Community Grants Frequently Asked Questions

A comprehensive internal and external review of the Community Grants programs, launched in 2015, identified strengths and opportunities to improve the way the Alberta government’s funding is administered. As a result of this review, changes have been introduced to better meet the needs of the sector by addressing funding gaps and bring greater clarity and transparency to our application and decision-making process.

Alberta Culture and Tourism is using a phased approach to ensure a smooth transition as changes to the grant programs are implemented. In December 2016, changes to the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) and Community Initiatives Program (CIP) were announced as part of Phase One.

Additional changes to the Community Initiatives Program were introduced on June 27, 2017, as part of Phase Two implementation. Phase Two focuses on both administrative changes to individual funding streams, as well as the reallocation of existing funding within the program streams to maximize impact and address specific programming needs.

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    What changes have been made to the Community Grants programs funding streams? Effective for the December 15, 2016, intake.
    • Within the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) two new grant streams have been established:
      • CFEP Large funding stream to support capital requests up to $1 million.
      • CFEP Small funding stream provides a maximum of $125,000 in project support. An organization may be considered for up to $10,000 in the CFEP Small funding stream without providing matching funding if the organization can demonstrate:
        • Financial hardship.
        • Existing funds are restricted for other uses.
        • Extra-ordinary circumstances limits the ability to secure matching funding, labour, materials and equipment.
        • There is an immediate need for the project to be undertaken.
    • Within the Community Initiatives Program (CIP), a new Major Cultural and Sport Events (MCSE) funding stream has been established.
      • MCSE is intended to support nationally and internationally sanctioned events with significant community benefit such as a positive impact on local business and aiding in tourism growth.
      • A maximum grant of $250,000 will be available to eligible applicants.
      • Non-profits will continue to have access to a maximum of $75,000 in funding for smaller, community-based events and activities through the CIP Project-based grant stream.
    • Annual funding for the International Development Program grant stream of CIP has been increased from $685,000 to $1.5 million.
      • The maximum grant amount available to eligible Alberta-based non-profits remains unchanged at $25,000.
      • The increase is intended to address funding gaps within a program that has demonstrated strong support from Albertans.
    • Other grant process changes include:
    • Deadlines have moved from a quarterly to tri-cycle intake to help better manage the volume of requests.
    • Notification timelines will be provided to grant applicants for planning purposes and will vary depending on funding stream.
    • Reporting requirements will vary depending on the funding stream your grant was received.
    • Appeals on funding decisions will no longer be accepted. All decisions are final.
    • Matching will be maintained at the 50 per cent matching funds requirement. Donation values have increased to:
      • $20/hour for unskilled labour.
      • $35/hour for skilled labour.
      • $70/hour for heavy equipment with operator.
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    What changes were made to the Community Grants programs funding streams as part of Phase Two implementation and effective September 15, 2017.
    • Effective for the September 15, 2017, application deadline, changes to the Community Initiatives Program (CIP) Project-Based grant stream include:
      • ­The Community Initiatives Program outcomes are to strengthen leadership and organizational capacity as well as support community-driven goals that have public benefit. As travel projects provide limited public benefit, they are no longer eligible for funding consideration.
      • ­Organizations can apply for funding to support construction and renovation projects through the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP).
    • Effective for the September 15, 2017, application deadline, changes to the Community Initiatives Program - Operating grant stream include:
      • ­The CIP Operating grant stream will support core operations and capacity building for non-profit organizations whose mission, outcomes, and activities align with three priority areas:
        • Enhancing the quality of life of Albertans by providing direct programs and services that address social issues.
        • Creating equitable access to human, social, and economic resources and services for all Albertans.
