Community Enrichment Grants

The Comox Valley Community Foundation is pleased to be able to support our community through Community Enrichment Grants again this year.

New for 2020/21

In view of the impact COVID-19 pandemic has had and continues to have on our community, and in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances facing local charities and not-for-profit organizations serving our community, the CVCF Board of Directors has agreed to fund “core operating costs” for 2020/2021.

Organizations wishing to apply for a Community Enrichment Grant may apply for only one grant, and it should be your organization’s most urgent need.

Applicants will be asked to choose between two distinct categories and submit their single application to one of the following two categories:

1. Programs, Services or Projects

2. Operational Requirements as a result of COVID-19

The applications and supporting documentation requirements differ between the two categories.

Similar to previous years, in addition to programs and services, the Programs, Services and Projects category may include facility renovations and upgrades, and the purchase of equipment and/or small capital assets. Applicants submitting an application in the Programs, Services or Projects category will be required to submit a CVCF Budget Template 2020 21.

The new Operational Requirements category must be directly related to the impact of COVID-19 on the organization, resulting from loss of revenues due to fewer donations and/or cancellation of fundraising events, loss of rental income, loss of ancillary service income, and/or increased costs as a result of new COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Requested funding within this category may include staff salaries, rent, utilities, etc.



General Eligibility 

  1. The project or organization (for Operational Requirements requests) must be located within the defined geographic boundaries of School District 71.  Organizations located outside the Comox Valley delivering programs must clearly demonstrate how all funds will remain within the Comox Valley.
  2. Applicants must be in good standing as a federally-registered charity or other qualified donnee as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency.  If you are a non profit without a CRA number, then you will need to partner with a registered charity and complete a Sponsorship Agreement 2020.  Acting as a Sponsor for another organization does not hinder an organization's ability to submit their own application as the primary applicant. 
  3. Final Reports from all previous CVCF grants must be completed unless an exception has been granted by CVCF prior to your application being submitted.  

Community Enrichment Grant Eligibility 

We base our granting on the following principles

  • Comox Valley Community Foundation supports innovation where there is demonstrated need, the likelihood of effectiveness, and strong potential to serve as a model to others.
  • We strongly support partnerships and collaborations to make the best use of limited resources.
  • Projects should build on the strengths of the community to respond to identified issues and priorities.
  • The organization should demonstrate a commitment to the project through a contribution of human and/or financial resources.
  • Significant and appropriate support from other funding sources (including the community) should be evident.
  • The organization should demonstrate inclusiveness and respect for cultural diversity.
  • Projects that will be ongoing after the grant's end should provide realistic plans for longer-term funding.
  • Organizations should have a significant and appropriate amount of their funding in place when they apply.

*NEW* 2020/21 Funding Priorities 

In response to the pandemic and the major impact on the charitable sector in our community, CVCF has added the following priorities: 

  1. Basic, critical, or essential needs specifically related to the impacts of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. food, shelter, access to care for our community’s most vulnerable)

2. Organizations that have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 whose requests clearly demonstrate the financial hardship experienced by the organization

3. Organizations and programs who are working to adapt programs and services that were offered pre-COVID, while meeting all public health requirements (e.g. PPE, increased sanitation, physical distancing, barriers, etc.)

4. Organizations and projects serving less advantaged and vulnerable populations

5. Programs and projects which have a broad scope

Community Enrichment Grant Ineligibility 

  1. Retroactive funding or any project expenses to be incurred prior to the Foundation’s decision date 
  2. Academic research 
  3. Tours or travel outside the community (unless incidental to the project) 
  4. Scholarships or bursaries (funded elsewhere by the  Foundation) 
  5. Activities of religious organizations that serve primarily their membership and/or  their direct religious purposes 
  6. Political activities as defined by Income Tax Act  
  7. The establishment of or addition to endowment funds 
  8. Building and/or land acquisition campaigns* 
  9. Annual fundraising campaigns, form letter requests or telephone campaigns 
  10. Operating or capital deficits 
  11. Individuals or for-profit organizations 

*Building and/or land acquisitions will be eligible for consideration for funding from the Hornby Island Community Fund, a donor-advised fund

Additional Information 

There is no maximum limit on the amount of funds organizations may request; however, we strongly encourage applicants to keep their requests reasonable. Funding is limited and there are many vital organizations within our community applying for funds. For information, the largest grant issued last year was $23,556, while most grants were under $10,000.

Capital requests should be limited to facility renovations and upgrades and the purchase of equipment and/or small capital assets. CVCF will not be the first funder on large facility renovation projects. Funding from other sources must be in place and/or committed. Capital building projects and land acquisition campaigns will not be supported in 2020/2021.

We are always happy to help! Please reach out to CVCF Staff with any questions 


How Do We Assess Applications?

The Board of the CVCF appoints a Grants Committee comprised of both Board members and independent community members.

As applications are received, they are reviewed to ensure they are complete, meet all submission requirements and include enough information to allow the Grants Committee to make informed decisions. If necessary, clarification and additional information is asked of the applicant.

Additional information is also supplied to the Grants Committee including any history of past grants, and other background details that may assist in the decision-making.

The Grants Committee members first review all applications independently. They then meet to discuss the merits of each project and to rank them in priority for funding.  The Committee then has a second meeting where the applications are reviewed in more depth. The highest priorities are reconsidered first and an initial allocation of grant money is made.   Factored into this decision process is the total grant money available and any specific directions made by the donors for the income generated by their funds. (i.e. fields of interest).  This list, together with the highest priority unfunded projects are then evaluated a third time to ensure the Foundation’s overall funding objectives of fairness, addressing priority areas, broad support of the community, and respect of donor directions are achieved.

The Committee’s recommendations, with supporting analysis, are then presented to the Board for approval. Applications receive notification in late November.