Giving Thanks for Community Initiatives Program Grant


Last week we received an email from the kind folks at Alberta Culture and Tourism confirming the completion of the final step in the evaluation of our work over the past year and a half, which was financed in part by an Operating Grant under the Community Initiatives Program (“CIP”).

We at Volunteer Airdrie were so thankful when we received the grant in March, 2015.  Our funding from the City of Airdrie’s FCSS program had ended just a few months earlier and represented 80% of our income.  To say the least, it was a turning point in the evolution of Volunteer Airdrie.  With a full-time staff member to pay, as well as rent on our new “storefront” office in the Boys & Girls Club of Airdrie’s Clubhouse on Allen Street, the CIP Operating Grant provided us with some breathing room and time to make adjustments.

The Community Initiatives Program (CIP) funds initiatives that enhance and enrich communities throughout Alberta. The program:

  • Reinvests revenues generated from provincial lotteries to communities
  • Empowers local citizens and community organizations to work together
  • Responds to local needs

The funding limits are:

  • Project-Based Grant – maximum $75,000.
  • Operating Grant – maximum $75,000.
  • International Development Grant – maximum $25,000.

Organizations are eligible to apply for one capital and one non-capital grant per government fiscal year (April 1 – March 31). Non-capital grant requests can be accessed through any one of the CIP grant streams. Capital grant requests can be accessed under CIP Project Based or the Community Facility Enhancement Program. Operating and programming funding from CIP will be limited to one grant per organization in each government fiscal year.

Funding assistance can be requested for:

  • Projects or new initiatives
  • Planning studies
  • Capital projects
  • Special funding (i.e., disaster requests within Alberta)
  • Core operating or programming costs, including staff and rent

This last point was of particular importance to Volunteer Airdrie as funding for “core operating” expenses is very difficult to find these days.  Most sources of non-profit funding are targeted solely at programs providing measurable outcomes to those in need.

Volunteer Airdrie’s application for the CIP Operating Grant was based on the number of hours of time volunteered by our Board in 2014.  The 2,000 hours of volunteer time was valued at $15/hour or $30,000.  Combined with the $4,000+ of eligible fundraising we had done (which is matched by the government), Volunteer Airdrie qualified to apply for $34,000 (i.e. well under the $75,000 limit).  Due to the number of applications and the amount of funding available at that time, Volunteer Airdrie received 59.4% of its application, or $20,420.

The CIP Operating Grant is only available once every three (3) years, so our next opportunity to apply will be in early 2018.

Volunteer Airdrie sincerely gives thanks today to Alberta Culture and Tourism for providing a life line to us in our time of need!


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