Community Partnership Program

Background

At Vancity, our vision is a transformed economy that protects the earth and guarantees equity for all. This vision captures our aspirations and guides our work to be a financial force for change.

Vancity is committing to bold action to help realize this vision. Read more about our commitments here.

As Canada's largest credit union, we offer financial products and expert advice that help with current and future challenges. We work with community partners to address big problems where we live. We advocate for the environment and for equity. We lead with our values to help with real-life needs.

What is the Community Partnership Program?

The Vancity Community Partnership Program (CPP) provides low barrier, responsive grants up to $25,000 for projects that improve financial resilience, reduce carbon emissions, and advance Racial Justice and Reconciliation.

We seek to support community-based ideas that remove systemic barriers to economic well-being and opportunity. We want to work with organizations implementing solutions that help equity deserving groups and local organizations build financial resilience to safeguard against the climate crisis, life’s emergencies, reduce the risk of financial hardship, and withstand financial shocks. This includes marginalized, racialized, underrepresented or vulnerable people to ensure that no one is left behind as we transition to a clean economy.

Focus Areas & Project Criteria

We are seeking to support initiatives that will:

1. Build financial resilience and increase financial inclusion

Examples include:

  • Increasing access to safe and stable employment opportunities for equity deserving groups (e.g., providing employment education & training, creating good green stable jobs, building entrepreneurship skills)
  • Increasing access to resources that financially empower equity deserving groups (e.g., financial education, safe and affordable banking access, financial abuse protection)
  • Supporting communities, not-for-profits, or local businesses to build financial resilience and withstand financial shocks

2. Help individuals, organizations, and local businesses become climate resilient and lower their emissions

Examples include:

  • Re-training and upskilling workforces on low-emission and sustainability initiatives
  • Creating climate-related solutions and awareness initiatives for organizations and businesses (e.g., building networks, workshops, virtual platforms & mentorship programs)
  • Developing strategies to safeguard against climate-related shocks
  • Designing and delivering other economic activities that address climate justice
  • Supporting climate adaptation initiatives that help to reduce the impacts of a warming climate, in particular for equity deserving groups and/or those most at-risk

3. Advance Reconciliation, Racial Equity and Social Justice

Examples include:

  • Building intercultural interaction, trust and understanding
  • Delivering anti-racism public education campaigns that challenge racism, hate, and systemic barriers
  • Building the capacity of non-profits to engage the community around Reconciliation, racial equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Advancing the economic independence and self-determination of Indigenous people
  • Projects delivering on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action

Eligibility:

  • Criteria: Eligible projects do not need to align with all criteria points above but should be a strong fit with at least one.
  • Stage of initiative: Aligned initiatives at various stages are welcome to apply, from early and developing projects to those that are growing and/or tackling systems change and collaborative solutions (see Grant Amounts below for more information).
  • Location: As a member-owned financial co-operative, Vancity focuses our granting in the communities where we serve our members. Priority is given to applicants based in Vancity’s operating areas in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw territories, across Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Southern Vancouver Island, Squamish, and Alert Bay.
  • Structure: Applicants must be a not-for-profit society, registered charity, social enterprise, co-operative, labour union, Indigenous community and/or organization, or small business.
  • Vancity Membership: Organizations who are Vancity members will be given priority in the consideration of their application.
  • Ineligible Focus Areas: We do not fund sports, health care, tobacco, gaming, or alcohol-related organizations and initiatives.
  • Ethical Principles: Vancity is committed to supporting businesses and organizations that align with our values and vision. We seek the opportunity to work with organizations who like us are taking significant steps to improve their social, ethical, and environmental performance. Read more about Vancity’s Ethical Principles here.

Priority will be given to initiatives that are led by or will partner with Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, newcomers, women, people living with disabilities, or other equity deserving groups in the planning and delivery of the initiative. For more information about Vancity’s commitment to inclusion, please visit Becoming an inclusive and anti-racist organization (vancity.com) .

Does your Project meet our criteria?

Our grant application process is now online! Access the Community Partnership Program application form via the Vancity Granting Portal. You will need to create an organization profile, and then login to submit your application. Click here to begin the process.

Please refer to the Vancity Granting Portal Guide for instructions on how to use the online application system.

If you have additional questions about the application process or would like support on alternative application methods, please contact us at communitypartnerships@vancity.com

Grant Amounts

Grants up to $10,000 : Growing Community Impact

Do you have a project that could use up to $10,000 that aligns with some of the focus areas above? Fill out an application form to tell us more!

Grants up to $25,000: Transforming Communities

This year, we are providing the opportunity for organizations to apply for larger Community Partnership Program grants (over $10,000 up to $25,000). Eligible initiatives will focus on systemic change and addressing root causes. They align with CPP focus areas above and include some of the following in their approach:

  • Address the root causes of pressing social, environmental, or economic issues (why is a problem happening?)
  • Demonstrate clear evidence of understanding the structural problem before tackling it
  • Activate community-centered solutions
  • Are partnership-focused, collaborating to address community issues
  • Help create and strengthen participation and networks among members and organizations
  • Integrate outcomes measurement into project design, delivery, and reporting
  • Designed to scale and replicate where applicable

If this sounds like your initiative, fill out an application form and tell us how your work is transforming communities focusing on systemic change and/or addressing root causes.

If you have any questions about the application process or would like support on alternative application methods, please contact us at communitypartnerships@vancity.com

Program FAQ

How long does it take to review an application?

It can take up to 12 weeks to review an application once it has been submitted.

What are your final reporting requirements for an approved application?

You have the option to submit a final report for approved applications. Please login to the Vancity Granting Portal if you would like to share any learnings, milestones or stories with us!

When are you accepting applications?

The Community Partnership Program is open from March to November and applications are accepted on an on-going basis during this time period.

What other partnership funding does Vancity offer organizations?

Lots! Vancity offers a comprehensive suite of tools and services for community focused organizations:

If you have any questions regarding the Community Partnership Program or other community resources at Vancity, you can contact us at communitypartnerships@vancity.com