Catherine Donnelly Foundation Grant

Catherine Donnelly Foundation

Grant amount: C $5,000 - C $40,000

Next anticipated deadline: Aug 3, 2018 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Feb 8, 2019 (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Canada

Location of residency: Canada

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The Catherine Donnelly Foundation has been established to provide a long -term way to serve specific community needs anywhere in Canada. Generally The Catherine Donnelly Foundation will use its endowment to fund projects/programs that address community needs in three primary areas:

Adult Education

The Foundation will consider applications from groups and organizations that use adult education processes to address the needs of new Canadians and marginalized or excluded populations. It will also consider applications from Catholic Religious Education programmes and other organizations dedicated to dialogue and interaction with other religious traditions for the understanding and integration of Christian faith and life in a spirit of ecumenism.

The Foundation will support groups, projects and initiatives that use adult education and participatory/community forms of research to:

  • Enable the poor and marginalized to collectively address contemporary problems and issues of racism, poverty, violence, isolation and other forms of oppression and exclusion;
  • Promote the active engagement of people in identifying solutions to their own problems;
  • Develop social skills and knowledge of people to engage in community development and/or become more active citizens;
  • Develop critical adult literacy skills;
  • Promote Catholic Education programmes and organizations that support the Christian mission of peace, human rights, equity and social justice through interfaith dialogue and positive interactions among religious traditions and groups

Environmental Enhancement
The Foundation will support groups, projects and initiatives that:

  • Seek to shift public perceptions and values in support of strong climate action;
  • Have broad impact, or which start regionally but are scalable or replicable;
  • Use grassroots and engagement organizing to advance climate solutions;
  • Advance collective and integrated approaches capable of catalyzing and engaging new voices;
  • Apply creative & innovative communications and engagement strategies (i.e. the arts, storytelling, engaged and investigative journalism, simulation games, cultural activities etc.)

Housing Initiatives
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation wishes to support transitional housing initiatives that provide services to residents - whether individuals or families - that may enable them to move successfully to more stable housing. Desired services may include but are not restricted to: 

  • Developing self-reliance and independent life skills 
  • Acquiring work experience
  • Health care and/or addiction treatment 
  • Child care 
  • Counselling

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Foundation seeks applicant organizations that:
    • Are registered Canadian charities 
    • Can provide evidence that their operative values are consistent with those of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation
    • Work in areas where the needs are greatest
    • Work with persons not served or reached by traditional programs 
    • Are undertaking projects or programs that have promise as a model for imitation in other Canadian communities and will train others to set up similar programs
    • Partner with other like valued organizations to achieve shared goals


  • Environmental Enhancement Initiatives
    • Priority will be given to broad integrated approaches linking disparate initiatives, enhancing public engagement, and integrating marginalized sectors of the population into climate change dialogues and movements.
    • Of particular interest is a desire to engage with and support Indigenous-led climate justice movements. 


  • The Catherine Donnelly Foundation will not consider funding the following:   
    • Retroactive funding    
    • Fund raising campaigns    
    • Operating deficits    
    • Projects outside of Canada    
    • Emergency appeals    
    • Purely commercial recordings or film projects
  • Adult Education Initaitives area of focus of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation does not fund:
    • Counseling (one on one or group)
    • Job skills training (including on the job learning)
    • Vocational training
    • Children and youth literacy/educational programs
  • Environment Enhancement Initiatives area of focus of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation does not currently fund:
    • Travel to and/or attendance at conferences, competitions, symposia, or annual events (unless part of a broader project proposal)
    • Event sponsorship (unless part of a broader project proposal)
    • Bursaries, scholarships, and/or awards (unless part of a broader project proposal)
  • Housing Initiatives area of focus of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation does not currently fund:
    • Capital campaigns (construction/renovation)