Frequently asked questions about the Canada Post Community Foundation

    Registered charities, school programs and community organizations are invited to apply for funding for projects consistent with the Foundation's objective to provide support for initiatives that benefit Canadian children and youth (up to age 21).

    Timelines and process

    Who can apply for funding?

    To be eligible for funding from the Canada Post Community Foundation, your organization must:

    • be a registered charity with a Canadian Charitable Registration Number OR a registered non-profit organization with a valid B/N business registration number OR a school (as defined by the education act in each province) OR an unregistered community organization OR a community library OR a registered Canadian amateur athletic association;
    • have a volunteer board of directors/organizing committee (this does not apply to schools and community libraries); paid employees can be used to deliver programming but the board of directors must be made up of unpaid positions; payment for expenses incurred by the directors is acceptable;
    • have a detailed plan for the project being submitted (except for Signature Grant applications);
    • have a budget for the project being submitted (except for Signature Grant applications);
    • have the appropriate financial documentation:
      • independent audited financial statements in the case of all Signature Grant applications;
      • at a minimum, a Review Engagement Report for grant applications from $15,001 to $25,000;
      • at a minimum, a Notice to Reader – Compilation Engagement for grant applications from $5,001 to $15,000;
      • the organization's financial statement/plan for the current year at a minimum for grant applications of up to $5,000.

    NOTE: If you don't provide the correct financial documentation your application will automatically be declined. Audited financial statements, Review Engagement Reports and Notices to Reader/Compilation Engagement reports are independent, professional exams of an organization's financial records, conducted by an accounting professional and using a common set of standards and reviews.

    When will the foundation accept applications for the 2021 funding round?

    Applications open on Monday, March 8 and close at noon (Eastern Time) on Thursday, April 1, 2021. We will accept applications during this period only, via our online system. No extensions will be granted.

    When will our organization be notified of the outcome of our application?

    We will notify all organizations of the status of their application by August 2021. In light of the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to provide individual feedback or application support.

    What should we do if our organization’s circumstances or funding situation changes – for example if we secure funding from another source for the same activity as we have applied for?

    No modifications to your application(s) are permitted. The application you submit initially will be treated as your organization’s final application.

    Grants and funding options

    What is the difference between a Signature Grant and a project grant?

    Signature Grants are available only to national organizations whose activities are national in scope, and benefit children and youth across the country. Signature Grants are not available to regional or provincial chapters of national groups. Signature Grant applicants should demonstrate a proven track record of delivering successful programing that improves the community or individual circumstances for children and youth at a national level.

    Project grants are project-specific, and cannot be used for general funding. Projects must involve capacity-building or the creation or expansion of services, rather than the maintenance of existing services.

    How much money may I apply for?

    Grant applications should be made for the amount of funding you will need for your project. You may apply for the full amount to cover all project costs, or a portion of the overall amount needed to complete your project.

    Be as specific as possible when outlining project costs in your application. Project funding will not exceed $25,000 per grant.

    Grants to schools, school/parent organizations, daycares, sports teams and all recreation facility initiatives (pools, ice rinks, skateboard parks, etc.) will not exceed $5,000.

    Grants to unregistered organizations will not exceed $5,000.

    Signature Grants are available only to national organizations whose activities are national in scope, and benefit children and youth across the country. Signature Grants are $50,000 each.

    Consider the following when determining the amount you apply for:

    • the type of organization you are;
    • the financial documentation you have available;
    • the amount required for your organization’s activity.
    Can I apply for more than one grant?

    Yes, organizations may submit a maximum of three applications per year (up to three project grants, or one Signature Grant plus up to two project grants). Any additional applications are ineligible and will be automatically rejected.

    The Foundation will not fund more than one project per applicant during any given grant cycle.

    What amount of funding is available in 2021?

    The Canada Post Community Foundation has $1.17 million available to grant in the 2021 grant cycle.

    Our organization has many funding needs. What should we apply for?

    Signature Grant and project grant applications must align with the Foundation’s focus on community-based, front-line activities that benefit children and youth.

    The application should demonstrate that a need will be met and that there is little or no duplication or competition with existing services; in other words, the project should either be unique or complementary.

    Projects must have a realistic plan, with resources, including any other funding sources, being commensurate with objectives.

    Projects must involve capacity-building or the creation or expansion of services, rather than the maintenance of existing services. Expansion may include augmentation of a service, addition of a service or inclusion of a new geographic territory. Capacity-building activities could also include launching a new project or program, covering costs directly related to the delivery of a program, such as mileage, facilities rental, communications activities; or the purchase, construction or addition of new equipment or facilities. A portion of your funding may also be used for hiring or training staff to develop or implement the project.

    Finally, a project’s expected outcome should address community needs and be measurable.

