Neighbourhood Small Grants

Neighbourhood Small Grants is Vancouver Foundation’s unique program to help build community and strengthen connections right where people live - in their neighbourhood. Small grants of up to $500 are available for residents to develop projects that meet the needs of the community.

Read this guide to find out when grant applications open, if you are eligible for a grant, and how to apply.

When do applications open?

Most communities across the lower mainland are open for application in March and early April.

The list of communities currently open for application includes:

  • Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows

Fall grants available in the lower mainland through the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th

The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th is supporting Neighbourhood Small Grants this fall by funding projects that build vibrant and healthy communities, encourage participation in community activities to mark Canada’s 150th , and inspire a deeper understanding about the people, places and events that shape our communities and our country.

The following communities are participating in Canada’s 150th Neighbourhood Small Grants:

  • Burnaby
  • Vancouver (Cedar Cottage–Hastings-Sunrise-Renfrew)
  • Vancouver (Carnegie, Strathcona and Ray-Cam)
  • Vancouver (Downtown Peninsula)
  • Vancouver (Mount Pleasant-Little Mountain)
  • Vancouver (South Vancouver-Collingwood
  • Vancouver (Westside)

Applications open on Monday September 5, with a deadline of Monday September 26. ​See below for more information on how to apply, and to access the online application.

By supporting thousands of local initiatives in all parts of Canada, the Fund seeks to grow belonging, connection, inclusion, and reconciliation. This initiative is a collaborative effort by Canada’s community foundations, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

 

WHO CAN APPLY?

Our eligibility criteria are designed to ensure that Neighbourhood Small Grants support a diverse range of community-focused projects.

  • You must live in a participating community.
  • Main applicants can apply for one Neighbourhood Small Grants project per year, and only within your community. Co-applicants can only be used on two applications.
  • Two applicants living in the same community but from different households are required on every application. Both applicants are responsible for managing the grant money.
  • Your project must be free, accessible and welcoming to all. You may not charge entrance fees, request donations, or fundraise for other projects and/or organizations.
  • With the exception of community gardens, projects involving infrastructure building, upgrading or maintenance are not eligible.
  • Projects involving therapy and counseling support are not eligible.
  • You may not profit financially from the project. Registered organizations and businesses are not eligible to apply.
  • You must begin your project after the grant decision is made. Projects are not supported retroactively.
  • Preference will be given to new projects, or those that have been funded for fewer than three years in a row.

BEFORE YOU APPLY

Applying for a Neighbourhood Small Grant is easy via our online application system. But first, you must make sure your project is a good fit for our funding.

Grants are given to projects that meet the following goals:

1. Connect and engage neighbourhood residents
Examples: Block parties to introduce new neighbours, weekly neighbourhood clean-up work parties that strengthen and sustain relationships over time.

2. Share residents' skills and knowledge within the community
Examples: a free yoga lesson for the community, or a community kitchen where participants exchange their cooking skills and share a meal together.

3. Build sense of ownership and pride
Examples: A historical tour of the neighbourhood, a community clean-up of invasive species in a local greenspace.

4. Respect and celebrate diversity
Examples: A multicultural fashion show, a story telling project that involves seniors and youth, a cost free acrylic workshops open to all ages and skill levels.

BUDGET

Please consider the following when calculating your project budget:

  • Grant requests are expected to be under $500. 
  • Grant money may be used to pay people (also called an honorarium) for services needed for the project. Examples include paying someone to lead a workshop or to do carpentry work, with a maximum allowable amount of $50 per person. Total honorariums may not be more than $100 per project.
  • When creating a project budget, you should determine the actual cost of items to be used, and think resourcefully about how to obtain materials through borrowing or donations.
  • You are responsible for keeping expense receipts to account for all project costs.

PUBLIC EVENTS

If your project is going to take place in a public place (e.g. neighbourhood street, public spaces, or parks) please consider:

  • Projects taking place on neighbourhood streets or public spaces/parks must follow municipal by-laws.
  • You are required to know about the permits and liability insurance you may require. You must also account for the time needed to obtain these.
  • You must obtain appropriate permits and liability insurance before your project start date.

GRANT DECISIONS MADE BY LOCAL RESIDENTS

Resident Advisory Committees (RAC) are made up of volunteers from diverse backgrounds and life experiences recruited from each participating community review applications and decide on how grant funds are distributed. 

If you would like to get involved in a RAC, please contact the Coordinator in your community.​

APPLY

Applying for a Neighbourhood Small Grant is easy via our online application system.