Grants

Please note: Inspirit is unable to take new grant inquiries during the summer. We invite you to reconnect with us in September 2022.

We offer up to 30 new grants per year through three grant programs: 

All grant proposals must fall under at least one of Inspirit’s priority areas: 

We prioritize funding organizations led, or deeply shaped by, Indigenous, Muslim, Black, and racialized voices and recognize the inherent intersectionality across identities and issues.

We accept letters of inquiry on an ongoing basis. A limited number of grants are invitation-only.  

Granting Programs

1. Research & Sector-Building Grants (up to $50,000)

Research Grants provide support for research that bridges knowledge gaps and builds capacity to advance narrative power. Projects should identify policy and practice solutions to equity barriers, as well as opportunities for knowledge mobilization and advocacy that promote systemic change. 

Examples of eligible research:  

  • A study on racial identity data collection practices in the media sector in which the research is led by racialized communities  
  • An evidence-informed analysis of disproportionate funding for Muslim arts and/or media organizations 

Sector-building Grants provide support for events that bring arts and media practitioners together to develop networks, capacity, and strategies to strengthen advocacy efforts that help redistribute access and power. We prioritize newer projects that fill gaps in the current landscape. 

Examples of sector-building projects: 

  • A conference focused on engaging and connecting Muslim creatives across sectors
  • A short series of virtual gatherings focused on sharing knowledge or developing advocacy strategies

Grants are available year-round on a rolling basis. 

Apply for a Research and Sector-Building Grant.

2. Project Grants ($10,000–$100,000; multi-year funding available)

Project Grants support emerging and innovative initiatives or programs that help communities build narrative power. Grants include Seed Grants and Major Project Grants.

Seed Grants are flexible, smaller grants (maximum $50,000), that support fledgling initiatives or early-stage organizations that are developing new models for industry interventions. We generally fund in the following areas: screen-based industries, such as film and television; digital, community-led and public-interest journalism, and audio storytelling. We emphasize initiatives that have the potential to scale, engage, and influence industry decision-makers, and attract additional partners.  

Examples of Seed Grant projects: 

  • A development grant for an emerging media or arts advocacy organization to develop governance models, strategic direction, and revenue streams
  • A pilot project to test a podcast incubator that supports the skill development and industry connections of racialized storytellers

Seed Grants are approved year-round on a rolling basis and projects are typically completed within one year. 

Major Project Grants are larger grants ($50,000-100,000 per year) that support more extensive, collaborative projects that build infrastructure, skills, capacity, and resources for communities to increase long-term leadership development or challenge systemic barriers within narrative ecosystems.  

Major Projects include initiatives that create robust career pathways for racialized communities in the arts and media, as well as media-based projects that address issues of systemic discrimination and are grounded in the perspectives and editorial framing of racialized communities. 

Although Inspirit may be the initial funder for a Major Project, the latter often involves additional funders. We work with grantees to maximize funding and partnership opportunities. 

Examples of eligible Major Projects: 

  • An Indigenous language media training program that links to broader community needs, cultural expression, and sector development 
  • A collaborative journalism project that focuses on identifying community solutions to hate crimes

Major Project Grants are typically approved in the early summer and in mid-fall and provide funding for up to three years. Please note: Major Project grants do not fund internships. 

Grants over $50,000 require approval by Inspirit’s Board-level Programming Committee. Grants totaling over $100,000 require approval from Inspirit’s full Board of Directors.   

Apply for a Project Grant.

3. Organizational Grants (multi-year grants starting at $50,000 per year) 

Organizational Grants are unrestricted, general operating grants that support the development of organizations that advance narrative power within communities and provide solutions to address systemic barriers. 

For Organizational Grants, we generally partner with organizations that have an annual budget between $250,000 –- $1 million and are: 

  • Attractors and drivers whose work has influence within and beyond their geographic community 
  • Focused on building infrastructure and platforms to support communities to build collective narrative power and shift resources 
  • Grounded in their communities and work with an array of partners and audiences to influence new cultural norms, behaviours, or policies in their field 
  • Clear about their strategic opportunities to advance narrative and/or systemic change 
  • Able to identify how Inspirit funding will be used to support their work; (although funding is unrestricted, we do want to understand an organization’s priorities and approach)  

Organizational Grants are typically approved in the early summer and mid-fall and are currently invitation-only.  

Apply for an Organizational Grant.

Impact Investing Grants 

Grants related to impact investing are by invitation-only. For more information, please contact us directly.

Priority Granting Areas

Building Equitable Narrative Ecosystems 

We fund organizations with the goal of developing ecosystems that increase access, opportunities, and power for a broad range of communities, and prioritize working with organizations led or deeply shaped by Indigenous, Muslim, Black, and racialized voices,  

While racial, ethnic, and religious diversity and representation are slowly increasing in the arts and media sectors, there are still funding disparities, gaps at the leadership level, and discriminatory practices and policies that perpetuate inequity. 

We partner with organizations and initiatives that are redistributing access and power within the arts and media sectors, and that are building industry-specific infrastructure to support narratives led by underrepresented communities.

We focus on the following: 

  • Screen-based industries, such as film and television  
  • Digital, community-led and public-interest journalism 
  • Audio storytelling 

Indigenous Narrative Sovereignty & Advancing Reconciliation 

Inspirit is committed to building relationships and trust with Indigenous communities to support Indigenous voices, leadership, and right to self-determination.  

We understand reconciliation to be an ongoing process that is grounded in principles of reciprocity and equity. We also recognize that reconciliation is a contested term that requires listening, learning, and adapting our practices to address ongoing legacies of colonization that adversely impact Indigenous communities.  

We prioritize funding to Indigenous-led organizations and initiatives that advance control over intellectual and cultural property and heritage. 

We partner with Indigenous organizations across several industries, including: 

  • Screen-based industries, such as film and television 
  • Digital, community-led and public-interest journalism  
  • Audio storytelling  
  • Fashion and cultural industries 
  • Visual arts  

Challenging Islamophobia

Ending Islamophobia requires a variety of approaches and tactics. We believe challenging Islamophobia includes looking at the ecosystems of narratives, ideas, and cultural norms that shape the behaviours, mindsets, and worldviews of mass audiences.   

We focus on supporting the development of narratives that centre the diversity of Muslims in Canada as well as the creation of industry infrastructure and pathways for Muslims to tell their stories on their own terms. 

We focus on: 

  • Screen-based industries, such as film and television 
  • Digital, community-led and public interest journalism  

Apply for an Inspirit Grant

In addition to our grants, Inspirit is currently piloting the Narrative Change Lab.  The focus of the inaugural Lab is on Canadian Muslim narratives in pop culture.