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Investment Readiness Program

Funding for social purpose organizations to become investment ready and participate in Canada’s social finance market.
IRP Grants Closed
Status: 
Next call for applications will take place after summer 2020.

The Investment Readiness Program

Click to watch the video above, or visit: https://youtu.be/HS0UvhpkcGc

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 (click here for a list of potential service providers), 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.

Investment Readiness

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.

Consortium Partners

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. 

Eligibility 

The IRP is intended for social purpose organizations which include:

  • registered charities
  • incorporated non-profit organizations
  • co-operatives
  • private social enterprise businesses advancing a social, cultural, or environmental mission (for-profit social enterprise)
  • hybrid entities such as Community Contribution Companies 

Applicants must:

  • 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.
  • Note projects should last no longer than one year.

Resources

Below are some resources to help you learn more about the program, whether this opportunity is right for you, and to support your application:

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 Session Webinar Recording

Info sessions for the first cycle of IRP are now over but you can watch a webinar recording here and you can access the presentation slide deck here.

Investment Readiness Program Webinar Recording

Key Dates

  • January 8, 2020: Applications open
  • February 10, 2020: Applications close
  • April 2020: Decisions communicated by Vancouver Foundation

Next call for applications will take place after summer 2020.

Subscribe here to receive Investment Readiness Program alerts for future calls and invitations to information sessions.

Contact

  • 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).
  • If you’re located outside of those regions and unsure of who to call, please contact CFC at readiness@communityfoundations.ca or 613-236-2664 (ext 339).
  • If you're experiencing any technical difficulties with the online application portal, please contact CFC at ingoy@communityfoundations.ca or 613-236-2664 (ext 339).