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Prevention Funding Capacity Building

Anti-Racism Capacity-Building Fund

The Black Lives Matter movement has articulated clear and compelling reasons to redouble our efforts to achieve structural adjustments to existing inequalities within our City and our society. This funding is meant to enhance existing efforts to address systemic barriers and injustices that exist for people in Calgary.

The anti-racism capacity-building funding will support collaborative, community-based initiatives that build the capacity of organizations to facilitate policy and systems change that undo systemic racism. Please refer to the Anti-Racism Capacity Building Fund Terms of Reference for full details.

Application period

You can apply here from July 24, 2020 to September 18, 2020 at 11:59 pm. (Download this copy of the application form to prepare your answers ahead of time.)

If you have questions during this application period, contact us at at any time.

If you wish to connect with other organizations or groups interested in collaborating on an anti-racism, capacity-building initiative, we encourage you to do so on the collaboration and crowdsourcing platform provided by The City of Calgary’s Innovation Lab. How to submit idea.

The platform will be moderated to ensure participant safety. Messages that do not align with the purpose of the fund will not be posted. The platform will be open for participation until the funding call closes on September 18, 2020 after which time the content will be archived.

Virtual information session

A virtual information session was held on August 19, 2020. The presentation provided an overview of the Anti-Racism Capacity Building Fund and information about the application process. Watch the information presentation. Download the Frequently Asked Questions to view additional questions and answers from this session.

Description of funding

A total of up to $600,000 is available.

City Council has approved up to $250,000 for this fund. To receive funding, organizations must be registered under provincial or federal statutes (see section on Eligibility). Collaboration between registered organizations and non-registered organizations is strongly encouraged.

In addition, the Calgary Foundation and the United Way of Calgary and Area have contributed an additional $350,000. While most funds will be allocated through this call for funding proposals, some funds may be earmarked for future investment to scale up initiatives demonstrating strong results.


The City of Calgary, and the Calgary Police Service, recognize that systemic racism exists in our community, our government, our organization and our institutions.

This call for funding proposals is seeking applications for collaborative initiatives that build the capacity of organizations to identify and undo systemic racism (see section on Eligibility) by changing practices, policies, structures and/or systems.

Applicants must demonstrate how their initiative achieves one or more of the following objectives:

  1. Form and create sustainability plans for new collaborative initiatives between one or more organizations to advance anti-racism. OR Strengthen and create sustainability plans for existing collaborative initiatives between one or more organizations to advance anti-racism.
  2. Develop policy change and implementation plans that work to undo systemic racism.
  3. Identify service gaps and develop anti-racist system change strategies and implementation plans.
  4. Attend, develop, or deploy training/education to further anti-racism work (can include training/education focused on capacity to do policy/system change work).

Applicants may identify one other objective for their capacity-building initiative that aligns with the intent of fund.

Applications must align with one (or more) of these City of Calgary policies:

The following documents are provided as additional background information:

  • FCSS Funding Framework (Policy & Systems Change pillar)
  • Enough for All (“Reducing racism and discrimination and promoting diversity” & “Implementing the 94 calls to action of the TRC”)


This funding opportunity is open to community-based organizations (for definition see Glossary) that have previous experience in collaborating with others to work to undo the racism and discrimination embedded in various systems, policies and institutions that perpetuate a cycle of exclusion, marginalization and poverty. Funding will be directed to community-based organizations that demonstrate:

  • Registration 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. While organizations must be registered to receive funding, collaboration can be with any organization, including newer organizations/those not registered under any of these acts;
  • Collaboration with other community-based organizations that are working towards anti-racism policy and system change. Collaboration means two or more organizations working together and can be formal or informal;
  • Previous experience in collaborative anti-racism efforts;
  • Experience using an intersectional approach to address the compounding impact of various forms of discrimination;
  • Capacity and competency to act/respond in a timely manner once funding is provided;
  • Priority will be given to organizations led by community members directly impacted by racism.

Eligible expenses

  • Expenses related to the initiative, including salary/wage, supplies, travel and mileage, rentals, technology, and audit.

Non-eligible expenses

  • Ongoing costs, including staffing not related to the capacity-building initiative;
  • Purchase of land, building or motor vehicles;
  • Construction or renovation of a building;
  • Costs required to sustain an organization that is not related directly to this initiative;
  • Municipal property taxes or levies.

Please note:  there is no minimum or maximum amount for each initiative. However, the requested amount should be proportionate to the type of proposed activities.

