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Capacity-Building Fund

2021 Capacity-Building Fund

The Capacity-Building Fund is available to eligible non-profit organizations for one-time initiatives to strengthen their organizational effectiveness, increase their programs’ impact, and address emerging issues and trends that are impacting Calgarians. The Capacity-Building Fund is implemented via two focus areas, each with their own eligibility criteria: Emerging Social Issues for sector-wide initiatives and Organizational Effectiveness for internal organizational initiatives.

Application period

You can apply through the Funding Information Management System (FIMS) from Feb. 9, 2021 to March 12, 2021 at 11:59 pm.

Organizations must register in the FIMS system before accessing an application. Organizations access FIMS with a myID business account. A myID business account is a single sign-on approach used by businesses and organizations to access City services online. Learn about how to obtain a myID business account and register for FIMS here.

If you have questions during this application period, contact us at fundingproposals@calgary.ca at any time.

Description of funding

A total of up to $750,000 is available.

The purpose of the Capacity-Building Fund is to strengthen the capacity of the non-profit sector, organizations and/or programs to effectively address the emerging needs of Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities. Funds are intended for one-time initiatives that will strengthen an organization’s effectiveness or service delivery, so that its impact on Calgarians can be improved and sustained over time. Initiatives should be targeted at developing the capabilities of an organization so it can better respond to the changing needs of Calgarians.

The Capacity-Building Fund is implemented via two focus areas, each with their own eligibility and criteria:

  • Emerging Social Issues for sector-wide initiatives that involve cross-collaboration between multiple organizations.
  • Organizational Effectiveness for internal organizational initiatives that boost the ability of an organization to fulfill its mission.

Coordination of funding

Earlier this year the Government of Alberta offered funding through the Civil Society Fund (CSF) to support transformational change, improving how civil society organizations function and building their capacity to work together to address pressing social challenges. Applications for this fund closed on January 20, 2021. As part of the Capacity-Building Fund application process applicants will be asked to identify if a proposal was submitted to the CSF. Receiving funding through the CSF does not disqualify an initiative from accessing funding through the Capacity-Building Fund. However, The City will not fund initiatives that have been fully supported by the CSF. 

Frequently asked questions

The Capacity-Building FAQ provides more information on eligibility on the application process. If you still have questions, email fundingproposals@calgary.ca.

2021 Capacity-Building Fund objectives

Emerging Social Issues 

Funds are available to support collaborative initiatives between non-profit organizations to address a common emerging social issue. 

These sector-wide initiatives would generally support knowledge development and exchange amongst networks or other collaborative efforts. This work requires sustained effort from multiple stakeholders working to address issues or gaps in the non-profit sector. Capacity-Building funds would help establish new collaborations or strengthen existing collaborative efforts. The scope, scale and duration of initiatives could vary.

Examples of initiatives could include:

  • Social inclusion initiatives addressing service gaps among Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities;
  • Collective impact initiatives that coordinate efforts among organizations focusing on a specific issue;
  • Collaborative initiatives with organizations that seek to explore how issues can be addressed at the systems or policy level.

Anticipated outcomes

  • New partnerships among two or more non-profit organizations are established and sustainable;
  • New innovative strategies are developed to address emerging social issues;
  • Coordinated response to emerging issues across non-profit organizations are established;
  • Identification of service gaps and strategies to address them are sustainable.

Organizational Effectiveness

Funds are available to support an organization in increasing its effectiveness to support Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities. 

These initiatives would include increasing the adaptive or technical capacity of an organization to support Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities. Such work should go beyond regular programmatic activities of an organization and seek to enhance the ability of the organization to be adaptive and responsive to emerging issues affecting Calgarians. This Capacity-Building work should start with a systematic assessment of the organization in order to accurately determine the type of response to the emerging issue that is most suitable.

Examples of initiatives could include:

  • Adjusting program design to be more responsive to the needs of Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities;
  • Strategies that help organizations better align with emerging trends in the non-profit sector, or better respond to emerging issues impacting its targeted population group; Related capacities include power analysis, network analysis, understanding the emerging issue lifecycle;
  • Evaluation or learning tools to better identify and understand client population;
  • Development of policies or practices that result in more equitable or anti-racist service delivery. 

Anticipated outcomes

  • New strategies that enable an organization to prioritize, innovate, and respond to internal or external changes;
  • Redistribution or reallocation of organizational resources to better respond to emerging issues;
  • Increased ability to implement new organizational or programmatic functions. 

Eligibility

Emerging Social Issues

Organizational eligibility

  • Non-profit organizations registered under the Societies Act or the Companies Act in Alberta, or the Federal Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, and operating within Calgary's city limits are eligible to apply;

Initiative eligibility

  • One-time initiatives that address systems gaps or sector trends that may be impacting Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities;
  • Funding is intended for sector-wide initiatives that generally support knowledge development and exchange amongst networks or other collaborative efforts in order to better respond to issues affecting Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities.

