Apply for Funding

The Foundation accepts funding requests via our online link (see below) related to career development and career counselling for young people in Canada from registered charities or other qualified donees (as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency) that are aligned with its mission. The Foundation sees its role as being an early stage or seed funder of initiatives (e.g., testing out a new model of service delivery/programming, expanding a program/project, piloting a new program/project, applying traditional knowledge in new ways).

Before applying, read our Funding FAQs.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your ideas for an LOI, contact Ben Liadsky at 416-923-8953 ext. 121 or ben[at]counselling.net.

Please note that the Foundation will focus on developing a new strategic plan in 2024 and will have limited new funding for the year. Given existing multi-year commitments, we anticipate having to say no to most new requests for funding. We want to respect your time, but also don’t want to close the door on good ideas that might align strongly with our interests. If you do choose to submit a letter of intent, be aware that we are likely to have to decline or be slow to respond.

As a reminder, before submitting your LOI:

  • Consider what someone reading your LOI for the first time will think. Is the point you are trying to make clear?
  • Avoid repeating the same content in different sections.
  • Use plain language and avoid jargon.
  • If you use acronyms, identify them at first usage.

The Foundation has a two-stage funding request process:

1. Letter of Intent (LOI)

The LOI outlines your intended project and should be completed through the online link above. We will consider funding requests for up to three years (Exceptions have been made a few times for projects up to five years). All multi-year projects are subject to annual review and reporting. You may also upload a short supporting document with your LOI. You will be able to save your progress if you need to. You may download and complete our Letter of Intent Template first and then copy and paste to our online form if you wish. Upon completion, you will receive a copy of your submission. LOIs may be submitted any time during the year and are typically reviewed within 45 days of submission. If staff see alignment between your project/program and the Foundation’s goals, you may be invited to submit a formal Funding Application.

Estimated completion time: 1 hour

2. Funding Application

If you have been invited to submit a formal Funding Application, staff will reach out and provide you with a template and a due date for submission (typically due one month before the next Meeting of the Board of Directors). Staff will review the completed application and may ask further questions or require changes before taking it to the Board. We may also seek confidential feedback from external reviewers. In addition to the written application, you will also be asked to submit a cover letter, a budget, and a copy of your organization’s audited financial statements. You will also have the option of submitting up to three letters of support. The Board reviews funding applications four times a year and news about the Board’s decision is typically communicated to the applicant within 48 hours.

Estimated completion time: 2–3 hours


What we look for in a funding request

Eight questions come to mind when potential projects/programs are considered:

  1. Alignment. Does the project/program fit with the Foundation’s mission/goals/priorities?
  2. Reach. Is there the potential to benefit multiple communities? Recognizing that all projects and programs need to start somewhere and that testing and piloting on a smaller scale can be important first steps, the Foundation considers projects and programs that have the potential to benefit the most amount of people possible in the long-term.
  3. Community voice/Inclusion. How is the community engaged? The degree to which community participants/leaders are part of the decision-making whether at the organization or program level. E.g., if proposing to work with an Indigenous community, who is leading this work?
  4. Collaboration. What partnerships are in place? The degree to which there are formal partnerships in place that can enhance or amplify the work.
  5. Opportunity. How is the program/project different? We typically provide support to new initiatives that address challenges either in a manner that has never been done before (i.e., a new idea), builds upon existing approaches in an original way (i.e., a new method), or deals with chronically under-served populations. Examples of innovative approaches include:
    • Using traditional teachings to make a difference today
    • Applying a new theory or project model to address an existing problem
    • Relying on emerging technology as part of an intervention model
  6. Budget. Does the project/program make efficient use of dollars? Is it clear how dollars will be allocated?
  7. Leadership. Who is leading this work/this organization? One of our guiding principles is to support existing and emerging leaders.
  8. Sustainability. How likely is this project/program to live on after funding from our foundation ends? The Foundation seeks projects/programs that are likely to continue without its ongoing support.

Decision-making

Foundation staff are responsible for submitting Funding Applications to the Board of Directors. External reviewers provide confidential and anonymous feedback on the application to the staff and Board. The decision to award funding is made by the Directors of the Foundation. Submitting a formal funding application or providing additional information does not guarantee approval by the Board of Directors or signify preferred status for an application. The Foundation’s resources are limited so we cannot say yes to everything. Decisions made by the Board of Directors are considered final and not subject to appeal. Also, it remains the Foundation’s prerogative to cancel funding based upon an unsatisfactory project review.