Granting FAQ


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
  • Grants to individuals
  • Grants to non-Canadian Charities
  • Disaster relief

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.

Approximately 10–20% 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.

Staff members at The Counselling Foundation of Canada are responsible for reviewing Letters of Intent and inviting formal Grant Applications to be considered by the Board of Directors. A number of factors are taken into consideration in this process including:

  1. Does the project fit within the Foundation’s mission/goals/priorities?
  2. Does the project meet the Foundation’s eligibility requirements?
  3. Is this project innovative (I.e., what is new, different, unique)?
  4. Is there potential for new insights to be learned and shared?
  5. Does the project design make sense?
  6. Does the organization have all that is needed to undertake this project?
  7. Is the project budget sensible?

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:

  1. The innovative nature of the program request.
  2. The ability to replicate the program in other settings.
  3. The ability of the organization to sustain the program at the end of the granting period.
  4. Other contextual influences.

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.

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 $45,000. 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 the specific types of projects/programs 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.

Five core questions come to mind when potential projects are considered:

  1. Is this project necessary? Applicants should demonstrate that a need for this type of intervention is required and that it is not duplicating an existing project/program.
  2. How effective can this project be? Grant seekers must outline how the activities they propose to undertake will help address the problem(s) they identified.
  3. Does the project budget make sense? The efficiency of a project is crucial. As a consequence, the project budget must show that your initiative will use funds in a manner that will have the greatest impact.
  4. How likely is this project to live on after funding from our foundation ends? The Foundation seeks projects that are likely to continue without its ongoing support. Potential sustainability is a key consideration of the initiatives that we fund.
  5. How can we get the most out of this project? We are committed to ensuring that innovative ideas are shared as widely as possible. Your project proposal should mention how you plan to disseminate any materials that were produced as a result of your project that could help others (manuals, training guides, written material, etc). Successful grant applicants are further encouraged to consider Cannexus as a potential vehicle to help share their work with a larger audience and contribute to building the field of knowledge. We are also interested in replicating the projects we fund. As such, consider including an activity in your initiative that will lead to a Project Template. This would allow others to replicate your innovative project.

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

Certainly, although we suggest looking at our FAQ page first. Please 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.

Decisions about a Letter of Intent are usually communicated within 30 days of submission. Unsuccessful letters of intent will receive an automated notice from our grant management platform. Successful letters of intent 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). Sample grant reports are also available to provide direction about the type of content we expect to receive in these documents.

We provide assistance in two ways:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.