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Social Innovation Project Grants

In 2018, we will be administering the application process for our Social Innovation Project Grants jointly with the Vancouver Foundation . The call for Letters of Interest will open on July 3, with a submission deadline of July 20.

To reduce the administrative burden on nonprofit organizations, applicants interested in applying to both the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Foundation will be able to submit one online application for consideration by both.

Current status Closed
Next call for Letters of Interest (LOI) 2019
Deadline for receipt of LOI 2019

What is a socially-innovative approach?

There is no single, universally-agreed upon definition of social innovation. In general, a socially innovative approach:

  • Addresses social issues by applying new learning and strategies to positively affect change
  • Has a measurable impact on the broader social, political, and economic contexts that created or support continuation of the issue being addressed
  • Is designed to explore what might work to trigger longer term systems, rather than implementing “program models” with known actions and clear end points
  • Recognizes that, while the long-term goals of a social innovation might be well defined, the path to achieving those goals may be much less clear
  • In the context of Indigenous communities, "social innovation" may often take the form of looking back to old traditions and rediscovering how those teachings show Indigenous communities the way forward

What is the amount of a SIP grant?

  • The total budget for the 2018 SIP grant stream is $200,000.
  • $32,000 is targeted for social innovation in the food system, drawing on Indigenous knowledge, skills, and relationships.
  • The number of projects we will fund - and, therefore, the size of any one grant - will be determined largely by the number of innovative LOI we receive. In 2017, we funded one food systems project for $32,000, and three other projects at $100,000, $50,000 and $12,000. Read details of the funded projects online at 2017 Social Innovation Project and Other Social Grants  (100 KB)


You can apply for this grant if your organization is a Vancouver-based, non-profit, community services organization.

To be eligible for SIP funding projects, you must:

  • Be one-time only (1 to 2 years duration)
  • Be pilot or start up initiatives
  • Target gaps and emerging needs
  • Achieve a minimum of 1:1 leverage from other sources
  • Demonstrate strong support and collaborations with existing service platforms, other service providers, funders, and project partners

​How to apply

Applications, including Letters of Interest, can be submitted via Vancouver Foundations Systems Change Grant . Letters of Interest will be accepted from July 3 to July 20, 2018.

Application guide

The guide describes how to use the online application system and details the project information you will be asked to provide.

The guide is for applicants who are only applying for City of Vancouver Social Innovation Grants and are not applying for Vancouver Foundation Systems Change Grants.

 Applicants applying to both the City and the Vancouver Foundation should use the Vancouver Foundation’s guide linked above. The Vancouver Foundation requires that applicants are CRA Qualified Donees. The City does not have this requirement.

Contact us

Eric Kowalski
Social Planner