Apply for a Grant

How to Apply for Grants

We identify grantees through a combination of direct invitation and unsolicited applications on a rolling basis. 

  1. Please review Inspirit’s Grant Programs, Priority Granting Areas, and FAQs. 
  2. Create a profile on our application system.  
  3. Select a grant type for the application. You may answer the questions directly on the form or upload a short Letter of Inquiry with the answers to the form. 
  4. Inspirit staff will provide an initial response within three to four weeks. Due to capacity issues, this may take longer. 
  5. Larger grants generally require a second application stage. This may consist of written responses, submission of additional documents, and conversations with Inspirit staff. 
  6. If you have questions about which grant to apply to, or whether your project idea or organizational priorities align with Inspirit’s, please contact us.

APPLY FOR AN INSPIRIT GRANT.

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

  • Your organization or group must be based in Canada, and the work must take place in Canada. 
  • Inspirit typically grants to registered charities. However, if your work aligns with our priorities, we also work with non-qualified donees (e.g. incorporated and unincorporated non-profits and organizations). In some cases, a charitable trustee may be required to administer funding. Please see FAQs for more details. 

Inspirit does not fund: 

  • Organizations based outside of Canada 
  • Projects that take place outside of Canada 
  • Retroactive funding 
  • Capital-building costs 
  • Fundraising and endowment drives 
  • Debt relief 
  • Direct services and social services 
  • Educational scholarships 
  • Internships 
  • Political activities that are partisan  
  • Equity investments in companies 

For arts and media related projects, Inspirit typically does not fund: 

  • Production and post-production costs for film and television 
  • Stand-alone arts and film festival presentations, except in special cases 
  • Art exhibitions or performances (e.g. theatre performances, concerts, single screenings) 
  • Artist residencies, fellowships, or internships 
  • Individual artists or art projects 
  • Communications work (unless it is part of a larger narrative strategy) 

If you have more questions about eligibility, please contact us. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the application deadlines and approval times?

1. Research and Field-Building Grants  

We accept applications for Research and Field-Building Grants year-round, unless otherwise noted. We will respond to applicants between four to six weeks. Learn more about Research and Field-Building Grants.

2. Project Grants 

We accept applications for Project Grants (Seed Grants and Major Project Grants) year-round, unless otherwise noted.  Seed Grants up to $50,000 are approved on a rolling basis throughout the year. Major Project Grants are typically approved in the early summer and mid-fall. 

The application process for Major Project Grants can take eight to ten weeks and we ask applicants to consider this timeline when submitting an inquiry.   Major Project Grants generally require a second application stage. This may consist of written responses, additional documents, and conversations with Inspirit staff. 

Grants over $50,000 require approval by Inspirit’s Programming Committee. Grants totalling over $100,000 require approval from Inspirit’s full Board of Directors. Learn more about Project Grants.

3. Organizational Grants  

Organizational Grant applications are currently invitation-only. We prioritize organizations with whom Inspirit has an existing partnership.  

The application process for Organizational Grants can take eight to ten weeks and are typically approved in the early summer and mid-fall. These grants exceed $100,000 and require approval from Inspirit’s full Board of Directors. Learn more about Organizational Grants.

How many grants are available?

In 2022, we will be distributing up to thirty (30) grants, including grants to pre-existing grantees.

What is an appropriate amount of funding to request? Is there a maximum grant size?

We have no set grant amount; however, different grant programs offer different ranges. 

We trust organizations to ask for what they need. We look at factors such as other funding sources, the size and scope of the project, and organizational budget. As part of the application process, we work with applicants to identify a grant amount.  

The maximum grant amount per year is $100,000.  

Does our organization need to be a registered charity?

No. We reserve a certain percentage of funding for registered charities and registered First Nations Bands (qualified donees). However, we aim to be flexible in partnering with non-qualified donees provided they align with Inspirit’s mission. 

Occasionally, we administer funds to charitable trustees who hold the funds for informal groups, non-profit organizations, and registered businesses. The lead partner or trustee receives and administers the grant and is accountable for particular legal and financial responsibilities.    

Please contact us for more information if your organization is not a registered charity. 

How do you identify and assess grantee partners?

We use a combination of unsolicited applications and staff-led research and outreach to identify new partners. We consult with grantees, funding partners, and multiple industry networks to learn about new organizations and opportunities to address critical gaps in the landscape. 

In addition to criteria listed in Grant Programs  and Priority Granting Areas, we seek the following: 

  • Strategic Fit 

We grant to organizations carrying out work that aligns with Inspirit’s mission and values, and priority granting areas. 

  • Innovation 

We welcome innovation and creativity. Inspirit is often an early or first funder for projects and organizations showing promising approaches. We look to “de-risk” a project and champion it for other funders to join. 

  • Industry focus 

We look at how an organization’s work aligns with other grantees and Inspirit’s program areas. Although this is evolving, we are currently engaged in field-building activities in the screen-based industries, community-led journalism, and research relevant to our sectors. 

  • Geography 

Inspirit’s work is national in scope, and we strive to fund organizations in different parts of Canada. Although your work may be more locally focused, we prioritize organizations that demonstrate impact, or show potential to have influence beyond their geographic scope. 

Can we submit an idea before applying?

Yes. We welcome inquiries throughout the year; however, due to volume and capacity constraints, we are not always able to respond quickly. Please send an email to info@inspiritfoundation.org with a brief introduction and information about your work. 

If our grant application is declined, can I ask for feedback?

Absolutely. Due to volume, we cannot automatically provide feedback to all applicants, but we will try to offer feedback when asked.