        • Supporting community collaborations, involving multiple organizations to address broader human or social issues.
      • ­Non-profit organizations can apply for core operating funding to a maximum of $60,000. Funding is provided on a matching basis.
      • ­A new Organizational Development funding component of up to $15,000 is available on a non-matching basis for organizations that meet core operating criteria.
      • ­Applications to the CIP Operating grant stream from organizations with operating budgets in excess of $2 million will be considered a lower priority.
    • Effective for the September 15, 2017, application deadline, changes to the Community Initiatives Program – International Development grant stream include:
      • ­Improvements made to the program guidelines, application form, and final reporting forms to improve clarity and better meet the needs of applicants.
      • ­Application intake for CIP International Development will move to a tri-cycle process effective 2017-18 to better align with stakeholders’ needs and program administrative requirements, providing a more streamlined application process.
    • In addition to the CIP program changes, effective August 15, 2017, the Enhanced Capacity Advancement Program (ECAP) grant stream has been expanded as follows:
      • ­The ECAP grant stream will help to advance and strengthen the non-profit/voluntary sector in Alberta by supporting strong non-profit organizations that have a primary mandate and proven ability to:
        • Build the capacity of other non-profit organizations in Alberta.
        • Strengthen and advance the capacity of Alberta’s non-profit/voluntary sector as a whole.
      • ­This three-year, multi-year funding program provides funding for core operations to a maximum of $75,000 annually, and Enhanced Capacity Building funding up to a maximum of $150,000 annually to a select number of organizations.
      • ­Application deadline date August 15, 2017 (application intake is every three years).
    • The following changes have now been incorporated into the refreshed program guidelines for all of the CIP Program streams noted above:
      • ­Deadlines have moved from a quarterly to tri-cycle intake to help better manage the volume of requests.
      • ­Notification timelines will be provided to grant applicants for planning purposes and will vary depending on funding stream.
      • ­Reporting requirements will vary depending on the funding stream.
      • ­Appeals on funding decisions will no longer be accepted. All decisions are final.
      • ­Matching will be maintained at the 50 per cent matching funds requirement. Donation values have increased to:
        • $20/hour for unskilled labour.
        • $35/hour for skilled labour.
        • $70/hour for heavy equipment with operator.
    • The Other Initiatives Program has also been revised and updated, as follows:
      • ­The OIP will continue to provide financial assistance for community-based projects that fall outside the scope of other Community Grants programs funding streams.
      • ­Support may also be provided to international disaster relief initiatives that are beyond the scope of the Community Initiatives Program International Development funding stream.
      • ­Program guidelines will be introduced to provide clarity on eligible projects, application criteria and funding conditions.
      • ­OIP application deadline dates are ongoing.
      • ­Applicants must contact program staff prior to submitting an application to OIP.
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    What has prompted the changes to the Community Grant programs?
    In fall 2015, a comprehensive program and process review began for all Community Grants programs to identify opportunities for continuous improvement. This review was designed to achieve the following:
    • Develop a fulsome understanding of the history and current state of Community Grants programs.
    • Ensure Community Grants programs meet the current and future needs of Albertans.
    • Establish a transparent, democratic and equitable decision-making system.
    • The outcomes of the review resulted in proposed changes to the administration of the ministry’s community grant programs. Changes are being implemented through a phased approach to ensure a smooth transition for organizations.
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    Will the Alberta government be providing more money for the new and existing grant streams?
    Existing resources within the CFEP and CIP budgets have been reallocated.
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    What are the deadlines for applying?
    • In order to better manage the high volume of funding requests, deadlines will move from a quarterly to a tri-cycle intake.
    • To allow for a smooth transition from the quarterly to tri-cycle application deadlines, new application dates will be phased in through 2016-17 and 2017-18 before the full implementation in 2018-19.
    • The updated deadlines are intended to better align with stakeholder needs and program administrative processes.

