Community Grants FAQ

Are you planning to apply for a Community Grant through Saskatoon Community Foundation?

Vital Focus Grants provide multi-year funding focused on homelessness, mental health, and equity. Quality of Life Grants support one-year projects focused on belonging, inclusion, and reconciliation. Youth Endowment Saskatoon Grants support children and youth.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions we receive from applicants.

How do I create an online account?

Go to any “Apply Online” link on any of our grants pages in the website. (All applications begin at the same login point.) Click on “Create new account.” Follow the steps to enter your organization and personal information to create your account.

Is my organization eligible to apply for a Community Grant?

Most Community Grants are open only to qualified donees as defined by the Income Tax Act of Canada. Some grant programs will consider a partnership between two organizations to allow non-qualified donees to apply. You are eligible to apply if your organization is a registered charity or municipality.

Some First Nations and Tribal Councils are qualified donees, but not all. (Organizations must apply to CRA to receive qualified donee status.) Visit the CRA website to read about qualified donee status.

If your organization is an incorporated non-profit organization, but not a charity or other qualified donee, you are not eligible to apply. In some cases, it may be possible to partner with a qualified donee which can act as a fiscal sponsor for the program to receive the funds.

Can I apply to more than one Community Grant program?

While it is not likely that a single project would be a good fit for more than one Community Grant program, it is not against policy to apply. It is possible that one organization has multiple projects which could fit different grants programs. There is no guarantee that an application will result in a successful grant.

Do projects need to be new or can groups apply for core funding for programs already happening in the community?

Projects do not need to be new. However, if they are well-established and have been funded by others in the past, we will want to understand why you need our support. Have costs increased? Has another source of funding been lost? Are you asking us to support an expansion of services in a new area or to a new group of clients?

Can organizations partner together on a program and make a joint application?

Our Foundation encourages collaboration among organizations. Partnerships can create powerful outcomes and create efficiencies for service delivery or costs. If your application with a partner organization is successful, the Foundation will issue the grant payment to one organization. You can show in your application budget how the partners will utilize the resources in delivering the project.

My project involves reconciliation, but the Community Fund for Reconciliation is no longer granting. Can I still apply for a Community Grant?

Yes. The Quality of Life grants program supports reconciliation projects. As well, if your project also addresses inequities in the community, and makes a measurable impact over several years, it could be a fit for the Vital Focus grants program.

Do I need all the revenues listed in my budget to be confirmed at the time I submit my application?

No, we understand it is often possible to have all revenues confirmed at the time of application. Your other funders, sponsors and partners have different timing for their decisions. You may have plans to approach a corporate partner or major donor when it is optimal for you or for them. We see budgets as overview projections of expected revenues and expenditures for a project. In many situations, Saskatoon Community Foundation can support only a portion of the overall costs for a project. We recommend include details about revenue sources, whether they are confirmed or not, the date they will be confirmed, and whether you have received support from these sources in the past. Our reviewers can then understand how the projected is supported, which other partners are involved, and how likely other revenues are to be received.

Do all the expenses in my budget need to be exact?

Budgets are projections of expected revenues and expenses. They should be as exact as possible at the time of submission, based on the knowledge you have. If you have a standard rate of pay for staffing and benefits, then you should be able to calculate those costs quite accurately. If you need to book venues for events or programs, those costs may be more variable. Some costs can change during a year. Generally, you should try to provide a clear and accurate picture of the revenues and expenditures. If some parts are difficult to predict accurately, please explain. Likewise, It is quite typical for there to be some variances between the application budget and the final budget submitted as part of a follow-up report. If they are very different, please explain how that happened.

What is the difference between outputs and outcomes? Why does the Foundation prefer measurement of outcomes?

Saskatoon Community Foundation recognizes that community-based organizations work hard to produce good results for people in the community. Doing evaluation requires resources, and smaller smaller organizations may not have capacity for detailed evaluation.

Outputs are generally easier to track compared to outcomes. These are your project’s activities or deliverables. For example, how many sessions were offered for a program? How many people attended each session? How many people received a service or support?

Outcomes describe what changed for your client based on their participation. Did they learn or improve a skill? Were they connected to services they previously did not access? Did their physical or mental health improve? Did they experience a greater sense of well-being or belonging?

Examples of outputs and outcomes are as varied as the organizations and projects in the community. In your application and reporting, plan to describe what changed and how you tracked that change. If you can define that clearly, your application will be more effective.

Is an applicant guide available online?

You will find an applicant guide, eligibility requirements, scope, focus areas, and important dates for all grants programs on our grants webpages. We encourage you to use the new “Where to Apply” interactive tool.

Is it possible to set up meetings to discuss my application before submitting?

We strive to define the parameters and focus areas for our grants programs as clearly as possible. Likewise, the questions in our applications should not be surprising or difficult to understand. They focus on the activities of your project, the outcomes and impact expected from those activities and how the funds will be used. Our goal is to offer clear and transparent processes to which any applicant should be able to respond. As part of changes to our grants programs beginning in 2024, we have created a new “Where to Apply” tool, an applicant guide and this FAQ.

 We understand you may have questions, particularly if this is your first application to the Foundation. If you have questions that cannot be addressed by these online resources, please contact Donor Relations and Grants Coordinator Vital Focus grants program, we will contact shortlisted applicants for the Vital Focus grants program to schedule discovery meetings to fully discuss your application and needs. These discovery meetings occur before the full applications are submitted. We value these discovery meetings as we establish long-term partnerships through the Vital Focus grants program.

When are follow-up reports due?

Completing follow-up reports on time is important, and failure to do so can affect decisions on future applications. We use reports from grant recipients plus stories, photos, and videos to communicate to our stakeholders about the impact of the Foundation’s funded projects. Receiving this information from you is vital.

Most follow-up reports are assigned with deadlines up to nine months after funding is received. We ask that recipients report back on their projects on completion of the project, or after nine months, whichever comes first. However, we also understand that projects start and finish at different times, run for different lengths of time, and sometimes have adjusted timelines compared to the original application. If you need to adjust your report deadline based on when your project will finish or because you have had to adjust your timeline, in most cases, we are willing to change the report deadline. To request a change to your report deadline, please contact Donor Relations and Grants Coordinator Krys Hertzke.

Do you have questions that were not answered? Contact us!