Public Conservation Assistance Fund (PCAF) Grant

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to C $20,000

Deadline: May 16, 2019 4:30pm PDT

Applicant type: Organizations Individuals

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Canada

Location of residency: Canada

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It is the mission of HCTF to improve the conservation outcomes of BC’s fish and wildlife, and the habitats in which they live. We make a difference by funding conservation projects and by educating and engaging the public about BC’s natural assets.

Public Conservation Assistance Fund (PCAF) Grant

The Public Conservation Assistance Fund provides small grants to organizations and individuals who have a conservation project in mind but need financial help to make it happen.  Each year since 1974, the Province of BC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation provide approximately $150,000 in PCAF grants to help implement on-the-ground conservation work, with a particular focus on hands-on, community based and public awareness initiatives. More than 1000 such projects have been carried out under the program so far.

Eligible project examples include:

  • Improving spawning ground
  • Building bird houses
  • Planting shrubs for cover
  • Tagging/monitoring animals
  • Restoring riparian areas
  • Restoring grasslands
  • Building waterfowl nesting floats
  • Improving winter range 

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


  • PCAF grants only support projects in British Columbia
  • Projects must be of a conservation nature
  • There’s almost no limit to on-the-ground activities we consider, as long as it contributes to the conservation of wildlife and fisheries. 
  • Restoration projects:
    • Please use only native plant species.
  • Research and Inventory type projects:
    • The proposal must describe how the project applies to the conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitats.
    • Any research, inventory, or other type of project must be clearly linked to a specific conservation issue and result in, or propose, a practical course of action to solve a conservation problem.
    • Make sure you use standard inventory techniques; check with the provincial fish and wildlife staff to ensure data collected will be useful. Experimental techniques may be considered.
  • Allowable recreation projects:
    • Projects with the main purpose of providing public use should direct human activity in such a way as to
      • minimize environmental damage and,
      • promote access for legitimate use (fishing and wildlife viewing access, etc).
    • Such projects may also involve education or interpretive resources to increase public participation, awareness and enjoyment of natural resources.
  • Allowable communications projects – public awareness:
    • Communication products must be part of the specific PCAF project or the conservation issue the project addresses. This may include relevant signs,brochures, and pamphlets.
  • Wildlife rehabilitation centers:
    • A one-time only grant not exceeding $5000 may be given to wildlife rehabilitation centres towards startup costs.
  • PCAF proposals overlapping with HCTF projects:
    • In some cases, PCAF proposals may be associated with HCTF projects to the benefit of both projects. Please ensure the following conditions are met:
      • The PCAF project must be a discrete, volunteer component that adds value to the HCTF project.
      • The applicant must fully describe how PCAF activities relate to the HCTF project.
      • PCAF funds must be used only for work carried out by volunteers.
  • General funding requirements:
    • You may apply for a maximum of $10,000 in any one year. 
    • Only one application per organization or individual is allowed per funding cycle.
    • You have 5 years to complete a project.
    • If your project requires more than one year of funding, you must reapply for each granting year and provide a progress report which states your expenditures and describes the work you have done to date.  
    • The maximum funding for projects is $20,000 over multiple years.
  • Matching funds:
    • HCTF funds must be matched by the organization. Your contribution is made up of volunteer labour plus allowable donations.
    • At least half of your contribution must be made up of volunteer labour.  Volunteer labour is calculated at $10.00/hour.
    • Your remaining contribution may be in the form of allowable donations made to your project. These include such things as: 
      • The value of donated labour.
        • For example, if a consultant or equipment operator donates a day’s worth of services to your project, you may claim that day’s wage as a financial contribution.
      • The value of donated materials or equipment.
      • Cash donations from your club.
  • Miscellaneous expenses:
    • Reasonable costs of meals, rental or use of equipment or facilities are acceptable expenses.
    • Generally, rent of facilities should be for short-term use not ongoing office rental.


  • Priority is given to projects that focus on activities that maintain, conserve, or restore native (indigenous) fish and wildlife species and their habitats.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who undertake habitat restoration/conservation projects with long-range benefits involving as many volunteers as possible over those with short-term gains such as winter feeding.
  • Please report any other grants, as partnership funding may be an advantage. 


  • Grant applications must be approved before commencing your project. PCAF will not fund proposals retroactively.
  • Sorry, PCAF grants are not available to fund the following types of projects or activities:
    • Lecture series or conventions
    • Photographic documentaries
    • Promotion of business opportunities
    • Projects that require ongoing maintenance as grant money is not available for that purpose, unless you can provide evidence of secured funding for that purpose.
    • Payment of wages (except for contracted equipment or special expertise required in the field e.g. a biologist, restoration specialist, etc).
    • Payment of vehicle mileage (although actual fuel costs can be covered).
  • In addition to the ineligible activities listed above, please review the following:
    • Communications projects – public awareness:
      • Club newsletters, journals, or websites are not eligible for funding.
    • Wildlife rehabilitation centers:
      • PCAF does not fund feed, veterinarian services and/or the purchase of medicine.
    • PCAF proposals overlapping with HCTF projects:
      • You cannot apply for PCAF activities or materials that have been funded by the HCTF project (i.e. no duplicate funding).
      • HCTF Project staff time, HCTF project funds, or use of HCTF project equipment may not be claimed as in-kind donations in the PCAF budget.
    • Matching funds:
      • Grant monies received for the project from other agencies is NOT an allowable donation (this includes government, as well as any other organization you receive a grant from).