    Transition 2016-17 and 2017-18 Schedule:

    Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP),Community Initiatives Program (CIP), Other Initiatives Program (OIP) and ECAP

    Grant Program Intake/deadline
    CIP-Project-Based
    CIP Operating
    CIP International Development
    CFEP Small Funding Stream

    March 15,2017
    June 15, 2017
    September 15, 2017
    CFEP Large Funding Stream
    2016-17 Deadline: January 15, 2017
    October 2017
    CIP Major Cultural and Sport Events
    April 1, 2017
    October 1, 2017
    ECAP
    August 15, 2017

    Full implementation 2018-19

    Grant Program Intake/deadline
    CIP-Project-Based
    CIP Operating
    CIP International Development
    CFEP Small Funding Stream

    *Three intakes per year.
    January 15, 2018
    May 15, 2018
    September 15, 2018
    CFEP Large Funding Stream
    *One intake per year.
    October 1, 2018
    CIP Major Cultural and Sport Events
    *Two intakes per year.
    April 1, 2018
    October 1, 2018
    Other Initiatives Program
    Ongoing
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    Will old applications be accepted?
    In order to avoid delays and ensure all required information is submitted, organizations are encouraged to submit their funding request on the new application form. If an organization has submitted the request on an old application form, program staff will contact the organization to acquire the needed information. Applications are available online at Community Grants or applicants can contact the \ Community Grants office at 1-800-642-3855.
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    When will I hear the results of my application?
    Written notification will be sent out to organizations approximately six months following the application deadline.
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    Have there been changes to the matching funds component of the grant program?
    • Non-profit organizations will continue to be required to provide a matching component equal to the amount of the funding requested.
    • In order to better reflect current industry rates, the values of in-kind donations in lieu of cash for the matching component have increased to:
      • $20 per hour for unskilled labour.
      • $35 per hour for skilled labour and.
      • $70 per hour for heavy equipment with operator.
    • Within the CFEP Small funding stream, an organization may be considered for up to $10,000 in CFEP Small funding without providing matching funding if the organization can demonstrate financial hardship or that the project is of an urgent nature. Organizations should contact Community Grants staff to discuss their particular needs. Please visit the Community Grants webpage for contact information.
    • CIP Project-Based continues to allow organizations to apply for up to $10,000 without providing matching funding if the organization can demonstrate financial hardship or that the project is of an urgent nature.
    • The donation rates were effective for the December 15, 2016, application deadline.
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    Is my current application affected by the new program changes?
    Program guideline deadline changes are applicable for those grant applications received for the September 15, 2017, deadline. Except for ECAP, which has an August 15, 2017, application deadline.
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    Can I appeal a grant decision?
    All funding decisions are final. If a funding request is declined, organizations that have not started their project may apply for the next deadline.
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    How do I download the application form?
    For optimal compatibility when saving grant applications with fillable form fields, please use Adobe Reader v10 or higher. To save your form, please select 'Save As' from the file menu and save the form to your computer. Should you have any questions, please contact the Community Grants Office at 1-800-642-3855.
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    Are there other grants to support the non-profit organizations?
    More information on funding sources is available on the Financial Assistance Summary located in the Resources and Links on the Alberta Culture and Tourism website at: Community Grants

    Applicants are encouraged to explore federal, provincial, municipal programs and foundations for other funding opportunities available to non-profit organizations.
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    Who should I contact to discuss any other questions I may have about an existing application or a future application?
    For questions regarding Project-Based funding stream, Alberta Canada 150, Major Cultural and Sport Events or Other Initiatives Program, please call:
    Main Line: 780-422-9598
    Toll-free: (Alberta) 310-0000
    Toll-free: 1-800-642-3855

    For questions regarding the Operating funding stream please call:
    Winston McConnell: 780-422-2258
    Lori Campbell: 780-427-0387
    Toll-free: (Alberta) 310-0000

    For questions regarding International Development funding stream please call:
    Jackie Switzer: 780-422-2315
    Toll-free: (Alberta) 310-0000

    For questions regarding Enhanced Capacity Advancement Program please call:
    Program Staff: 780-638-3500
    Toll-free: (Alberta) 310-0000
Last reviewed/revised: October 26, 2017
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