Important dates

Application deadlines:

  • January 15
  • May 15
  • September 15

Funds must be spent within 30 months of receiving the grant payment.


The Community Initiatives Program (CIP), Operating grant stream supports core operations and capacity building for non-profit organizations whose mission, outcomes, and services makes an impact in one of the following priority areas:

  • enhancing the quality of life of Albertans by providing direct programs and services that address social issues
  • creating equitable access to human, social and economic resources and services for all Albertans
  • supporting community collaborations, involving multiple organizations to address broader human or social issues

For more information, read the CIP Operating Guidelines (PDF, 174 KB).


CIP Operating provides 2 levels of funding:

  • Core funding, up to a maximum of $60,000 on a matching basis for existing  operating and administration of a non-profit organization to further its mission
  • Organizational Development funding, up to a maximum of $15,000 on a non-matching basis for organizations to strengthen the organization

Organizations that are requesting Core funding can also request additional Organizational Development funding for initiatives that strengthen the organization. Organizations must apply for Core funding, and cannot apply for Organizational Development funding by itself.

Matching funds

CORE funding is approved on a matching basis. The applicant must demonstrate the ability to contribute an amount equal to or exceeding the CORE funding request. Eligible matching funds include recent non-government-based revenue (fundraising), in-kind goods and services, and volunteer hours for the organization.  All matching funds must be secured prior to the application deadline.

For more details about matching funding, read the CIP Operating Guidelines (PDF, 174 KB).

Use the CIP Operating Grant Worksheet Template (XLS, 18 KB) to determine matching eligibility.

Organizations can only be approved for CIP Operating funding once every three years.

Multiple applications

Organizations can 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 Community Initiatives Program (CIP) grant streams (Project-Based, Operating, International Development or Major Cultural and Sport Events).
  • Capital grant requests can be accessed under CFEP and capital equipment grant requests can be accessed through CIP Project-Based.


Eligible applicants

Organizations must have a primary mission or objective in one of the following areas:

  • enhance the quality of life of Albertans by providing direct services and programs that address social issues
  • create equitable access to human, social, and economic resources and services for all Albertans
  • support community collaborations, involving multiple organizations, in addressing broader human or social issues.

To be eligible for the CIP Operating grant, all applicants must be classified as one of the following:

  • a registered community non-profit organization in Alberta (and in good standing) under one of these Acts:
    • Provincial Legislation
      • Societies Act
      • Part 21 of the Business Corporations Act - Extra-Provincial Corporations
      • Part 9 of the Companies Act, (Nonprofit Companies)
      • Special Act of the Alberta Legislature
      • Agriculture Societies Act
    • Federal Legislation
      • Special Act of the Parliament of Canada
      • Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and must be registered in Alberta under the Business Corporations Act
      • Income Tax Act (of Canada and operating in the Province of Alberta (Charities))
  • First Nations and M├ętis Settlements
  • a collaborative with the following conditions in place:
    • the applicant organization is a registered nonprofit organization, in good-standing, under one of the above mentioned Acts
    • the organizational structure of the collaborative, including the roles and responsibilities of the collaborative partners and the decision making process is clearly documented
    • a multi-year strategic plan with clear goals and priorities is utilized
    • there is a documented history of operating and achieving results in Alberta for at least one year
    • financial resources are shared among the collaborative partners

Organizations must be legally registered and operating in Alberta for at least one year, and must have an Alberta-based address, which must be regularly monitored by an active member of the organization.

Ineligible applicants

The following applicants are not eligible to apply for funding under the CIP Operating stream:

  • municipalities
  • for-profit organizations
  • organizations not registered under one of the above mentioned Acts
  • funding agencies or other funders
  • organizations that primarily benefit those outside of Alberta
  • organizations receiving funding from the Enhanced Capacity Advancement Program
  • organizations that have overdue or incomplete accounting/reporting relating to any grant    previously awarded by the Government of Alberta
  • organizations that are not legally registered and operating in Alberta for one year
  • individuals

Eligible expenses

Core eligible expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • wage and salaries for existing staff, including administrative, finance, and program staff as well as the Executive Director, Administrative staff
  • staff and volunteer training opportunities located in Alberta
  • rent
  • utilities
  • insurance
  • advertising, marketing, and communication expenses
  • travel within Alberta
  • office and program supplies
  • evaluation, data collection, auditing, and reporting
  • other ongoing operating pressures as identified by the applicant

Organizational Development eligible initiatives may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • communications and marketing development
  • research, feasibility studies, and engagement processes
  • fund development and training
  • operational enhancements
  • technology upgrades, training, and implementation
  • staff and volunteer training or program development
  • collaborative relationship building
  • other initiatives

Ineligible expenses

CIP Operating funding cannot be used for expenses related to:

  • events, performances, festivals, celebrations and related costs
  • start-up costs
  • debt retirement or deficit reduction
  • endowment funds
  • tours or field trips
  • capital or facility improvements
  • equipment and furnishings
  • land or facility purchase
  • vehicles
  • scholarships, prizes, gratuities, gifts, individual awards and payments for individual benefit
  • expenses incurred prior to application deadline
  • costs that are completed prior to the anticipated notification of decision
  • expenditures that receive other funding from Culture and Tourism
  • costs that have been covered through other Government of Alberta funded programs for the same purpose
  • flow-through funds to another organization
  • other expenses deemed ineligible as per the Community Initiatives Program guidelines

How to apply

Step 1. Fill out an application package

Applications are also available through the Community Grants office. Contact the office for more information.

The Board President or Chair must sign the grant agreement.

Keep a complete copy of your application as you may be contacted if further information or clarification is required.

Step 2. Submit an application

Application packages can be emailed to or mailed to:

Community Initiatives Program
Operating Grant Stream
Alberta Culture and Tourism
905, 10405 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4R7

After you apply

Applicants will be notified about the results during the following times:

  • July (January 15 deadline)
  • November (May 15 deadline)
  • March  (September 15 deadline)

All decisions on grant applications are final, and no appeals will be considered.

Specific terms and conditions of the grant are provided once approved.

Reporting requirements

You must complete your financial accounting for the CIP Operating grant (see pages 15 and 16 of the guidelines for further details) using the Final CIP Operating Final Report Form and Final Report Financial Template (FCAR).

Previous grant recipients

You can find previous grant recipients in the Previous Grant Recipients Database.


Lori Campbell
Phone:780-427-0387 (Edmonton)
Toll free: 310-0000 (before the phone number)

Winston McConnell
Phone: 780-422-2258 (Edmonton) 
Toll free: 310-0000 (before the phone number)


Community Initiatives Program
Operating Grant Stream
Alberta Culture and Tourism
905, 10405 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4R7