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Investment Readiness Program Grants

Grants to Canada Nonprofits and First Nations Bands to Encourage
Women to Join the SocialFinance and Social Innovation Sectors

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Canadian Women’s Foundation

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

10/18/19 11:59 PM PST


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Grants of up to $50,000 to Canada nonprofit organizations and qualified First Nations Bands to support women-serving organizations to join the social finance and social innovation ecosystem. Funding is intended to encourage and support organizational readiness and boost women's sector participation. The Foundation seeks to prioritize funding to organizations that reach women who face multiple barriers, in communities where the needs are greatest.

Through the Investment Readiness Funding, the Foundation aims to:

  • Increase the number and variety of groups engaged in the social finance ecosystem
  • Build awareness
  • Enhance capacity
  • Increase accessibility to expert advice and information
  • Contribute to learning on what works
  • Apply a gender lens throughout using GBA+

Organizations can apply for grants to access services/supports that will help advance a Social Purpose/Social Innovation/Business Initiative that they are developing, embedding, or scaling.

What is funded:

  • Programs for women, girls, trans, two-spirit, and non-binary people who face multiple barriers and are underserved, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, Black peoples and peoples of colour, those living in rural or northern communities, those who identify as 2SLGBTQI+, living on low-incomes, older peoples, refugee, immigrant or non-status peoples, those with disabilities and/or who are Deaf, and young people;
  • Projects in which participants are leaders
  • Projects that consider the realities of participants’ lives e.g. by providing childcare, transportation assistance, and advocacy supports.
  • Projects that have established partnerships with other local women’s organizations or community-based organizations that have experience working with women, girls, trans, two-spirit, and non-binary peoples.
  • Grassroots organizations with small budgets.
  • Projects that demonstrate a gender-analysis within the project materials, organizational structure, etc.
  • Projects where funds can help leverage other funds.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187017

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The Foundation will fund approximately 20 grants in Cycle 1 of this 2-year funding program.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $50,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be incorporated non-profit organizations and have a valid charitable number from Canada Revenue Agency or a First Nations Band designated as a qualified donee by Canada Revenue Agency.

If your organization does not have charitable status or is not a qualified donee, applications can be considered in partnership with another organization that is a registered charity with a mandate relevant to the project. The other organization’s volunteer Board of Directors will have fiscal responsibility for the grant and be legally responsible for ensuring that the funds are spent for the charitable purposes intended. They will be required to sign a letter of agreement and work in partnership with the organization delivering the project.

Canadian Women’s Foundation does not fund:
- Individuals
- Federal, provincial or municipal government agencies and school boards (they can be involved but the grant will be made directly to the community organization)
- Profit-based organizations
- Fundraising events
- Conferences
- Projects outside of Canada
- Projects not solely or primarily focused on women, girls, trans, two-spirit, and nonbinary peoples
- Deficit or emergency funding
- Films or videos (unless this is part of a larger project)
- Capital expenditures
- Self-defense training (if it is the only component of the project)

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Foundation strongly encourages participants to review the application materials in advance of webinars and bring targeted questions to the webinars for discussion during the Q and A.


September 24, 2019, 1 PM EST: Introduction to Social Finance and the Investment Readiness Program
Register at:

October 2, 2019, 11:00 AM EST: Leveraging Social Finance and IRP Application Details
Register at:

October 8, 2019, 1:00 PM EST: Investment Readiness Program Open Question and Answer
Register at:

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline is October 18th at 11:59 PM PST.

All applicants will be notified as to the success of their applications in January 2020.

Please note that only one application per organization will be accepted in this grant stream.

If the Canadian Women’s Foundation has funded a project previously, you may reapply, and receive funding for services related to the same project by demonstrating how this funding will advance your investment readiness. If you have applied and not been successful you may reapply, and it is recommended that you connect with a staff member at the Foundation to discuss this before making the application.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Phone: 416-365-1444, Fax: 416-365-1745
Toll free: 1-866-293-4483, TY: 416-365-1732

Annelies Tjebbes (ext. 257)
Project Consultant, Investment Readiness program

Rifka Khalilieh (ext. 223)
Community Initiatives Administrator

National Office:
1920 Yonge St., Suite 302
Toronto, Ontario M4S 3E2

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon