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Funding for Stewards

The strength of a stewardship group often lies in its ability to garner community support and access funding and donated resources for projects. This section features resources on how to develop financial sustainability for your group, tips for writing successful grant applications and some key sources of stewardship funding in Alberta.

  • Financial Fitness: An Overview – Developed by Vancity, this handbook is a quick and useful overview of the elements required for a non-profit organization to be financially sustainable. Learn what you need to know about the qualities of a financially healthy non-profit organization, and how to ensure stable programming for your group to achieve its goals over time.
  • Writing a Successful Grant Proposal – Increase your odds of securing funding for your project. This manual offers clear suggestions and examples to assist with the development of successful Letters of Intent and grant proposals aimed at a wide variety of funders.

Funding Sources

Here is a list of some key organizations committed to providing funding to grassroots stewardship in Alberta.

  • Alberta Conservation Association: Conservation, Community and Education Grants The funding supports individuals, organizations and communities that contribute to fish and wildlife population health and the health of their environments, as well as the understanding, appreciation and use of those environments. Projects that increase outdoor participation and awareness of these opportunities, while developing knowledge and respect for conservation, are also funded. Small grants are $3,000 or less, and large grants are for over $3,000.
  • Alberta Ecotrust: Community Grants and Major Grants Community grants support community-based projects that typically focus on local opportunities for change through stewardship and action. These projects must be completed in one year. Maximum grant amount is $7,500. The Major Grants program is designed to support more comprehensive projects that have the potential to result in substantial environmental benefit. The application process is more comprehensive and is undertaken in two parts. These projects must be completed within a year. Maximum grant is $30,000.
  • Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Community Contributions – Apply online for small donations of MEC products or gift cards to raise funds or reward volunteers, or submit an application for MEC Capacity Building or Advocacy and Education Grants. Annual deadlines in March and September.
  • TD Friends of the Environment – The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) is a national organization with a uniquely local focus. There are six TD FEF chapters in Alberta, each with its own Local Advisory Board that reviews applications based on the specific needs of the environment in their community. The Foundation has a grassroots focus that funds community projects dedicated to preserving the environment. Applications reviewed quarterly each year.
  • Watershed Stewardship Grant Program – Land Stewardship Centre’s Watershed Stewardship Grant Program is made possible through the Government of Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy. Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded to watershed stewardship groups which are working in their communities to raise awareness of local watershed issues or improve the condition of their local watershed. Applications accepted in January.

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Photo credit Kristian Stephens.

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