Responsive Community Grants

Apply for a grant up to $10,000

The 2022 Responsive Community Grant stream is now closed.

Sunshine Coast Foundation has one grants cycle in the winter/spring of each year. It is a two-step process. On or about February 1st of each year, the Foundation opens a portal to accept Letters of Intent, with a deadline around February 28th. In late March, successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application, with a deadline around April 30th. Successful recipients are notified around June 1st.

The Foundation offers two grant streams. This Responsive Community Grants stream offers up to $10,000 for worthwhile community projects. The Intentional Community Grants Stream offers up to $40,000 per year for up to three years for organizations, programs, or projects that address a priority challenge identified in Vital Signs. Visit this page if you are interested in applying for an Intentional community grant. Continue reading if you are interested in applying for a Responsive community grant.

Review the Guidelines, Eligibility and Restrictions before starting (see FAQ’s below).

Once you have reviewed the Guidelines, Eligibility, and Restrictions and believe your organization and project qualify for a grant, start your Letter of Intent here. Take a look at the video tutorials (in the FAQs below) for assistance in navigating the grants management system.

If you receive a grant from us, please download a copy of the Foundation’s logo to use in any communications acknowledging the grant.

Organizations that received grants in previous years and are invited to submit a full proposal in the current year must complete final reports for all prior projects before submitting their full application. Reporting forms for grants awarded in 2019 and later are found on the applicant’s Dashboard on the Foundation’s grants management site. (If you have an outstanding grant from prior to 2019 and need to submit a final project report, please contact the Foundation.)

In accordance with Canadian income tax laws, the Foundation may award grants only to registered charities or qualified donees (e.g., municipalities, First Nations, universities, or registered amateur athletic associations). The applicant named in any Letter of Intent or Application to the Sunshine Coast Foundation must be a registered charity or qualified donee. Non-charities seeking a grant must do so through an arrangement with a registered charity or other qualified donee. [Please note that the former Foundation practice of allowing non-charities to complete Letters of Intent or Application forms is no longer acceptable.] The Canada Revenue Agency has specific requirements for any such arrangement. Please see “Information for Charities/Qualified Donees Working through Non-Charity Intermediaries” in the FAQs below. Contact us for more information and assistance identifying potential charity partners.

Looking for other sources of funding? The Sechelt Public Library offers access to Grant Connect, a searchable database of Canadian and US funders. Access Grant Connect on one of the Library’s computers.

Other local sources of funding include:

Town of Gibsons, District of Sechelt, Sunshine Coast Regional District, Sunshine Coast Community Forest, Sunshine Coast Health Care Auxiliary, and TELUS.


Responsive Grants Guidelines

  1. The concept of “community capacity building” is the cornerstone of the Foundation’s community grants program. Capacity building occurs when resources, skills, leadership, or expertise in the community is increased.

Granting Guidelines

  1. Grant making for community capacity building occurs when proposals:
  • build on the strengths and assets of a community or an organization,
  • include the involvement of diverse groups in the development and implementation of a project,
  • demonstrate clear outcomes,
  • help create and strengthen participation and networks among residents and organizations,
  • provide seed funding for initiatives,
  • respond to a need identified in Vital Signs, or
  • address another community priority.


  1. The Foundation will also consider applications for small capital projects or the purchase of equipment or supplies.


  1. Grants may be awarded to support general programming or operating costs for eligible organizations, provided that the grant recipient does not demonstrate a dependency on the Foundation for this funding (e.g., by applying for funding for the same expenses multiple years in a row).

If you are a national or provincial organization delivering programs on the Sunshine Coast, please describe how a grant from the Foundation would stay on the Coast to benefit local citizens.

Fields of Interest

In addition to general community grants, each year funds are set aside to support certain Fields of Interest.

Environmental Grants are available for projects that:

  • protect and preserve the habitat and biodiversity of our fragile and unique Sunshine Coast ecosystems,
  • protect and improve the quality of our air, water, and soil,
  • encourage stewardship of private lands, water, and shorelines, or
  • educate the community about environmental and stewardship issues.

