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Systems Change Grants
What does this mean? Systems thinking takes a step back and looks at the bigger picture. Systems change projects tackle the root causes of issues by disrupting the ways that systems work – sometimes this means challenging the way things have worked for generations. We also 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 fund charitable projects in and across any sector. In addition, some of our funding is to specific sectors: social services, children and youth services, health, vocational or technical training, education, arts and culture, environment, and animal welfare. But no matter the issue area, systems change projects 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 to unpack a complex issue and to identify the systemic behaviours that have created that issue, or that are holding the issue in place. Develop grants help teams to generate ideas for a project plan to influence or change these behaviours that can then be submitted to funders in the future. 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 online 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 to learn what leads to change. You can apply for a Test grant online 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 completing the first stage of questions, and if successful, are then invited to complete the remaining questions.
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 online during either the spring or fall granting call, and decisions are made by the mid-June or mid-December. Scale grants are a two-stage application. Applicants begin their application by completing the first stage of questions, and if successful, are then invited to complete the remaining questions.
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 Guidelines and get started today.
We appreciate your need to plan your time in advance to work on new proposals. The following key dates are updated throughout the year, so please check here regularly for updates on our granting cycle.
Applications can be submitted online at any time throughout the year. Decisions on Develop Grants are made by the end of the following month that they were submitted.
Test and Scale Grants
January 25, 2019: Deadline to complete the Stage 1 online application process
March 15, 2019: Decisions about Stage 1 Applications communicated via email
April 11, 2019: Deadline to complete the Stage 2 online application process (by invitation only)
June 14, 2019: Decisions on Test and Scale Grants communicated via email
July 2, 2019: Stage 1 Application process opens online
Never miss another deadline. Sign up to receive updates about workshops, calls for proposals, and application deadlines.
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. Dates for upcoming workshops will appear here, once they're scheduled.
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
Mike Conroy, Grant Manager
Schedule a consultation with Niveria or Mike 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.
Contact Stephanie or Kristina for information about the application process, or to discuss the priorities and policies of our Systems Change Grants program.
Hayleigh Chafe, Grant Administrator
Contact Hayleigh 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.