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Emergency Community Support Fund

Emergency grants of up to $50,000 for charities supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ECSF Grants Now Open

Emergency Community Support Fund

Updated May 27, 2020

The Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) offers grants of up to $50,000 to charities working with vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in the city of Vancouver. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with decisions made weekly.

The ECSF is a rapid response fund program initiated by the Government of Canada through an investment of $350 million to charities and non-profit organizations across Canada. Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC), and the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) are working together with the federal government to deploy funding at the local level.
Vancouver Foundation has partnered with CFC to deploy approximately $1.65 million in Vancouver. ECSF funding is intended to be used for projects carried out before March 31, 2021 that are addressing urgent social inclusion or wellbeing needs of vulnerable groups as a result of COVID-19. 

Funds will be disbursed as soon as possible and on a rolling basis. Applications must be submitted by July 27th.


The ECSF will provide immediate financial support for organizations that are serving vulnerable populations as they manage the impacts of COVID-19. Qualified donees may apply for a grant of up to $50,000 per project. 

Criteria for eligibility:

  • Be a qualified donee
  • Be serving people in the city of Vancouver. If your organization also works outside of the city, please only submit an application and budget that relate to your work within the city of Vancouver specifically.

Projects submitted to Vancouver Foundation for ECSF funding must:

  • Serve one or more vulnerable groups as defined in the application guide
  • Clearly address a pressing social inclusion or well-being need caused by COVID-19
  • Be carried out in a short timeframe with a reasonable budget. Project-related costs must be incurred between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021
  • Priority will be given to projects that support individuals to re-engage socially and economically in ways that help keep the infection rate curve flat, especially projects that provide vulnerable individuals with the personal supplies they need to participate in the evolving community context and/or provide culturally appropriate information on how to navigate and remain mentally well as the city opens back up

Further priority will be given to organizations that are: 

  • Pursuing work with truth, Reconciliation, and decolonizing practices 
  • Led by people they represent 
  • On the frontlines of challenging inequalities and building more equitable, sustainable, and just communities
  • Challenging the broad social and economic power imbalances that give some people privileges and disadvantage and oppress others

Projects must not:

  • Be designed for fundraising purposes
  • Generate profits
  • Take place outside of Canada

Eligible expenditures include reasonable and essential expenditures to carry out the project. These include:

  • Wages and benefits
  • Professional fees
  • Travel and accommodations
  • Materials and supplies
  • Printing and communication
  • Equipment rental/lease/maintenance
  • Administration costs
  • Disability support for staff

Projects can receive funding from other sources, including ECSF grants from United Way or Red Cross. However, the same budget item cannot be covered by two separate ECSF grants for the same project. To help avoid confusion between different funders and to help distribute the funding available as widely as possible, we ask that:

  1. If your project seeks to address the food security of vulnerable populations, then please apply to United Way Lower Mainland first.
  2. If your project seeks to address the mental health needs of vulnerable youth and their families, then please apply to United Way Lower Mainland first.
  3. If you are looking to obtain disease transmission training and/or PPE supplies for your staff and volunteers, then please apply to the Canadian Red Cross.
  4. If your organization is not a qualified donee, then please apply to the Canadian Red Cross.

If you’re unsure of whether to apply to Vancouver Foundation, or your local United Way or Red Cross, you can also take a look at this infographic for more information.

How grants are awarded

We will leverage expertise across Vancouver Foundation and our community partners to assess grant applications. 

How to apply



Employment and Social Development Canada has hosted one-hour webinars in English and French for interested charities wanting to learn more about the supports available to your organization and how to apply for funding. Links to recordings are below. 



Please note this Emergency Community Support Fund is separate from our Community Response Fund. While that Fund is not accepting applications at this time, you can find more information here.

For more information about the fund, visit the Community Foundations of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund webpage.

The Emergency Community Support Fund

Funded by