Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant

Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant

Applications for 2022 funding have now closed.

Applications for 2023 funding will be accepted beginning February 6th, 2023.

The Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant (ING) is intended to support communities in creating a city of safe and inspiring neighbourhoods. This grant has an annual budgeted allocation of $150,000.  The ING grant is designed to fill gaps in funding for community associations to advance the building of great communities across Calgary.

The Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant supports community-led projects and initiatives with the following objectives:

  • Support communities in becoming more socially cohesive with safe, inclusive spaces and programs that respond to residents’ needs
  • Help residents feel an increased sense of belonging and contribute meaningfully to their neighbourhood
  • Develop community organizations that are resilient and working towards achieving greater sustainability

The Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant is a matching program. The applicant must contribute an amount equal to or exceeding the grant request. Applications are accepted online throughout the year with ongoing review periods – apply now.

What projects can the Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant be used for?

Beautification and placemaking

  • beautify community spaces
  • create safe and inclusive gathering spaces
  • community-led (Note: City staff may advise on development, installation and construction)
  • must be maintained as per the applicable agreement with The City of Calgary

Maximum funding allotment up to $12,000 in matching funds.

Communication and engagement

  • increase community engagement and resident participation
  • increase communication and service delivery to community
  • can be a pilot project

Maximum funding allotment up to $10,000 in matching funds.

Community education and safety

  • support community safety enhancements and/or education
  • support community-based, safety-enhancing studies
  •  supports inclusivity

Maximum funding allotment up to $10,000 in matching funds.

Social and recreation program

  • support new community-based programming
  • responsive to community needs
  • addresses a program gap in the community
  • builds community capacity/sustainability relevant to programming
  • can be a pilot project

Maximum funding allotment up to $5,000 in matching funds.

Technology

  • support new technology-based projects or training
  • increase capacity/sustainability of the organization

Maximum funding allotment up to $5,000 in matching funds.

More guidelines for the Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant

Who is eligible for the grant?

Eligible Organizations

  • Community Associations (CAs) in good standing with The City of Calgary and/or the Societies Act of Alberta

The applicant must:

  • be an organization in good standing in the Province of Alberta and/or The City of Calgary (organizations with a Lease/License of Occupation)
  • has not received a previous Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant in the same calendar year

The project(s) must:

  • occur within City of Calgary limits and be geographically defined within a neighbourhood
  • demonstrate inclusivity with diverse neighbourhood participation encouraged
  • be “shovel-ready”, meaning the project must be fully funded minus the amount of Inspiring Neighbourhood Grant funds being requested.
  • have the required insurance, permits, memorandum of understanding or other City permissions/approvals, in place prior to submitting an application.
  • be completed within one year of receipt of the approval letter

Preference will be given to projects that:

  • contribute to neighbourhood pride and involve residents and volunteers in the project planning process
  • have accounted for considerations included in the ING tip sheet
  • Stand alone projects. 

Ineligible Projects and Expenses

Examples of ineligible expenses:

  • Invoices/proof of payment (including deposits) dated prior to the date of your approval letter from The City are considered ineligible expenses.
  • fundraising for costs not related to the project
  • contingency, a sum of money set aside at the start of a project to cover increased project costs
  • direct financial compensation for the Board of Directors, individuals, or families
  • ongoing programs and/or services
  • funding of staff positions or volunteer honorariums
  • deficit or debt repayment
  • projects on private property
  • One off or annual events
  • commercial activities and related costs
  • travel and accommodation costs
  • additional insurance related to project
  • playground builds or refurbishments
  • equipment not directly related to the program being applied for

For a complete list of ineligible expenses please connect with your Neighbourhood Partnership Coordinator 

Matching requirements

The Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant is a matching program. The applicant must contribute an amount equal to or exceeding the grant request.

The 50 per cent matching contribution from organizations can consist of:

  • professional services donated at a reasonable rate – the value to be provided by the professional donating their services
  • cash on hand
  • matching grant funds

An organization may be eligible for additional funding that exceeds 50 per cent of the project cost if the CA can demonstrate the following criteria:

  • financial hardship
  • existing funds are restricted for other uses
  • extraordinary circumstances that limit the ability to secure matching funding, labour, materials and equipment
  • an immediate need for the project to be undertaken
  • the justification must be clearly set forth in the application

Application process

Applications are accepted online throughout the year with ongoing review periods.

Applications must include:

  • contact information for the organization and project lead
  • letters of support and City of Calgary approvals, if applicable.
  • project description and timeline
  • project budget showing anticipated revenue (if applicable), expenses and matching contributions
  • based on overall project costs, the following quotes are required:
    • Projects under $10,000 – A minimum of one quote
    • Projects over $10,000 and under $50,000 – A minimum of two quotes
    • Projects $50,000 and up – three quotes 
  • design information (if applicable) including site map and drawings
  • project details demonstrating how it meets eligibility criteria and objectives.
  • consideration for maintenance and sustainability

If you require assistance with your application, please contact your Neighbourhood Partnership Coordinator.

Review and approval process

Applications are fully reviewed considering the funding streams, eligibility criteria and supporting documentation provided. Organizations may be contacted if further information or clarification is required. Applications will be reviewed by the Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant review team, comprised of staff from Sport, Recreation and Community Partners with The City of Calgary. Final funding recommendations will be approved by appropriate signing authorities within City Administration. The estimated timeline for approval is four to six weeks from receipt of a completed application.

It is important applicants retain a complete copy of their application for their own records should The City of Calgary have questions regarding the application. Incomplete applications will be returned.

All decisions are final, however, applications for projects that have been declined may be resubmitted upon discussion with your NPC and once written notification of the outcome of the current application is received by the applicant. The Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant will be reviewed each year with input from applicants and internal staff. 

Reporting

Each grant recipient will be required to submit a final report as specified by The City of Calgary.

It is recommended organizations retain records for seven years from the date of grant closure letter from The City of Calgary.

To maintain transparency and accountability The City will make all funding allocation amounts available publicly.

Review the Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant reporting document before submitting application online.

Grant limitations

Due to limited funds and demand for Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant funding, not all requests meeting the established criteria may be approved for funding. Applicants may receive full, reduced or no funding for their project depending on available funds.

The Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant is one-time project-specific funding and must not be considered an annual source of funding.

Resources

Repayment of grants

The City of Calgary may request the return of Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant funding if:

  • the project is not complete within the allowable timeframe.
  • it is shown funds were not used for the stated purpose of the approved project, funds were used towards ineligible expenses and/or if an organization fails to submit their reporting.
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