization; timeline is appropriate.

    The Victoria Foundation’s review process is comprehensive, and we seek input from a variety of sources. We intentionally include people with an array of perspectives and diverse experiences as part of setting our grant priorities and during the review process. We will seek input from a wide variety of sources for the 2024 grant cycle, including:

    • Community Engagement Committee: The Foundation’s Committee of the Board provides oversight, guidance and additional community knowledge.
    • Community Grants Advisory: We will seek input from a voluntary Community Advisory, which includes community leaders representing a variety of subsectors.
      Subject Matter Experts: We will seek input from individuals who can provide additional context and regional information to help support the review process.
    • Victoria Foundation’s Vital Signs Report: An annual community check-up that measures the vitality of our region, identifies concerns and supports action on issues that are critical to our quality of life.
    • Other community engagement, regional reports and surveys: Staff continuously engage with community groups to understand emerging needs and opportunities, and to hear additional input and feedback. For example, through the 2023 State of BC’s Non-Profit Sector: Safety Net report.
  • What happens after I apply?

    March 7 @ 11:59pm: All applications due via the online grant portal found on the Victoria Foundation website.

    March – May: Victoria Foundation staff conduct due diligence checks on all applications and undertake a review process. As a normal part of our review process, you may hear from us with questions about your application. We appreciate your time in providing clarity and additional information as required.

    May – June: Consultations with Community Advisory members, Community Engagement Committee and subject matter experts to provide additional input on the grant making process.

    Early July: Applicants notified, and funding distributed. Every applicant will receive notification regardless of funding decision.

    July onwards: Victoria Foundation staff will be available for follow-up calls with applicants.

  • Reporting and stewardship
    • All successful applications will be required to submit a simple final report through the online grant portal. You will receive an email reminder from the grant portal to complete the final report, based on the end-date you indicated in the application. If the final report is not submitted by the time indicated in the application, staff may follow up via email or phone asking for a status update or offering to extend the final report deadline.
    • If your grant deadlines or project deliverables change at any time during the lifetime of your grant, please connect with the grants team to share that information to update your file as well as explore other ways that we can provide support.
    • We want to hear from you during the lifecycle of your grant! Please reach out anytime with an impact story, picture or video, or just to say hi.

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If you have questions about the Community Grants Program or are a current grantee and require assistance, please contact us at the following: