The Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) exists to ensure that every Black person in Canada thrives, and that all Black communities have agency in defining their own future by investing in Black-led, Black-serving, and Black-focused (B3) organizations.

FFBC is one of five organizations partnering with the Government of Canada to deliver funding for the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) – a $50 million fund designed to support social purpose organizations (SPOs).

Through IRP, FFBC aims to boost B3* Social Purpose Organizations’* participation in social innovation* and social finance*. With the support of Community Foundations of Canada (CFC),  FFBC will direct $1.5 million of IRP funding towards the entrepreneurship and innovation thriving in Black communities, thereby supporting Black people to develop greater well-being and economic prosperity throughout Canada.

Please note: SPOs working in the province of Québec should explore the IRP program offered through the Chantier de l’économie sociale.

 

Objectives 

FFBC’s IRP funding has three main objectives:

  1. Increase the quantity and quality of Black-led SPOs’ social innovation initiatives  
  2. Support B3 SPO preparedness to access social finance 
  3. Provide opportunities for organizational growth and development

Grant Eligibility 

Social purpose organizations operating in Canada are eligible to apply for IRP funds. To be eligible for FFBC’s IRP grant, social purpose organizations must:  

  • Demonstrate they have a plan to carry out the proposed project for which they are applying
  • Have a social purpose that considers, and aligns with, the priorities of Black communities in Canada
  • Have, or plan to have, a mechanism that generates revenue from the sales of goods and/or services. Revenue from donations does not count in this context.
  • Plan to seek social finance investment via the Government of Canada’s broader Social Finance Fund, or other financing opportunities, such as loans.

FFBC’s IRP grant is divided into two streams – the Explore stream and the Stabilize & Build stream. FFBC will only be accepting one application per IRP round, regardless of the stream. This means that if you apply under the Explore stream, you cannot apply under the Stabilize & Build stream. However, Black SPOs can choose to submit the same project to both FFBC and partner organization CFC to improve the chances of receiving IRP funding.

Explore Stream (up to $25,000) 

The Explore stream is focused on supporting SPOs at the planning, research, and piloting phase of investment readiness. This stream is open to: 

  • Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving not-for-profit and charitable organizations
  • Black-owned and operated social enterprises/businesses with a social purpose that considers and aligns with the priorities and experiences of Black communities
  • Ad-hoc/informal B3 groups, B3 collectives, and individual Black leaders with a social purpose that considers and aligns with the priorities and experiences of Black communities.

Informal/unincorporated groups or individuals that are recommended for funding will require an Incorporated Partner before payment is released. An Incorporated Partner is a not-for-profit or charitable organization that supports unincorporated Black groups and individuals with the receipt of FFBC grant funds and other support as agreed to by the two parties.   

Explore Stream Priorities  

Eligible Black-led SPOs, collectives, community leaders, and entrepreneurs under the Explore stream will be granted funds to:

  • develop or launch a social enterprise operation/business initiative that does/plans to generate revenue and profit from the sale of goods/services;
  • explore and/or launch a community-driven social innovation project (e.g. other social innovation projects, community bond raising project, outcomes contract project, etc).

Example Grants: 

  • A B3 organization receives funding to undertake a feasibility study for a new landscaping business focused on providing jobs for Black youth with disabilities.
  • A group of Black parents receive funding to explore the creation of a co-operative day-care for their kids.
  • A charitable organization receives funds to pilot a Community Bonds and Micro-Lending program focused on providing start-up capital to Black entrepreneurs.
  • An Black individual receives funding to create a business plan for a culturally appropriate meal prep service for Black seniors.

Stabilize & Build stream (up to $75,000)  

The Stabilize & Build stream is focused on supporting SPOs with expansion and growth of established social purpose projects. This stream is open to:

  • Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving not-for-profit and charitable organizations
  • Black collaboratives
  • Black-owned and operated social enterprises/businesses with a social purpose that considers and aligns with the priorities and experiences of Black communities

Stabilize & Build Stream Priorities

Eligible SPOs under the Stabilize & Build stream will be granted funds to:  

  • grow or scale a social enterprise operation/business initiative that does/plans to generate revenue and profit from the sale of goods/services
  • develop and/or expand a community-driven social innovation project (e.g. other social innovation projects, community bond raising project, outcomes contract project, etc).
  • develop, launch or grow a social enterprise that plans to generate revenue and profit from the sale of goods/services

Example Grants:

  • A B3 organization receives funding to create business plan to expand their landscaping business focused on providing jobs for Black youth with disabilities
  • A Black not-for-profit organization receive funding to explore social finance as a means of support for their cooperative daycare
  • A charitable organization receives funds to measure the impact of their Community Bonds and Micro-Lending program focused on providing start-up capital to Black-entrepreneurs
  • A Black entrepreneur receives funds to explore the right corporate structure for a community farm that will increase revenue through increased food production.

Eligible Expenses  

  • Staffing costs: Salaries, mandatory employment-related costs and employee benefits for staff positions funded specifically to carry out the project.
  • Non-Staffing costs: Purchased services, workshops, meetings, convening, supplies and materials, evaluation, travel, and equipment.
  • Overhead and Administrative costs: Overhead and administrative costs directly associated with the funded project.

Ineligible Expenses  

  • General fundraising (i.e. capital campaigns)   
  • Endowments
  • Expenses unrelated to the project
  • Partisan political activities
  • Projects established for a religious purpose or religious activities
  • Projects outside of Canada

Eligible expenses 

  • Staffing costs: Salaries, mandatory employment-related costs and employee benefits for staff positions funded specifically to carry out the project.
  • Non-Staffing costs: Purchased services, workshops, meetings, convening, supplies and materials, evaluation, travel, and equipment.
  • Overhead and Administrative costs: Overhead and administrative costs directly associated with the funded project.

Ineligible Expenses  

  • General fundraising (i.e. capital campaigns)
  • Endowments
  • Expenses unrelated to the project
  • Partisan political activities
  • Projects established for a religious purpose or religious activities
  • Projects outside of Canada

Grant Amount & Deadlines  

Grant Amounts: Maximum $25,000 (Explore); maximum $75,000 (Stabilize & Build) 

Grant Duration: Minimum 3 months - Maximum 12 months  

Important Dates

Portal Open for Profile Creation & Applications: September 29, 2022 

Application Deadline: December 1, 2022

Decisions Announced: February 2023  

SPOs that receive an IRP grant are expected to complete the funded project between 3 months to a year after having received the funds. A final report will be due to FFBC one month after the project has ended.

 Questions?  

Contact us at grants@forblackcommunities.org