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FCSS Funding framework

Poverty and social isolation are risk factors that contribute to crime, family instability, child neglect and abuse, unemployment, and mental health issues.

The Social Sustainability Framework, was developed through extensive research and consultation with non-profit agencies and partners to outline how to most effectively address the issues and opportunities before us in Calgary.  The Social Sustainability Framework serves as a blueprint for social planning, investment decisions and funding practices.

FCSS provides funding to programs that align with the Social Sustainability Framework.

History of the Social Sustainability Framework:

  • In 2007, FCSS Calgary started a three phase process to develop a new funding framework. The goal was to develop a long-term, multi-year framework for community investment in order to ensure preventive and comprehensive impact in the community and sustainability for FCSS.
  • In 2008, the new Social Sustainability Framework was approved.
  • 2009 was a planning year for the implementation of the framework and funding priorities and the new funding priorities started to be applied in 2010.

Update: FCSS Social Sustainability Framework Review

The FCSS Social Sustainability Framework Review is complete. This video outlines the scope of the Social Sustainability Framework Evaluation, presents the highlights from the consultant’s report and shares next steps in developing a new funding framework.


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List Category: FCSS Funding framework

What We Heard from FCSS-Funded Organizations, Indigenous Elders, and Funders

The details of the engagement process and summarized feedback gathered from FCSS funded organizations can be found in the What we Heard from FCSS-Funded Organizations report and the Indigenous Consultations Meetings report. The feedback was validated by the FCSS Calgary Forum participants and through ceremony with Indigenous Elders.

FCSS Funding Priorities and Strategies

FCSS provides funding to programs that align with the Social Sustainability Framework.

We invest in programs and initiatives by reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors through addressing two overarching funding priorities:

  1. Strengthen neighbourhoods
  2. Increase social inclusion

These priorities are achieved through three strategies:

  1. Community Development
  2. Policy and Systems Change
  3. Prevention Programs

FCSS is committed to demonstrating the vital role that preventive programs and initiatives have in "moving the needle" on the two funding priorities by measuring specific outcomes. The table below outlines the outcomes identified with the funding priorities and strategies, and how the investment is evaluated.

​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Strengthen Neighbourhoods ​Increase Social Inclusion
Long-Term Outcomes​
  • to increase connections between people within neighbourhoods and boost their capacity to organize and take action
  • and to decrease (or not increase) concentration of poverty in select neighbourhood
  • ​to increase social inclusion of vulnerable Calgarians.
​Strategy Community Development (CD) ​​Policy and Systems Change Prevention Programs
CD programs must use The City of Calgary CD model to guide their work. The target for change is the neighbourhood. The focus is on building the capacity of its residents to work together to influence change, take action and address their neighbourhood's collective needs and interests.  All CD funded initiatives  will work in partnership with The City’s  community social wokers and within “neighbourhoods of focus” as identified by The City. ​Initiatives will focus on equity based initiatives designed to address root causes of vulnerability using a social justice, prevention lens. This work will include research informed advocacy, community organizing and cross-sector leadership. Initiatives will work to influence policy and systems change at the local, provincial and national levels with the aim of improving the lives of vulnerable Calgarians. Programs must focus on prevention at the earliest opportunity using evidence-based practices to increase the social inclusion of vulnerable children, youth, adults and families  in Calgary.  Programs focus on creating conditions or personal attributes that promote well-being of vulnerable people across the lifespan by reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors.
  • ​Residents have capacity to organize and take action on the interests and needs of the neighbourhood
  • Neighbourhoods are more socially cohesive and residents have improved social networks and connections
  • Neighbourhoods have more accessible, affordable quality programs, services and local amenities
  • Neighbourhoods have more good quality natural and built environment
  • There is growth in positive community economic development that benefits the economic well-being of residents
  • ​Development and advancement of a social justice, equity-based policy agenda to address root causes of vulnerability
  • Integrated social infrastructure with a prevention focus that is achieved through cross-sector collaboration, coordination and public will
  • ​Increased family cohesion
  • Increased positive social ties
  • Increased adult personal capacity and economic self-sufficiency
  • Increased positive child and youth development
Evaluation ​Year end reporting ​Policy and systems change reporting ​FCSS Social Inclusion Indicators (FSII) Surveys, and
year-end reporting

FCSS uses FCSS Social Inclusion Indicators 2016 to measure change before and after program participation. Every year, a Collective Impact Report 2018 is generated which demonstrates the collective impact of our investments through pre and post test measurements that help us to understand the difference our investments are making in the lives of Calgarians. 

Calgary Urban Indigenous Peoples

One of the vulnerable populations that the Social Sustainability Framework focuses on is Indigenous peoples. Increasing social inclusion for Calgary urban Indigenous families is important. This population includes "individuals and communities that have been affected by the multigenerational impacts of colonialism, such as the effects of residential schools."

These effects may include systemic racism and discrimination, resulting in chronic low income, high mobility, loss of culture, and other negative social indicators. Indigenous peoples include "First Nations (status, non-status and Bill C-31 individuals), Métis, and Inuit people."

For additional information on FCSS, or funding opportunities under the new framework, please contact: Indigenous Social Planner/Community Development Sharon Goulet at or go directly to the FCSS Calgary web pages.

FCSS Research Briefs

Commissioned by FCSS Calgary in 2014, briefs are designed to guide organizations and funders who are working toward increasing social inclusion and strengthening neighbourhoods in Calgary. The emphasis is on preventive programming to avoid the onset or development of a problem, intervene at a very early stage of development or mitigate the risk factors associated with a particular issue.

Each research brief provides an overview of a specific issue, as well as evidence-informed strategies to prevent it from occurring or escalating.