ChangeUp Grants

ChangeUp grants create opportunities for people aged 18-34 to initiate creative solutions-focused projects that address issues of discrimination and prejudice in their local communities. The $10,000 one-time grants are for projects that implement creative strategies to open minds and shift attitudes that perpetuate prejudice and exclusion based on ethnicity, race or religion. Through the grants, Inspirit Foundation is particularly interested in supporting the development of effective, connected and influential young change leaders.


ChangeUp Grants fund projects that:  

  • Are developed and led by young people between the ages of 18-34 who have personal experience with issues and communities being addressed in the project;
  • Engage local issues and stakeholders; 
  • Open minds and shift attitudes that perpetuate prejudice and exclusion based on ethnic, cultural or religious difference; 
  • Occur within a 12-month period; 
  • Take place in Canada. 

We also consider the following criteria when assessing applications. While not mandatory, they strengthen your application. We look for projects that: 

  • Address one or both of Inspirit’s current Issue areas: Islamophobia and Truth and Reconciliation;   
  • Use media and/or arts-based strategies to help achieve outcomes; 
  • The project team is well-suited to lead this project based on lived and/or professional experience; organizational focus and practice; and/or content expertise; 
  • Aim to build bridges across lines of ethnic, cultural or religious difference; 
  • Create opportunities for new partnerships or relationships to be strengthened;
  • Involve and bring attention to the work and perspectives of diverse young change leaders;
  • Engage community leaders, decision-makers, or other influencers.  

What we look for in project proposals: 

  • A clear vision of what success might look like; 
  • An understanding of the issue(s) being addressed; 
  • How the project activities connect to the intended results;
  • There is potential for the results or impact of the project to reach the broader community.

ChangeUp Grants do not fund: 

  • Projects that are led by people outside the 18-34 age bracket. 
  • Retroactive requests to fund activities that have already occurred. 
  • Activities that take place outside of Canada and projects that primarily benefit individuals living in another country. 
  • Initiatives that are run by non-Canadian organizations. 
  • Academic research, tuition, bursaries or scholarships.  
  • General fundraising efforts, capital campaigns or sponsorships. 
  • Personal appeals for financial support. 
  • Emergency funds. 
  • Activities that primarily promote religious or political beliefs. 

Grant Amount 

$10,000 grant toward eligible project costs. 

How to apply 

  1. Review the ChangeUp guidelines and ChangeUp FAQs.
  2. If you are unsure about whether your project fits, we welcome you to contact us.
  3. Access the online application form.
  4. You can save your application at any time. 

Please note: We can only assess one ChangeUp project proposal from an applicant at a time. 

Application Deadlines
There are 2 rounds of ChangeUp Grants in 2017.  

Round 1 Online Application Opens March 3rd, 2017
Application Deadline:  April 17th, 2017 at 12:00 pm EST

Round 2 Online Application opens July 10th, 2017
Application Deadline: September 25th, 2017 12:00 PM EST 

Questions? Please feel free to get in touch with us before you start your application to ensure that your ideas fit with the objectives and priorities of this program.  

ChangeUp Grants

Frequently Asked Questions


To be eligible to receive funding your organization must be a Canadian charity or a First Nations Band with qualified donee status with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 

We are not an eligible charity or First Nations Band – can we apply?

Yes, but you will need to form a partnership with an eligible charitable organization. We cannot grant directly to not-for-profit organizations or First Nations Bands that do not have donee status with the CRA.

A qualified donee is an organization that can issue official donation receipts for gifts it receives from individuals and corporations. It can also receive gifts from registered charities.

Typically, informal groups or not-for-profit organizations form a partnership with a registered charity that is willing to act as a lead charitable partner/trustee.  The lead partner/trustee will receive and administer the grant and will be accountable for particular legal and financial responsibilities.  

Inspirit requires a confirmed agreement between your group and the charitable partner/trustee before officially providing a grant.  

For more information about qualified donees, please go here.

If you have more questions about eligibility please contact us. 

What costs can the grant be used for?

Eligible costs that support the project include:  

  • Personnel costs, including staff salaries, facilitator, artist, and speaker fees;   
  • Space rental;  
  • Equipment (equipment purchases will become the property of the grantee, or lead partner in the project);  
  • Food and supplies;  
  • Travel;  
  • Administration costs (rent, utilities, telephone and internet) up to a maximum of 10% of direct project costs.  
We do not have any other funding sources – is this okay?

Yes – but keep in mind that when assessing proposals, we do look at whether the budget is realistic for the planned activities.

If your project is eligible for other sources of funding or support, we encourage you to seek, or show that you have obtained, additional financial or in-kind support. 

Can I submit more than one initiative for consideration at a time?

No. We can only consider one initiative per applicant organization or group in any ChangeUp granting phase.  We can only grant once to an eligible grantee per year.

Are there insurance requirements?

Please note that Inspirit requires grantees to maintain a minimum of $2 million in general liability insurance for the duration of the grant. 

Applications and Decisions

How are decisions made?
  1. Once we receive your completed application, Inspirit staff review them to ensure the proposed project meets the program guidelines. 
  2. Inspirit staff create a shortlist of applications, which are reviewed by an external review committee.  The external review committee is made up of people familiar with our priority issue areas, who have experience in the non-profit, arts and media sectors. The team includes change leaders, subject experts, practitioners, and experienced professionals from across Canada.  
  3. After feedback from the external review committee, final grantees are approved and contacted.  
When will I find out about my application?

All applicants will be informed whether they have made the shortlist or not within 4-6 weeks after the application deadline.

Successful applicants will be informed within 6-8 weeks. 

If my proposal is accepted will I need to submit anything else?
  • A detailed project budget and timeline
  • Further information about your group and proposed partners
  • A copy of the most current financial statements of the lead organization
  • A list of the lead organization’s Board of Directors   
  • Clarification of your proposed activities and approach to evaluation
  • Proof of Insurance 
If our grant application is declined, can we ask for feedback?

Absolutely. Due to the volume of applicants, we cannot automatically provide feedback to all, but we will endeavor to offer feedback from the review process to all who request it. 

If our grant application is declined, can we apply again?

Yes. We recommend you do.


What kind of projects do you fund?

Some example projects include:

  • A digital media project challenging stereotypes about Muslim women with personal stories, mixed-media portraits, and online conversation circles.
  • Indigenous and non-Indigenous media makers leading virtual mapping workshops uncovering Indigenous landmarks and place-based stories.
  • An arts-based workshop series that explores the intersection of Islamophobia, Transphobia, and Homophobia and brings together people from different cultural backgrounds to learn about each other and challenge prevailing stereotypes
Does my project have to use arts or media?

No – but we look for creative approaches that address discrimination and racism. We love unique and innovative ideas.

Do you fund film production?

Not normally. In some instances, ChangeUp Grants can be used to develop media products if they are connected with an outreach strategy to engage audiences. 

Does my project have to engage youth?

Not necessarily. Your project team must be led by people aged 18-34, but the project activities can be focused on engaging people of all ages.

Do you fund conferences, festivals, or events?

Typically no. ChangeUp Grants do not fund projects where the primary activity is a conference, festival or event. However, if there is a strong alignment with the Foundation’s priority issues areas and grant guidelines, we do consider such proposals. 

For information on collaborating with Inspirit on conferences, festivals, special events, please contact our Stakeholder and Engagement department. 

What do you mean by "open minds and shift attitudes"?

Projects that aim to increase people’s awareness and understanding of others’ experiences, build recognition of shared experience across difference, and inspire actions that bridge difference.

For further information about our grants or our process, please contact Inspirit.