This article is a guest post from a professional grant writer, David Kincade.
My friends at Paper Leaf wanted to know: are website development grants for Canadian non-profits available, and feasible to win, when it comes to building a new website?
The short answer: Yes.
That said, the grant discovery process for non-profit website development can feel like untangling a big ball of Christmas lights sometimes. I’ve made that a lot easier: I’m going to walk you through three grants available to Canadian non-profits for website development – specifically in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.
As we dig into each grant, you will notice that some eligible expenses don’t specifically say “new website.” For these reasons, you should always call the grant agency before you write and get clarification.
Grants for non-profit websites in Alberta, BC, and Ontario
#1. CIP Project-Based Grant – Alberta
In Alberta, the first grant you need to study is called the CIP Project-Based grant. It’s a $75,000 grant for non-profit organizations to help build their website.
An eligible expense for this grant says “technology (website design, computers, software)”.
Nice and easy to understand. How sweet is that?
#2. Capital Project Grants – British Columbia
In British Columbia, I had to do some digging to find this website grant. When I found it, I called the grant agency to ensure that website development qualifies. Good news – it does!
Capital Project Grants provide applicants between 20 and 50 per cent of the total estimated project cost, up to a maximum of $250,000. Not-for-profit organizations throughout B.C. can apply to support the completion of inclusive, accessible capital projects that meet community-identified needs and priorities.
At the time of this article (May 2020), the grant agency confirmed to me that a British Columbia-based organization may apply for a project to cover the expense of a new website on a Capital project grant application. So, if that’s you, go get it!
#3. Northern Event Partnership Program – Ontario
In Ontario, I’m going to show you something different. Many non-profit organizations host events – and events are a huge opportunity for grants because the government wants to support tourism.
The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation has a grant called the Northern Event Partnerships Program. Eligible expenses include, “Raising the event profile/quality” and “Other enhancements, as deemed eligible by the NOHFC.” At this particular agency, the staff informed me that this grant looks at each project individually to see the costs required to host the event.
If your organization is hosting events, you should find your local grant agency. You too may find that websites are an eligible expense.
As a non-profit organization, you are likely eligible for a grant to build a new website. Once you find the grant that applies to your organization, make sure to call and double check to see if your new website is an eligible expense. Once that’s done, you can contact your web development agency and get your new site built right away, perhaps starting with a website audit or discovery phase. So dig into the above list of grants and get started – and if you need help winning the actual grant, take a look at the comprehensive guide I wrote on the subject, The Ultimate Guide for Winning Government Grants.