Tips and Application Information for Canada’s Community Service Recovery Fund hero image

January 25, 2023 | Categories DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, Featured, Fundraising Strategies, Nonprofit News

Tips and Application Information for Canada’s Community Service Recovery Fund

Good news for nonprofits in Canada! The Canadian government is investing $400 million toward pandemic recovery with the newly established Community Service Recovery Fund. Eligible organizations have until February 21, 2023 at 5:00 PM PT to apply, and awards range from $10,000 to $500,000. 

Here are the requirements, essential details, and tips for strengthening your nonprofit’s application. 

About the fund

The Community Service Recovery Fund (CSRF) was announced in November 2022 with the intent of strengthening community service organizations as they navigate both short and long-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund has three primary investment priorities: 

1. People

Funding will support one-time projects that focus on how organizations recruit, retain, engage, and support their personnel. Examples include: 

  • Supports and training for staff, volunteers and/or board members
  • Human and volunteer resource structures and policies
  • Recruitment and retention strategies for staff, volunteers and/or board members
  • Mental health supports for staff, volunteers and/or board members
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
  • Other activities to help your staff, volunteers and/or boards modernize or adapt

2. Systems and processes

Funding will support one-time projects that invest in the systems and processes involved in creating the internal workings of an organization’s overall structure. Examples include: 

  • Investment in contact management systems
  • Implementation of a new communications plan or fundraising strategy
  • Enhancement of a new accounting system
  • Exploring a merger or amalgamation amongst one or more Community Service Organization(s)
  • Other activities to help your organization and systems modernize or adapt

3. Program and service innovation and redesign 

Funding will support one-time projects primarily focused on program and service innovation and redesign using information gained during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Examples include: 

  • Exploring the adaptation of a program, service, or service delivery system 
  • Testing or piloting a program, service or service delivery system that was redesigned or adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Purchasing equipment or other program materials to facilitate the adaptation of a program and/or service 
  • Evaluating or analyzing the adaptation or redesign of a program, service, or service delivery system that was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Other activities to help your organization modernize or adapt its program and services

The national funders include the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada, and United Way Centraide Canada, who will work together to distribute the fund using their combined expertise and knowledge of community services organizations nationwide. 

Eligibility requirements

The CSRF offers an eligibility quiz to remove the guesswork before you apply. Here are the basic criteria: 

  • Only community service organizations may apply. This includes nonprofit organizations, Indigenous governing bodies, and registered charities/other qualified donees registered with the Canada Revenue Service
  • Applicants must provide services to communities in Canada
  • Applicants must be in good standing with the Canada Revenue Service, provincial registry, or other applicable regulatory body
  • Applicants must have a governance structure in place with at least three people on the board, management committee, or other type of governing body
  • Applicants must work in one of the following areas:
    • Arts and culture 
    • Development and housing 
    • Education and research (provincial/territorial entities are excluded)
    • Environment 
    • Health (provincial/territorial entities are excluded) 
    • Law, advocacy and politics 
    • Philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism promotion 
    • Social services 
    • Sports and recreation 
    • Faith-based

Learn more about grant metrics from Robin Cabral, MA, CFRE, MFIA with Measuring the Success of Your Fundraising Grants Program.


The CSRF is divided into two streams to recognize the local and broader-scale impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Community service organizations that serve a portion of a province or territory must apply through the Local Stream, and those that serve the entire country, an entire province/territory, or multiple provinces/territories must apply to the National/Provincial/Territorial Stream.

Each stream has two tiers of funding opportunities, depending on the status of the project and additional eligibility requirements. Local Stream grants range from $10,000 – $200,000 (with most projects falling between $10,000 – $100,000), and National/Provincial/Territorial Stream grants range from $20,000 – $500,000 (with most projects falling between $20,000 – $200,000). 

Resources and tips

Here is a directory of all applicant resources. Additionally, here are some resources we’d like to call special attention to, and ways DonorPerfect can help strengthen this and other grant applications:

  1. CSRF Applicant Guide gives a complete overview of the fund, how to apply, and other additional eligibility requirements
  2. FAQs includes more examples of eligible and ineligible projects, and how applications are evaluated 
  3. The Branding Toolkit and DonorPerfect’s Design Tips for Nonprofits will help you create a cohesive and visually appealing application
  4. How to apply webinar and slides will walk you through the essential steps

Moves Management in DonorPerfect helps you keep track of your grant application deadlines, next steps, and everything you need in one place.

Design Tips for nonprofits ebook mockup

DonorPerfect is a comprehensive software solution that helps fundraising professionals dedicate their time to where it matters most: building quality relationships with their communities to support and sustain their nonprofits. Get a demo today to see how DonorPerfect can help you raise 20% more funds in your first year with us!

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Meet the author: Emily Zacek

Emily Zacek joined the DonorPerfect team as a copywriter in January, 2022. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 with degrees in flute performance and organizational studies, and her undergraduate thesis focused on labor activity trends in American arts nonprofits. She brings a...

Learn more about Emily Zacek
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