Thanks to the Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival, we have a specific fund to support or encourage the creation and public presentation of fibre art (fine art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fabric or yarn or other materials such as wood and generally refers to pieces made by hand).

Thanks to generous donors, each year we offer a grant from the Sue Milne Memorial Choral Fund. Grants are available to support choirs and choral groups with expenses related to developing and preparing for performances.

Youth Legacy Fund supports projects or activities that benefit young people, broadly defined.

Field of Interest grants are also offered from endowments that support Health and Wellness as well as Food and Shelter.

Applicants submitting a successful Letter of Intent and invited to submit a full application will be required to complete a project budget. When you are submitting a full application, please download the budget template below to include with your application.

When you submit your final grant report, you will need to download the project expense report below to submit with your report.

Eligibility for Responsive Grants

In order to be eligible for a grant from the Sunshine Coast Foundation, the applying organization must:

  • be providing services which directly benefit citizens of the Sunshine Coast;
  • be a federally registered charity or other qualified donee under the Income Tax Act;
  • provide all information required pursuant to the “Letter of Intent” and the “Application Form”; and
  • have the ability to carry out the project and report on the way that grant funds were spent.

When you have read the guidelines, eligibility restrictions, and requirements and are ready to submit your letter of intent, visit the Foundation’s grants portal.

Restrictions on Responsive Grants


Responsive Community Grants will not be made for:

  • academic research (i.e., research intended for publication only without application to current activities),
  • tours or travel outside the community,
  • scholarships or bursaries,
  • activities of partisan political organizations or religious organizations that serve primarily their membership and/or their direct religious purposes (community programs delivered by religious institutions are eligible),
  • general endowments,
  • major capital or building fundraising campaigns,
  • operating or capital deficits, or
  • individuals.

The Foundation will award only one grant per year to each applicant organization except if an applicant is delivering one project through their own organization as well as one or more projects through intermediary organizations without charitable status. When you have read the guidelines, eligibility restrictions, and requirements and are ready to submit your letter of intent, visit the Foundation’s grants portal.

Grants Software Online Portal Tutorials

Foundant Technologies has created some short videos to help you familiarize yourself with the grants management software used by Sunshine Coast Foundation:

Information for Charities/Qualified Donees Working through Non-Charity Intermediaries

Please note this is information only and not legal advice. If in doubt, please consult the CRA web site (link below) or contact a lawyer familiar with charity law in Canada.

Organizations applying for a grant from the Foundation must be registered charities or other qualified donees. Charities or other qualified donees may undertake project or programming activities through intermediaries that are not registered charities. This must be a meaningful partnership where the charity/qualified donee receiving the grant is involved in the administration and management of the project for which funding is granted. The actual project work may be completed by the non-charity.

The collaboration arrangement between the non-charity/non-qualified donee and the charity/qualified donee should be written in the form of a contract to clarify the responsibilities of each party. From the CRA web site (link below):

“The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires that a charity take all necessary measures to direct and control the use of its resources when carrying out activities through an intermediary [i.e., non-charity/non-qualified donee]. When carrying out activities through an intermediary, the following steps are strongly recommended:

  • create a written agreement with the intermediary, and implement its terms,
  • communicate a clear, complete, and detailed description of the activity to the intermediary,
  • monitor and supervise the activity,
  • provide clear, complete, and detailed instructions to the intermediary on an ongoing basis,
  • arrange for the intermediary to keep the charity’s funds separate from its own, and to keep separate books and records, and
  • make periodic transfers of resources, based on demonstrated performance.

A charity must maintain a record of steps taken to direct and control the use of its resources, as part of its books and records, to allow the CRA to verify that all of the charity’s resources have been used for its own activities.”

The CRA has recently (2020) updated its guidance on Using an Intermediary to Carry Out a Charity’s Activities.

If you  have any questions about the Foundation’s requirements for non-charities or need help identifying a potential charity collaborator, please contact us.