Grant Eligibility

Every application requires two people — a main applicant and a co-applicant.

Both applicants are responsible for managing the grant money. You and your co-applicant must live in the same participating community, but you must live in separate households. This ensures collaboration between neighbours right from the get-go.

Applicants do not need to have Canadian citizenship or permanent residency to apply.

Check our community map (link to Communities) to find out which community you belong to.

Main applicants may apply for one project per year within your community. A person may be listed as a co-applicant on up to two applications per year.

This does mean one person can be involved in up to three projects per year: one as a main applicant, and two as a co-applicant.

Your project must be free, accessible and welcoming to all.

You may not profit financially from the project. This means you may not charge entrance fees, request donations, or fund-raise for other projects or organizations at your event.

You can only begin your project after the grant decision is made.

We cannot support projects retroactively. Your grant money must also be spent by November 30 of the year. We understand that some projects may continue later in the year or year-round, but the grant itself must be spent on costs by that deadline.

Here's what's not eligible for funding through a Neighbourhood Small Grant:

Projects involving infrastructure building or upgrading or purchasing of large equipment such as computers are not eligible. The only exception to this rule is the creation of community gardens. Projects involving therapy and counseling support are also not eligible.

Registered organizations and businesses are not eligible for a grant, even if they will not profit directly from the project. Only individuals and small community groups are eligible.

Grant requests must be under $500. Within your request, there are some limitations:

Your project budget may set aside no more than $100 for an honorarium, or 50% of your project’s total budget, whichever is less.. An honorarium is a fee paid to a person for contributing skills or knowledge that organizers or volunteers cannot provide. This could be a face painter at your kids’ party or an Indigenous elder to welcome attendees to the event.

When creating a project budget, research the actual cost of things you’ll need and think about how you might be able to get what you need through borrowing, donations, or in-kind sponsorships.

If your project will take place in public spaces, then be aware that:

Your project must follow municipal by-laws. Events such as street parties usually require a permit and liability insurance ahead of time, depending on the location and size. Often, getting support from people in your community will make this process smoother.

Greenest City Grant Eligibility

In addition to all the grant eligibility requirements for a Neighbourhood Small Grant, here’s what you also want to be aware of for a Greenest City grant.

Here's what's not eligible for funding with a Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grant:

Projects that involve greening businesses are not eligible for Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants.

Projects that train, educate, and promote green focused every day practices and seek to develop skills training and community sharing will take preference over garden-related projects.

Projects to initiate community gardens will need to have proof of Approval of Expression of Interest from the City of Vancouver to be eligible for funding

Applying For A Grant

When does the next Neighbourhood Small Grant cycle open?

Most communities accept applications between February and April, with exact dates varying each other. Several communities choose to accept and award grants on their own timeline. Please find the community you belong to, and sign up to get notified about upcoming grant deadlines.

Who can apply for a Neighbourhood Small Grant?

These grants are meant for groups of people who live in the same community and the projects are meant to take place in the area where they live. The application form requires two applicants from different households. If funded, both applicants are equally responsible for managing the grant money. We encourage applicants to have even more people involved in organizing their project. Neighbourhood Small Grants are about building community after all!

Anyone can apply for a Neighbourhood Small Grant in the community that they live in. Enter your postal code at the “Find Your Community” feature to see which community you belong to. If you do not have a permanent address, you may self-identify which community you live in.

Can I apply for more than one project idea?

A person can apply for no more than one project idea in one neighbourhood per calendar year.

Can my organization apply for a Neighbourhood Small Grant?

No. The Neighbourhood Small Grant program does not fund projects by organizations. However, we encourage you to spread the word to the members of your programs or community! Your staff may be able to provide support and mentorship for a project, but the applicants are encouraged to plan, implement and take leadership in their projects.

Can my meetup group apply for a Neighbourhood Small Grants?

Yes, if your group is not incorporated, and your group does not generate a revenue. You would select two members from your group to be lead the project as co-applicants, and they must live in the same neighbourhood, and meet all other rules.

I live in an area that belongs to two communities. Which community should I apply to?

You are one of the lucky few people who can choose which community they want to apply to — but you have to choose. You still will only be able to apply for one Neighbourhood Small Grant per year.

How are the decisions made about who gets funding?

A group of volunteers who also live in our community decide which applications will get funding and distributes the funds between those projects. They are called the Neighbourhood Grant Committee.

How is the regular Neighbourhood Small Grants program different from the Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants program? Can I apply for both?

The Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants program is available only to communities within the City of Vancouver. It is a grant stream created through a partnership between the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Foundation, the organization that started the Neighbourhood Small Grants program.

If your project has an environmental focus, we encourage you to apply for a Greenest City grant rather than a regular Neighbourhood Small Grant — but you can ultimately choose which stream to apply for.

You may apply for both a Greenest City grant, as well as a regular Neighbourhood Small Grant, provided they are for completely separate projects. Be sure to prepare for the best-case scenario of having both projects approved!

Neighbourhood Small Grants isn’t available where I live. How can I participate?

You won’t be able to apply for funding for your idea. However, you are more than welcome to attend a Neighbourhood Small Grants-funded event in another community! We are always being welcomed by program partners into more BC communities, so we hope to be part of where you live some day.

Sign up for our newsletter to get notified about our latest expansions.

If you are with an organization that is interested in bringing Neighbourhood Small Grants to your community, please learn more at our Partner Resources page.

After You Apply

When will I know whether my grant application is approved?

Usually between 6-8 weeks following the grant application’s deadline. During this time, applications from the community are being reviewed by a local advisory committee. The best person to contact about this if you need a more exact date is your local community coordinator. You can find everyone’s contact information on your community’s page.

When do I need to complete my project, if I’m approved?

When is the deadline to finish the project? The deadline for all projects to be completed is end of November that calendar year.

Can I apply for a project previously funded by a Neighbourhood Small Grant?

Yes, although funding preference is given to projects that been funded fewer than three times. A previously funded project should also show some changes or evolution from the previous project to be considered a strong candidate for more funding.

Can my Neighbourhood Small Grants project raise funds to help sustain the project?

Yes. You may ask for a nominal donation of attendees to support the project, but it should not be required in order to participate in the event or project.

Can my Neighbourhood Small Grants project raise funds for another cause?

No. A Neighbourhood Small Grants project is not designed to be an opportunity to raise funds for another organization or cause. It’s a lovely gesture, but please host a separate fundraising event.

Our project was declined for funding. Can we still go ahead with the project on our own?

We’re sorry to hear that, and encourage you to apply again next year. Yes, we do encourage as many projects as possible to still happen, even if we cannot provide funding at the time. However, you will not be able to use any of the Neighbourhood Small Grants collateral or resources to support your project.

Common Funding Requests

Can my grant cover the cost of a municipal permit?

Yes, you may use part of your grant to cover the cost of municipal permits.

Can my grant cover the cost of an honorarium?

Yes, you may use your grant to cover the cost of an honorarium for services like (but not limited to) face painting, entertainment, builder, or designer. Neighbourhood Small Grants will cover up to $50 per person. In total, honorariums should account for no more than $100 or 50% of your project’s total budget, whichever is less.

: Can my grant cover the cost of equipment?

Sometimes. You can’t use a Neighbourhood Small Grant to cover the cost of upgrading infrastructure, capital projects (such as building a new structure on a playground), or maintenance projects.

Equipment purchased with a grant must remain in a communal area where community members can access it. Because these types of purchases can be expensive, we encourage applicants to find a way to borrow equipment or find an additional sponsorship.

Who We Are

What is Vancouver Foundation, and how are they involved with Neighbourhood Small Grants?

Vancouver Foundation is a community foundation that started the Neighbourhood Small Grants program in 1999. Vancouver Foundation co-funds the grant program in each community, along with any local partner organizations. Vancouver Foundation takes the lead on expanding NSG into more communities across BC, but do not directly interface with grant applicants or project leaders.

Do you receive your funding from government?

Only if one of our local partners in a community is a government agency. Vancouver Foundation is funded by donors, just like most foundations and charities are. In each community, our partners are often other foundations or charities, but sometimes they may also be with the city itself.

What is a network partner, and how is that different from a community coordinator?

Each community has a community coordinator, who is available as a resource to grant applicants and project leaders. Many communities are grouped together in what is called a “network,” which is managed by a network partner organization, who designated a network hub coordinator among their staff members.

For example, in Metro Vancouver, the Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC (ANHBC) is the network partner for 11 communities in the Metro Vancouver area, Blanca Salvatierra is ANHBC’s network hub coordinator. Blanca is the point of contact for the community coordinators in those 11 communities. It’s a little complicated, but this explains all the different logos you see around our website and as we describe the structure of the program.

What is a project leader?

A project leader is a person who has their grant application approved and is bringing their idea to life. Project leaders are the lifeblood of the Neighbourhood Small Grants community. We tend to consider all project leaders as part of our community for life.