Career development and career counselling are the broad areas that are central to the Foundation’s interests and we generally focus on youth (between the ages of 12 and 30).
In particular, the Foundation is interested in programs and projects that:
- Eliminate barriers to the pursuit and attainment of meaningful work. These include significant, but surmountable obstacles whether they be financial, academic, language, lack of networks, location, access to services, discrimination, mental health and addictions, disabilities, familial circumstances, or socio-cultural expectations.
- Promote employability. This includes fostering the attainment of appropriate education, motor, and soft skills (attitude, teamwork, motivation, adaptability, presentation, stress management, time management, accountability and confidence) for the purpose of being job-ready.
- Raise career awareness. This includes promoting a shared understanding of: skills and talents, interests, values and passions; learning and educational pathways; labour market realities (e.g., trends, opportunities); and promoting personal hope, belief, optimism, self-esteem, personal agency, confidence, resilience, adaptability, motivation, aspiration, and possibilities as important aspects in the career development journey.
We also suggest looking at our Grants Database to get an idea of some of the projects and programs we have previously funded.
The Counselling Foundation of Canada does not support the following types of requests:
- Proposals from organizations that are not registered charitable organizations recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency
- Proposals from organizations that are not recognized as Qualified Donees under the Income Tax Act of Canada
- Capital campaigns and capital expenditures
- General fundraising requests and campaigns
- General administration or operating costs
- Emergency funds or deficit financing
- Endowments, awards, fellowships, internships, sabbaticals, scholarships, or bursaries
- Event sponsorships
- Grants to individuals
- Grants to non-Canadian Charities
- Disaster relief
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
Letter of Intent & Applications
Eight questions come to mind when potential projects/programs are considered:
- Alignment. Does the project/program fit within the Foundation’s mission/goals/priorities?
- Scope. The degree to which projects/programs are or have 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 is increasingly looking at projects and programs that have the potential to benefit the most amount of people possible in the long-term.
- Community voice. The degree to which target populations 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? How is this community engaged?
- Collaboration. The degree to which there are formal partnerships in place that can enhance or amplify the work.
- Geography. Recognizing that we are a national funder, we aim to support initiatives from coast to coast to coast.
- Budget. Does the project/program make efficient use of dollars? Is the need clear for how dollars will be allocated?
- Leadership. One of our guiding principles is to support existing and emerging leaders.
- 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.
We accept Letters of Intent (LOIs) year round. If staff feel there is merit to the LOI that aligns with the Foundation’s mission and goals, applicants will be asked to submit a more comprehensive grant application for consideration by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors generally meets four times per year to consider Grant Application requests.
It depends on the needs of your project/program. To give you some sense of of our recent granting history, our average grant amount per year is approximately $55,000. On the high end, we have funded some organizations at $100,000+ per year and on the low end, we have funded some organizations at $10,000 per year. We suggest you look at our Grants Database and recent Activity Reports for examples of specific types of projects/programs that we have funded and grant amounts.
We will consider grant 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.
Approximately 10% of the Letters of Intent we receive lead to a full Grant Application. Approximately 80% of Grant Application requests reviewed by the Board of Directors are awarded funding.
Yes! We encourage collaboration and welcome joint submissions. In one Letter of Intent, you should indicate all the partner organizations that are involved and how the requested funding will be split between the organizations.
Certainly, although please make sure you review the content on our website first. Contact Ben Liadsky (416-923-8953 x 121 or ben[at]counselling.net) if you would like to discuss your idea.
Please feel free to contact Ben Liadsky (416-923-8953 ext. 121 or ben[at]counselling.net) to discuss your Letter of Intent or Grant Application. He can provide direction about the key elements that should be included in your project design as well as provide feedback on draft materials.
Staff members at The Counselling Foundation of Canada are responsible for submitting Grant Applications to the Board of Directors. Decisions on the awarding of grants are made by the Directors of the Foundation. Directors consider a number of factors when reviewing proposals and reaching their decisions including:
- The innovative nature of the program request.
- The financial request reflecting the goals of the program and the ability of the Foundation to support it.
- The potential to replicate the program in other settings.
- The opportunity to share and promote lessons learned, materials, or emergent ideas with others.
- The ability of the organization to sustain the program at the end of the granting period.
- Other contextual influences (e.g., as a national funder, geography would be one such contextual factor).
Being asked to submit a formal proposal or provide 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 even within our mandate/goals/priorities.
Please note that 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.
Decisions about a Letter of Intent (LOI) are usually communicated within 30 days of submission. Unsuccessful Letters of Intent will receive an automated notice from our grant management platform. If your LOI has been approved, you will be contacted by staff to discuss submitting a full grant application.
News about Grant Applications is provided within 72 hours of the Meeting of the Board of Directors. For successful Grant Applications, a Grant Letter of Agreement, which outlines the disbursement and reporting schedules will be shared and, once agreed upon, signed by both parties.
The Foundation is very interested in capturing lessons learned from the programs/projects it supports. This includes feedback on any obstacles that may have been encountered and project impacts. Grant recipients are expected to submit Progress Reports (for multi-year grants) and Final Reports (for single year and multi-year grants). We provide templates of the respective grant reports (Progress Report, Final Report for Single Year Grant, and Final Report for a Multi-Year Grant).
We provide assistance in three ways:
- Grant recipients are contacted several weeks before their report is due to be submitted. This serves to remind them about the upcoming deadline and provides an opportunity to discuss reporting expectations.
- Where possible, the Foundation is happy to facilitate connections with others in the Foundation’s network who may be working in similar contexts. Grant reports, site visits, or emails/phone calls are great opportunities to bring forth some of these thoughts, which can help Foundation staff to think about who might be appropriate to connect to for further discussion.
- Ben Liadsky, Program Officer, is available to provide direction about how to complete the respective grant reports and can offer feedback about draft materials before they are officially submitted. Please contact him at 416-923-8953 ext. 121 or ben[at]counselling.net.
Don’t panic. We understand that sometimes things don’t always go as planned. Key staff may leave, certain metrics as described in the grant application may no longer be feasible, etc. Our goal through our grants is to support our grant recipients so that they may achieve what they set out to do to the best of their ability. However, sometimes great insights come when things don’t go as planned and can provide valuable learning opportunities which may still be relevant to our interests.
Give us a call and let us know what has changed and why. Together, we can discuss what, if any, action needs to be taken.
The following funders have similar funding interests to ours. Please note, we can’t speak to their funding capacity or process.
- Atkinson Foundation
- Burns Memorial Fund
- Canadian Women’s Foundation
- Carthy Foundation
- Catherine Donnelly Foundation
- Community Foundations of Canada (Find your local Community Foundation)
- The Donner Canadian Foundation
- The Gordon Foundation
- Inspirit Foundation
- Laidlaw Foundation (Ontario specific)
- Lawson Foundation
- Mastercard Foundation
- McConnell Foundation
- Metcalf Foundation (Primarily focused on Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area)
- Ontario Trillium Foundation (Ontario specific)
- Peter Gilgan Foundation
- RBC Foundation
- Rideau Hall Foundation
- The Sprott Foundation
- TD Bank
- United Way Centraide Canada (Find your local United Way)