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Systems Change Grants
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Systems Change Grants support projects that take action to address the root causes of pressing social, environmental or cultural issues by influencing the behaviours of populations, organizations, and institutions.
What does this mean? Systems thinking takes a step back and looks at the bigger picture. A systems change project must tackle the root causes of an issue by disrupting the ways that systems work – sometimes this means challenging the way things have worked for generations. And they must support work that benefits communities and populations as a whole. Why? Because we believe that this helps contribute to meaningful and lasting change.
Systems Change Grants may fund charitable projects in and across any sector. In addition, some of our funding is specific to social services, children and youth services, health, vocational or technical training, education, arts and culture, environment, and animal welfare sectors. But no matter the issue area, they must be led by a registered charity or other qualified donee listed by Canada Revenue Agency.
Are you working on a pressing social, environmental, or cultural issue affecting communities in BC? If so, then we’d love to receive your proposal.
Types of grants
There are three different grant types available, depending upon the stage of your project.
1. Develop grants (up to $20,000, for up to one year)
Develop grants are short-term grants to help teams generate ideas and a project plan for systems change that can be submitted to funders. They offer up to $10,000 towards the project's process, and up to an additional $10,000 to support community's participation in the process. Develop grants are a one-stage application, can be submitted anytime, and decisions are made by the end of the following month.
2. Test grants (up to $100,000 per year, for up to three years)
Test grants are multi-year grants to help project teams test their influence on systems and learn what works. You can apply for a Test grant during either the spring or fall granting call, and decisions are made by the beginning of June or December. Test grants are a two-stage application. Applicants begin their application by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI), and if successful, are invited to submit a Full Application.
3. Scale grants (up to $100,000 per year, for up to three years)
Scale grants are multi-year grants to help project teams extend the influence of an existing systems change project to a different scale within the system. You can apply for a Scale grant during either the spring or fall granting call, and decisions are made by the beginning of June or December. Scale grants are a two-stage application. Applicants begin by their application by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI), and if successful, are invited to submit a Full Application.
To help you understand if your organization and project meet our eligibility criteria, we’ve developed a quick and easy online quiz.
Our Systems Change Grants Guidelines are designed to give you the information you need to apply. The guidelines provide an overview of the program, eligibility criteria, an introduction to systems change and social innovation, practical questions to help you think about your project, and tips for making a successful grant application.
In addition, our guidelines include step-by-step application instructions, including every question you will be asked throughout the online application process.
Download our guidelines, and get started today.
We appreciate grant applicants need to plan their time in advance to work on new proposals. The following key dates are updated every month, so please check here regularly for updates on our granting cycle.
January 2, 2019: Online applications ("Letters of Intent") open for Test and Scale Grants
January 25, 2019: Deadline to submit online Letters of Intent for Test and Scale Grants
Mid March, 2019: Decisions on Letters of Intent for Test and Scale Grants
Early April, 2019: Deadline to submit online Full Applications for Test and Scale Grants (invite only)
Mid-June, 2019: Decisions on Test and Scale Grants
July 2, 2019: The next fall granting cycle opens for Test and Scale Grants.
Please note that Develop Grant online applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year. Decisions on Develop Grants are made by the end of the following month that they were submitted.
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detailed instructions on how to use the online application system.
- How to Create a User Account
- How to Begin a Systems Change Grant
- How to Begin a PAR grant
- How to Add Collaborators
- How to Add Project Contacts and Verify Organizational Details
- How to Complete the Project Details Section
- How to Add and Remove Research Team Members (PAR grants only)
- How to Enter a Project Budget
- How to Validate and Submit Your Application
Vancouver Foundation hosts community workshops throughout the year to support Systems Change Grants applicants.
Our team is here to help. We can consult with you on your idea before you apply, support you during the application process, and provide opportunities for you to share your work and to learn from others.
Niveria Oliveira, Grant Manager
Natalie Ord, Grant Manager
Schedule a consultation with Niveria or Natalie to talk about systems change, to think through your project design, to find out more about learning opportunities, to build partnerships, to arrange a workshop in your community, or if you need support with your current grant.
Mike Conroy, Grant Coordinator
Stephanie Falcon, Grant Coordinator
Contact Mike or Stephanie for information about the application process, or to discuss the priorities and policies of our Systems Change Grants program.
Jill Shouldice, Grant Administrator
Contact Jill if you have general questions about our granting programs and funding priorities, if you have questions about or need help with our online application system, or if you are a current grantee and have general questions regarding payments and reporting requirements.