ChangeUp Grants

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


ChangeUp Grants fund projects that:  

  • Are developed and led by people between the ages of 18-34 who have lived experience with the 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; 
  • Aim to build bridges or create spaces for communities to deepen capacities and develop solutions to build resiliency;
  • Involve and highlight the work and perspectives of diverse young change leaders;
  • 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 priority issue areas: Islamophobia and reconciliation;   
  • The project team is well-suited to lead this project based on professional experience, organizational focus, and practice;
  • Create opportunities for new partnerships or relationships to be strengthened;
  • Address an issue in a unique or new way that takes into consideration the social and geographical context.

What we look for in project proposals: 

  • A clear vision of what success might look like; 
  • An understanding of the issue(s) being addressed; 
  • Connection between project activities and the intended results;
  • Potential for the results or impact of the project to reach a broader community.

ChangeUp Grants do not fund: 

  • Projects that are led by people outside the 18-34 age bracket; 
    • Please note: This includes project ideas that have been developed by someone outside the 18-34 age bracket that are executed by people between the ages of 18-34;
  • Retroactive requests to fund activities that have already occurred; 
  • Activities that take place outside of Canada;
  • Projects that primarily benefit individuals living in another country;
  • Initiatives 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. 

How to apply 

  1. Review the ChangeUp guidelines and ChangeUp FAQs;
  2. If you are unsure about whether your project is eligible, we welcome you to contact us  OR Join us on September 18, 2018 at 2:30PM EST for an introductory webinar about applying for a ChangeUp grant;
  3. Access the online application form (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 Webinar

We will be offering an interactive webinar to provide an overview about Inspirit’s ChangeUp application process. We will share tips and answer your questions about the granting program. Log on to our Twitter and Facebook pages to participate at the webinar time. You can submit questions in advance by Monday September 17, 2018 to

Date(s): September 18, 2018 @ 2:30PM EST on Facebook and Twitter

Application Deadlines
There are 2 rounds of ChangeUp Grants in 2018.  

Round 1
OPEN: March 5th, 2018
CLOSE: April 13th, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST

Round 2
OPEN: August 15, 2018
CLOSE: September 26, 2018 at 5:00PM

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?

Yesbut you will need to form a partnership with an eligible charitable organization. We cannot grant directly to nonprofit 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 nonprofit 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 and facilitator, artist, and speaker fees;   
  • Space rental;  
  • Equipment within 20% of the budget (purchases will become the property of the grantee);  
  • 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 round.  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 will review them to ensure the proposed project meets the program guidelines. 
  2. Inspirit staff will then create a shortlist of applications which is reviewed by an external review committee.  The external review committee is made up of people familiar with our priority issue areas with experience in the non-profit, arts and media sectors. They include change leaders who may be 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?

Successful applicants will be informed within 6-8 weeks of the application deadline.

Applicants who are not selected will be informed within 8-12 weeks and will have an opportunity to receive feedback.

If my proposal is accepted will I need to submit anything else?

Yes, we will need:

  • 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 General Liability Insurance for at least $2 Million.
If our grant application is declined, can we ask for feedback?

Absolutely. We will endeavour to offer feedback from the review process to all who request it.

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

Yes, but we strongly recommend you request feedback first.


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 education and leadership camp that teaches Black children how to analyze and create media, to spread the message that Black lives matter, and to increase Black-affirmative educational resources for educators.
  • A youth-driven, land-based project that will engage Indigenous youth to lead their community prevent, resist and heal from violence through two interconnected program components: 1) youth-led land restoration to create healthier community spaces, and 2) youth-led, culturally-relevant sexual violence prevention curricula in schools.

To see previous examples of ChangeUp projects visit our granting page.

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.

Does my project have to use arts or media?

No, it does not.

Do you fund film production?

No. However, a portion of the 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?

Yes. If there is a strong alignment with the Foundation’s priority issues areas and grant guidelines, we will consider such proposals.

Please note the following caveats:

  • Grant decisions are made at least 6-8 weeks after the application deadline, so please plan accordingly. We cannot fund events that have already happened.
  • The conference or event must be developed and led by people between the ages of 18-34 who have personal experience with the issues and communities being addressed in the project.

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