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 our 2020 Strategic Plan, we identify four focus areas within the Career Development in the Fourth Industrial Revolution bucket:
- Youth leadership and empowerment
- Workforce development
- The spectrum of employability skills to career competencies or 21st century skills
- Indigenous youth career transitions
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 as the main focus of the request (We fund programs and projects, but allow for administration and operating costs as part of the request)
- 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 are a national funder and we will consider initiatives from coast to coast to coast that support youth in Canada.
Letters 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?
- Reach. What is the ability of the project/program to benefit 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 considers projects and programs that have the potential to benefit the most amount of people possible in the long-term.
- 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?
- Collaboration. What partnerships are in place? The degree to which there are formal partnerships in place that can enhance or amplify the work.
- Innovation. 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
- Budget. Does the project/program make efficient use of dollars? Is it clear how dollars will be allocated?
- Leadership. Who is leading this work/this organization? 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.
Staff members at The Counselling Foundation of Canada are responsible for submitting Grant Applications to the Board of Directors. For some applications, we may also invite external reviewers to provide feedback to Foundation staff to help inform our decision-making. Decisions on the awarding of grants are made by the Directors of the Foundation. Being asked to submit a formal grant application 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.
It depends on the needs of your project/program. In recent years, our average (mean) grant amount per year has been approximately $50,000. 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 $15,000 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. Typically, the Foundation supports between 7 and 15 grant requests each year.
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 on the key elements that should be included in your project design as well as provide feedback on draft materials.
Decisions about a Letter of Intent (LOI) are usually communicated within 45 days of submission. Unsuccessful LOIs will receive an automated notice from our grants 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 typically provided within 48 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 agreed upon by both parties.
The Foundation is interested in capturing lessons learned from the programs/projects it supports for two main reasons. First, we want to encourage reflection and ongoing learning; and second, we want to enable knowledge sharing and contribute to sharing insights with others in the sector. Our formal reporting 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 also welcome informal conversations and updates as they happen or as needed. Through CERIC, the Foundation also encourages its grant recipients to share their work with others.
The following funders have similar funding interests to ours. Please note, we can’t speak to their funding capacity or process.
- Atkinson Foundation
- Black Opportunity Fund
- Bosa Family Foundation
- Burns Memorial Fund
- Canadian Women’s Foundation
- Carthy Foundation
- Catherine Donnelly Foundation
- Community Foundations of Canada (Find your local Community Foundation)
- Cowan Foundation
- Definity Insurance Foundation
- Desjardins — GoodSpark Fund
- The Donner Canadian Foundation
- Foundation for Black Communities
- The Gordon Foundation
- Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund
- Inspirit Foundation
- Johansen Larsen 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)
- W.C. Kitchen Family Foundation
- WES Mariam Assefa Fund
- Workforce Funder Collaborative (Greater Toronto Area focused)