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Grant Guidelines

Since 1991, we’ve funded programs in more than 1,900 communities across Canada that have changed the lives of women and girls.

With the support of our generous donors and corporate partners, the Foundation offers grants of up to five years, so that organizations can retain the best staff, evaluate their work regularly, and maximize outcomes for participants.

We prioritize programs that are:

  • Designed for women and girls who face multiple barriers
  • Developed in collaboration with the participants they serve
  • Grounded in a strong gender-based analysis

There are three steps to beginning our granting process:

  • Learn Who Can Apply

    We accept applications from incorporated, non-profit organizations that have a valid charitable number from Canada Revenue Agency, or First Nations Bands designated as “qualified donees” by Canada Revenue Agency.

    To check that your charitable number is in good standing, visit Canada Revenue Agency or call 1-800-267-2384.

    Please note that we do not fund:

    • individuals
    • federal, provincial or municipal government agencies and school boards (they can be involved in a project but the grant will be made to a charitable organization directly)
    • profit-based organizations
    • fundraising events
    • projects outside of Canada
    • projects not solely or primarily focused on those who identify as women and girls (although violence prevention projects for teens may involve youth of all genders)
    • deficit or emergency funding
    • conferences, films or videos
    • capital campaigns or expenditures such as furniture or computers
    • research
    • self-defense training (if it is the only component of a violence prevention project)
  • Learn What We Fund

    The Canadian Women’s Foundation offers grants in three areas:

    • Violence Prevention
    • Economic Development
    • Girls’ Empowerment

    Organizations can apply for three types of violence prevention grants:

    1. Annual violence prevention grants: These 1-year grants support programs ranging from emergency loan funds for women, to programs that address sexual assault, to safe housing facilities for women and children to live in while rebuilding their lives after abuse.
    2. Teen healthy relationship grants: These 4-year grants support school- and community-based programs that work with young people of all genders on learning about dating violence, gender stereotypes, sexual harassment, and how to create safe and healthy relationships.
    3. Anti-trafficking grants: These 5-year grants support programs for women and girls who have been coerced into sexual and/or labour exploitation. These programs build on women’s strengths, supporting them in accessing safety and rebuilding their lives. We also support organizations that are working to coordinate services and deepen their understanding of trafficking in local communities.

    These 5-year grants support programs for women who are living on low incomes to learn a skilled trade, start a business, or gain work experience, with the goal of achieving a sustainable livelihood.

    These 4-year grants support programs for girls age 9 to 13 to build confidence, critical-thinking skills, resilience, and a sense of belonging. We also support mentorship programs and strengthen the capacity of organizations that work with girls.

  • When To Apply

    The Foundation regularly evaluates program progress and results, which helps to guide future granting decisions and contribute to stronger programming overall.

    When the application process opens in each granting area, specific guidelines are posted below.

    Grant proposals are accepted only during scheduled application periods; we do not accept unsolicited proposals outside of this time.

    Looking for ways to improve your current approaches or programming? We encourage you to consult our sector resources and webinars.

    General Application Timing: Links to specific granting criteria are posted below when the application process opens.


    Annual Violence Prevention Grants: The application process for  2019-20 closed on February 4, 2019. The next application process is expected to open in 2020.

    Teen healthy relationship grants: These 4-year grants were last awarded in 2013, running to 2017. The application process is expected to open in late 2018 or early 2019.

    Girls’ Fund: These 4-year grants were last awarded in 2016, and will run until 2020. The application process is expected to open in 2020 or 2021.

    Anti-trafficking Grants: These 5-year grants were last awarded in 2016 and will run to 2021. The application process is expected to open in 2021 or 2022.

    Economic Development Grants: Applications for the 2018-2023 granting stream are now closed.