    Can my organization apply for general funding?

    National organizations seeking general funding may apply for one of our Signature Grants.

    Signature Grant applicants should demonstrate a proven track record of delivering successful programing that improves the community or individual circumstances for children and youth at a national level.

    Project grants (up to $25,000) are project-specific and, therefore, cannot be used for general operating expenses.

    What are my organization’s chances of receiving funding?

    There is strong competition each year for Foundation grants. In 2020 we received 1100 applications for over $14 million in funding. The Foundation awarded grants to 118 projects across Canada, totalling almost $1.3 million in funding.

    I have been unsuccessful in the past; should I apply again?

    Yes. Previous years’ evaluations do not carry over to this review year. All submissions will be newly evaluated.

    Application form

    What information do I need to complete my application?

    We prepared a checklist of all of the information you will need to complete your 2021 grant application. We suggest you download the checklist here before you log on to the application website, to make sure you have everything you need.

    Can I submit a paper application?

    No, all applications must be submitted online through our online application system.

    Can we submit multiple applications if we operate nationally?

    Yes, organizations may submit a maximum of three applications per year (up to three project grants, or one Signature Grant plus up to two project grants). Any additional applications will be ineligible.

    The Foundation will not fund more than one project per applicant during any given grant cycle.

    Recipients of a 2020 Signature Grant aren’t eligible to apply for a Canada Post Community Foundation Signature Grant in the 2021 granting cycle. However, they may continue to apply for project grants.

    What do I do if my organization doesn’t fall under one of the sectors listed in the application form?

    Please choose the sector that’s most closely related to your organization. Your answers to the other questions in the application will provide us with the required information.

    Can my organization secure multi-year funding?

    Multi-year funding is not available.

    What happens if I make an error in the application form that has already been submitted?

    The application you submit will be treated as your organization’s final application and no further applications or additional information will be accepted. If key fields are missing or blank in the application form, your organization may be ineligible for funding. It is critical to ensure the application has been correctly completed before it is submitted.

    We prepared a checklist of all of the information you will need to complete your 2021 grant application. We suggest you download the checklist here before you log on to the application website, to make sure you have everything you need.

    Will I still be eligible for funding if my accounts are not audited?

    Depending on the grant amount you are requesting, yes. Learn more here. Be sure to attach the appropriate financial documents to match the grant amount requested in your application. If you don’t supply the correct financial documentation, your application will automatically be disqualified.

    My application was refused because I didn’t have the correct financials. We’re a small group and are not in a position to have our financials audited.

    We recognize that many smaller organizations can’t afford to have their financial affairs audited regularly. The Foundation has a responsibility to the customers and employees who donate the funds that contribute to the Foundation grants to ensure there is proper due diligence and review given to both the project and the organizations that apply for funding.

    When we developed the funding criteria for the Foundation, we provided a tiered approach to the grant requests and the supporting financials required for each. Grants of up to $5,000 require only a minimal amount of financial documentation (project budget and financial statement for the current year). Grants in higher amounts require increased financial documentation, up to independent audited financial statements for Signature Grant requests. We believe this approach is fair and provides granting opportunities to most organizations while still maintaining our commitment to Canadians who support us.

    Your application asks us to list our directors and any affiliation they may have with the Canada Post Community Foundation. Is a relationship between our organization and the Canada Post Community Foundation a consideration during the review of our application?

    No. Nevertheless, we would like to be made aware of any affiliation grant applicant board members may have to the Canada Post Community Foundation to ensure full transparency among our Board of Trustees when applications are reviewed. An affiliation between organizations applying for grants and a Foundation trustee is not given any consideration, either way, during the evaluation process.

    Can I save a draft application and return later?

    Yes. This application system is equipped with an auto-save feature. For applications with more than one page, each time you navigate between pages, forward or back, your responses are committed to a secure area within your browser’s local storage. You can close your browser and resume your progress automatically at any time simply by opening the form again. This information is only sent to our servers once you submit the form. Please note that in order to use this feature, you must be using the same device and same browser each time.

    Can I print a copy of my application?

    Yes. Once you have completed the form, you will be able to print a full copy before you submit the proposal. All applicants are strongly encouraged to print a copy of their final application.

    Can I have access to my request once it has been submitted?

    No. You will no longer be able to view or otherwise have access to your application once it is submitted.

    How will I know the application has been submitted?

    When you submit the application you will receive an automated email to your primary contact’s account, indicating that the application has been submitted.

    What should I do if I experience a technical difficulty with the application form?

    If you have any technical difficulties, click "Need help?" in the top right-hand corner of the screen. This will open a short form in which you can enter your name, telephone number and email address and a brief description of your problem. You will be contacted either by telephone or email within one business day.