Organizational Effectiveness

Organizational eligibility

  • Only organizations that are currently supported through the following funding programs administered by The City of Calgary are eligible:
    • Family & Community Support Services;
    • Crime Prevention Investment Plan;
    • Community Action on Mental Health and Addiction.

Initiative eligibility

  • One-time initiatives that strengthen organizational effectiveness and/or enhance program design to meet the needs of Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities.

Ineligible initiatives

Capacity-Building funding is not available to support initiatives focused on the ongoing delivery of programs or services. Operational and administrative costs beyond those related directly to the initiative will not be funded.

Initiatives related to emergency or COVID-19 response are not eligible through the Capacity-Building Fund.

How we assess your application

Only one application may be submitted per organization.

Applications will be assessed in the following areas:

Fund Eligibility

  • Application is received by the deadline – late applications will not be processed;
  • Application is complete - partial application will not be processed; 
  • Organization is a registered non-profit organization and a legal entity in good standing;
  • Organization operates within Calgary city limits;
  • Organization and initiative align with the criteria of one of the two focus areas;
  • Clear articulation of whose capacity is being built, what capacity is being built, and how capacity is being built;
  • Demonstration that initiative is clearly one-time, with the ability to spend the dollars by Dec. 31, 2021.

 

Emerging Issues alignment

  • Emerging social issue is clearly articulated, including impacted population(s);
  • Demonstration of need, and evidence to support request;
  • Clear outline of intended outcomes;
  • Partners and their roles are clearly identified;
  • The budget is proportionate to the type of proposed activities. 

Or

Organizational Effectiveness alignment

  • Evidence of unmet or changing need of Calgarians is clearly articulated, including impacted population(s);
  • Demonstration of organizational need, with evidence to support request;
  • Clear outline of intended outcomes;
  • Requested amount proportionate to current City investment in the organization and to the type of proposed activities

Steps to apply

Read the information on this webpage in its entirety before filling out your application.

Register for a myID business account and the Funding Information Management System (FIMS). Learn about how to obtain a myID business account and register for FIMS here.

Applications must be submitted online through FIMS by March 12, 2021 at 11:59 pm. 

After you have applied

The City of Calgary will review applications and make decisions by the end of April 2021. All applicants will be notified on the outcome of their application.

Applicants may be asked to submit additional documents or answer questions to support the review and decision process.  

Unsuccessful applicants may request feedback on why the application wasn’t successful and what could be done differently in the future. Requests for feedback should be sent to fundingproposals@calgary.ca.

Reporting

Organizations will be required to report using the following accountability methods:

  • An initiative-end report will be submitted through FIMS that details the initiative outputs and outcomes. This report will be due on January 31, 2022;
  • A financial report and an unaudited financial statement will be submitted through FIMS. This report will be due on March 1, 2022;
  • For initiatives funded for $25,000 or more, audited financial statements will need to be submitted within three months after the organization’s fiscal year-end.  If organizations currently receive funding through one of our prevention investment funding programs, funds can be accounted for as part of the organization’s annual global audit.

NOTE: Organizations are encouraged to include the costs associated with audited financial statements in the application’s budget section.

Glossary

  • Capacity-Building - Building the capacity of an organization or community involves strengthening the resources, capabilities, knowledge of a group, with the end goal of strengthening that group’s ability to achieve its mission and vision and increase its measurable impact. (Adapted from: Huffman, D., Thomas, K., & Lawrenz, F. (2008). American Journal of Evaluation, 29(3), 358-368.);
  • Civil Society Fund (CSF) - A new fund offered by the Government of Alberta to expand civil society’s capacity to address social problems for Albertans. $7 million is budgeted for 2020/21 to support civil society’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Emerging Social Issues -  A social condition, behavior, or service gap that has a negative impact on  Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities;
  • Funding Information Management System (FIMS) -  A secure, online platform for non-profit organizations to manage their organization's profiles, manage their reporting requirements, and apply for funding for social programs and services;
  • myID - An online service that provides citizens and business owners access to multiple City of Calgary services using a single account. A myID business account is required to access the Funding Information Management System (FIMS);
  • Organizational Effectiveness - Developing the capabilities of an organization to improve its effectiveness and sustainability. (Cornforth, C., & Mordaunt, J. (2011). Voluntas, 22(3), 428-449.).

Contact us

If you have identified barriers with this call for funding proposals or would like to suggest ideas on how to make this funding more equitable, please contact us. We commit to integrating the feedback when possible and providing rationale if we are currently unable to make the changes.

Email: fundingproposals@calgary.ca

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