Table of contents

The 2020 application intake is closed.


The new Civil Society Fund (CSF) provides $20 million to expand civil society’s capacity to address social problems for Albertans. Of that, $7 million is budgeted for 2020/21 to support civil society’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Civil society includes non-profit and voluntary organizations, registered charities, informal groups or movements pursuing shared interests or values and private-sector organizations and individuals pursuing social good.

Civil society plays a critical role in the well-being of Albertans and contributes significantly to Alberta’s economy. This fund will be used to build even more effective civil society organizations by leveraging the existing strengths of the sector. An effective, sustainable recovery for civil society will play an important role in Alberta’s overall recovery.

CSF funding is one-time only. Funding will not be provided to support the ongoing delivery of social programs and service or routine operational requirements of organizations.

CSF funding is also time limited. Successful applicants will have 24 months from the date of the grant agreement to complete their grant activities.

Eligible applicants can request up to $1,500,000 for their project. Proposals may be approved at a lesser amount than what was requested.

Fund overview
Funding range Maximum funding: $1,500,000 per project
Project length Up to 24 months from date of the grant agreement
Application deadline January 20, 2021
Application process
  1. Read the Civil Society Fund Guidelines and download an application form.
  2. Submit applications and supporting documents to [email protected] by January 20, 2021.

Applicants may be asked to submit or present supplementary information.

Grant agreement Grant agreement upon approval of the application.
Reporting requirements Interim reports
  • Includes progress update and interim financial reporting
Final report
  • Includes outcomes reporting and financial reporting (audited statements or review engagement report)


Eligible projects

Proposals must demonstrate how the project can support transformational change for their organization or the broader civil society sector. Transformational change involves significantly expanding the capacity of civil society to address pressing social issues.

Organizations applying for funding must demonstrate that their proposed project aligns with at least one of the following priority areas:

  • system infrastructure
  • civil society research and data
  • organizational transformation
  • financial sustainability and resilience

Ineligible projects

While funding may support the design and development of innovative approaches to service delivery, funding will not support projects focused on the ongoing delivery of programs or services.

Operational and administrative costs beyond those related directly to the project will not be funded.

Eligible organizations

To be eligible for the CSF as a primary applicant, all applicants must:

  1. be classified as one of the following:
    • a registered community not-for-profit organization, in good standing, under one of the following acts:

      Provincial legislation (Alberta)

      • Societies Act
      • Part 21 of the Business Corporations Act – Extra-Provincial Corporations – Must have an Alberta-based address that is regularly monitored by an active member of the organization.
      • Companies Act, Part 9 (Not-for-profit companies)
      • Special Act of the Legislature
      • Agricultural Societies Act
      • Religious Societies Land Act, Part 2

      Federal legislation (Canada)

      • Special Act of Parliament
      • Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and must be registered in Alberta under the Business Corporations Act
      • Income Tax Act (and operating in the Province of Alberta (Charities)) – Must have an Alberta based address that is regularly monitored by an active member of the organization.
      • Board of Trade Act, Part 2 (Chambers of Commerce)
    • a First Nation
    • a Metis Settlement, or
    • a Collaborative: Collaboratives or collaborative projects are eligible for funding when the following elements are in place:
      • the applicant organization is a registered nonprofit organization, in good-standing, under one of the above mentioned acts
      • the collaborative’s structure, 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 in Alberta for at least one year
      • financial resources are shared among the collaborative partners
  2. have been legally registered and operating in Alberta for a minimum of one full year

Ineligible organizations

The following groups or organizations are ineligible to apply to the CSF as the primary applicant:

  • municipalities
  • for-profit organizations
  • schools or school boards
  • post-secondary institutions
  • organizations not registered under one of the above mentioned acts
  • funding agencies or other funders
  • organizations that primarily benefit those outside of Alberta
  • 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 full year
  • individuals

Ineligible organizations may partner with eligible organizations on proposals, if appropriate.

Review the Civil Society Fund Guidelines for full eligibility and criteria information.

How to apply

Step 1. Read the Civil Society Fund guidelines

Step 2. Download and complete the application form

Applicants must complete the CSF application form to support their application package. This mandatory form and any supporting materials will allow applicants to provide a comprehensive project proposal.

Step 3. Submit the application form

The application package is due by 11:59 pm MST on January 20, 2021. Applications and all supporting documents must be submitted to [email protected].

Receipt of applications will be confirmed within three business days.

Once the application deadline has passed, no changes to applications will be accepted. The application will be considered as final. It is vital to ensure the application is correct and complete before it is submitted.

After you apply

Proposals will be evaluated for alignment with the fund’s objectives, funding priorities and other criteria. Please see Section 4 of the Civil Society Fund Guidelines for criteria and eligibility requirements.

The review and decision-making process takes approximately 8 to 10 weeks.

Applicants can expect to receive confirmation of their application status by email before the end of the 2020/21 fiscal year, which is March 31, 2021.

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

Specific terms and conditions of the grant are provided in the grant agreement.


Connect with Civil Society Fund staff:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-5916
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]


3rd Floor, 44 Capital Blvd
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5E6