How we assess your application

Letters of reference or additional attachments are not part of the application and should not be submitted. Organizations will be contacted if additional information is required.

Only one application may be submitted per initiative.

All applications will be reviewed by a panel comprised of representatives from The City of Calgary, the Calgary Foundation, United Way of Calgary and Area, Canadian Heritage, Calgary Arts Development Authority and others who have experience in supporting community-based anti-racism initiatives.

Applications will be assessed in the following three areas:

  1. Applications will be assessed for 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 community-based organization and a legal entity in good standing;
    • Organization operates within Calgary city limits;
    • Initiative is collaboration with other organizations; (question 12 in application)
    • Initiative focuses on anti-racism capacity-building (questions 13, 14, and 15 in application).
  2. Applications will be assessed against program objective.
    • The organization has:
      • Organizational anti-racism experience (question 8 in application);
      • Demonstrated collaboration with other community-based organizations that are working towards anti-racism policy and system change (question 12 in application);
      • Community members directly impacted by racism (question 9 in application).
    • The initiative is:
      • Aligned to the anticipated objectives (question 16 and 17 in application);
      • Aligned to one or more of the listed City of Calgary policies (question 18 and 19 in application);
    • The budget is:
      • Proportionate to the type of proposed activities (questions 20 and 21/budget section in application).
  3. Applications will be assessed against other criteria that will be considered, i.e., the initiative takes an intersectional approach and considers how multiple identity factors (e.g. gender, sexuality, age, religion, immigration status) shape the experiences of people affected by racism (question 8 in application).

Steps to apply

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

Applications must be submitted online here by September 18, 2020 at 11:59 pm. (Use this copy of the application form to prepare your answers ahead of time.)

After you have applied

The City of Calgary, in collaboration with its funding partners, will review applications and make decisions by November 2020. 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.

Initiatives that receive funding will launch by November 2020 and end by September 2021.

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


Organizations will be required to report using two accountability methods:

  • Written mid-term and end reports that capture activities undertaken, milestones achieved and how funds were used, as per the terms and conditions of the funding agreement. Successful applicants will receive report templates during the contracting process;
  • A listening circle to share the lessons learned and identify the next steps in the anti-racism policy and systems change process.


  • Anti-Racism – An active and consistent process of change to eliminate individual, institutional and systemic racism. (Canadian Race Relations Foundation)
  • 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.)
  • Community-based initiative - An initiative led by members of the community that are directly involved in, or impacted by, a particular issue. This includes communities of geography, race, identity, culture, and experience. With a community-based approach, members of the community identify and define a particular issue, and are provided with the resources to design, develop, and implement a response to address it. (Adapted from: Van Bibber M. (1997). It Takes A Community.)
  • Community-based organization - non-profit, non-governmental, or charitable organizations that represent community needs and work to help them. (Carleton University - “Community-First: Impacts of Community Engagement” )
  • Intersectional approach/intersectionality - A framework for understanding that every person has multiple and simultaneous identities (e.g. gender, ethnicity, age, physical ability) that shape personal and collective experiences. These identities contribute to differing experiences and differing degrees of privilege and oppression. (City of Calgary Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy)
  • Systemic racism – The creation and maintenance of racial inequality by institutions or systems, often the result of hidden institutional biases in policies, practices, procedures and structures that privilege some groups and disadvantage others. (Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate)

Other related terminology

  • Cultural capital - the accumulation of knowledge, behaviors, and skills that a person can tap into to demonstrate their cultural competence and social status. While everyone has cultural capital not all forms of it are valued equally by society's institutions. (Cole, Nicki Lisa "What Is Cultural Capital? Do I Have It?")
  • Decolonization – The process by which Indigenous peoples refute historical and current colonialistic stories about themselves, and reclaim their languages, cultures, knowledge systems, political and social worldviews. Decolonization is about reversing the damage inflicted upon Indigenous peoples through the educational, health, social, justice and political systems. Colonization is about the colonizer imposing its worldview on the original inhabitants. Decolonization is about the colonizer respecting the original inhabitants' worldviews.” (From University of Saskatchewan “Colonization and Privilege”)
  • Structural violence - ways in which social, economic, and political systems expose particular populations to risks and vulnerabilities. (Center for Health Equity Research Chicago)

Contact us

We recognize that systemic racism is embedded in funding practices and we are committed to ongoing improvement. 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

These questions were submitted during the August 19, 2020 online orientation session and are posted here for the benefit of those who were not able to attend.

Download Frequently Asked Questions

If additional questions are submitted via email, they will be added to this list, along with the response.

Other resources