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Investment Readiness Program
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The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) offers funding between $10,000 to $100,000 to support social purpose organizations, which includes non-profits, charities, co-ops, and for-profit social enterprises, to advance towards or become ready for social finance investment. Learn more about the Investment Readiness Program by clicking here.
Vancouver Foundation, in partnership with the UBC Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing and Vancity Community Foundation, is offering IRP funding to organizations in Metro Vancouver and areas in BC not covered by other partners in the program. We are NOT covering the following regions: Vancouver Island, Okanagan, Northern BC & Cariboo, and Abbotsford & the Fraser Valley. For contact information in these regions, please click here.
IRP funding may be used to work with an expert service provider on business ideation, market research, or business planning, or activities that encourage growth and scaling impact. The IRP does not fund core operating costs.
This is the first call for applications this year. Subscribe here to receive Investment Readiness Program alerts for future calls and invitations to information sessions.
A social purpose organization is considered “investment ready” when it is able to obtain and repay an investment from an investor within an agreed-upon timeframe. To do so, a social purpose organization must demonstrate a good understanding of investors needs (for things like business plans, financial forecasts and projected impact) and its ability to repay the investment.
Investments can be received from various sources, including but not limited to financial institutions and intermediaries such as community loan funds, credit unions, Indigenous financial institutions and chartered banks that connect the supply side of the social finance market with the demand side.
There are many stages along the path to becoming investment-ready. The continuum begins with early ideation, design, enterprise development and culminates in a social purpose organization being primed to receive investment.
Federal Government Funding
The IRP is funded by the Government of Canada and aims to provide funding to help social purpose organizations become investment-ready. This is in preparation for a $755 million Social Finance Fund the federal government will invest over 10 years. With matching from the private sector, a total of $2 billion of investment will be available for social purpose organizations to enhance their impact and participate in the social finance market.
For the purpose of disbursing the IRP funds, Vancouver Foundation has formed a consortium with the UBC Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing and Vancity Community Foundation. All three organizations will administer and deploy funding to the Metro Vancouver region and BC regions not covered by other partners participating in the program. These partners bring their expertise on investment readiness and social financing, as well as the capacity to distribute funds to non-qualified donees.
The IRP is intended for social purpose organizations which include:
- registered charities
- incorporated non-profit organizations
- private social enterprise businesses advancing a social, cultural, or environmental mission (for-profit social enterprise)
- hybrid entities such as Community Contribution Companies
- Have, or plan to operate, a mechanism that generates revenue from the sales of goods or services.
- Have a charitable number/be a qualified donee or a business registration number.
- Demonstrate they have a plan, capacity, and expertise to carry out the proposed project for which they are applying.
Below are some resources to help you learn more about the program and whether this opportunity is right for you:
- Program Guidelines
- FAQ (provided by Community Foundations of Canada)
- Glossary of Terms
- Application form template for charities and qualified donees
- Application form template for applicants who are NOT charities or qualified donees
How to Apply
Interested applicants can submit their application on the Community Foundations of Canada online application portal at https://cfc-fcc.smapply.ca/
Info Sessions & Webinar Recording
Check back for dates of info sessions in 2020 where you can learn more about this program. Registration is now open:
- January 8 at 10:30 am — Online: View Webinar Recording
- January 17 at 2:30 pm — 312 Main St., Vancouver: Register at Eventbrite
- January 21 at 3:30 pm — City Centre Library, Surrey: Register at Eventbrite
- January 8, 2020: Applications open
- February 10, 2020: Applications close
- April 2020: Decisions communicated by Community Foundations of Canada
Subscribe here to receive Investment Readiness Program alerts for future calls and invitations to information sessions.
- If you’re within the Metro Vancouver region or regions not covered by other partners and have any questions about IRP, please contact us at IRP@vancouverfoundation.ca or 604-688-2204 (ext 124). Note that questions related to the first call for IRP funding will be answered through January 31, 2020.
- If you’re located outside of those regions and unsure of who to call, please contact CFC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-236-2664 (ext 339).
- If you're experiencing any technical difficulties with the online application portal, please contact CFC at email@example.com or 613-236-2664 (ext 339).