District of Thunder Bay

At the Thunder Bay Community Foundation, we understand that the needs of our community are always changing. That's why, for over 48 years, we've distributed close to $5 million in grants, scholarships and bursaries in support of a wide variety of charitable organizations, programs and projects. Community Foundation grants are made possible through the generous endowments and gifts of local citizens.

When to Apply

How to Apply

Who can Apply

Grant Programs - Funding Available

Frequently Asked Questions

When to Apply

The Community Foundation accepts Grant Applications once a year. The dates for the 2021/2022 Grant Season are:

  • Application Period Opening: October 18, 2021
  • Application Period Closing: November 15, 2021


Who can Apply

To apply for a grant from the Thunder Bay Community Foundation, you must be a qualified donee as per the Canada Revenue Agency. Below is a list of qualified donees:

  • a registered charity (including a registered national arts service organization);
  • a registered Canadian amateur athletic association;
  • a registered housing corporation resident in Canada constituted exclusively to provide low-cost housing for the aged;
  • a registered Canadian municipality;
  • a registered municipal or public body performing a function of government in Canada;
  • a registered university outside Canada that is prescribed to be a university, the student body of which ordinarily includes students from Canada;
  • a registered charitable organization outside Canada to which Her Majesty in right of Canada has made a gift;
  • Her Majesty in right of Canada, a province, or a territory; and
  • the United Nations and its agencies.

If you received a grant in the previous year, you must complete all obligations to be able to apply for new grants.

How to Apply

Our Grant Application has moved online. Please visit to apply.

PLEASE NOTE: Each project will need a separate application for funding. You will no longer be able to select multiple funds to apply to in the same application.

 You will still be required to submit the following documents through the online portal:

  • Most recent Financial Statement (Unaudited statements can be used if no audited statements are available)
  • Most recent Annual Report (A report can be submitted similar to one an Executive Director would give at an AGM)
  • Project Budget (form)

Grant applications are marked by the Marking Committee, which consists of TBCF Trustees and community members under specific guidelines outlined in the marking rubric to ensure fair and consistant marking on all projects/programs. 


General Requirements and Limitations for All Grant Programs

General Requirements

  • Applicants must be registered charities within the meaning of the Income Tax Act.
  • Applicants must do the majority of their charitable work within the District of Thunder Bay.
  • Applications may be for existing programs and services, new and innovative programs or other charitable works. Please see specific criteria for each grant as described below.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that they do not currently have the financial resources to fund the project under consideration.
  • Large provincial or national charities must demonstrate that the project is uniquely beneficial to Thunder Bay.
  • Applicants must use the funds within one year after the date of receipt. Funds must only be used to support the project specified in the successful application. If the project is ongoing, applicants must demonstrate the ability to support the project under consideration after the Foundation’s funds have been spent.
  • Applicants agree that the Foundation may review the documentation and progress of the project.
  • Previous Grant recipients must complete and return a project update on their current Grant before any new applications can be considered. If we do not receive an update or communication from you regarding your 2020-2021 grant you will become ineligible to apply for the 2021-2022 grant.
  • Applicants must recognize the Foundation in an appropriate manner. Grantees are required to follow the TBCF grant recognition procedure, please see page on TBCF site.
  • Applications for funds to be reallocated to other organizations will not be considered.

General Limitations

  • Grants are not awarded to individuals.
  • For projects that promote the aims of a specific religion, ideology or political party.
  • Grant(s) may not be awarded to a charity that does not fulfill the criteria of a previous grant.

Program Specific Requirements

To view and download a copy of the 2021 Grant Information Sheet, please email click here.



As our community grapples with the enduring effects of the COVID-19 crisis, both the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and United Way of Thunder Bay are deeply concerned about the well-being of community members who have been hard hit by the economic impacts of the pandemic, as well as the ongoing pressures faced by frontline service providers and charities responding to increased demands for assistance from those in need. For many families, the fallout of the pandemic has created hardships related to food, housing, mental health and income insecurity.

In response to these continuing challenges, the United Way of Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Community Foundation have once again joined forces to provide much-needed support to organizations who are struggling to meet the growing demand while coping with reduced capacity, resources, revenue, staffing and volunteers.

As part of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation’s current granting process, the United Way of Thunder Bay will provide additional funding for projects, programs and services that address basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, mental health supports and/or post-covid recovery efforts that tackle the root causes of poverty.      


Application requirements:

  • Clearly states the organization’s positive contribution to its community
  • Is organized and well written
  • Addresses one or more of the following needs in the community: food, shelter, clothing, mental health supports, poverty

Obligations of Recipients

Celebrating Your Grant Results

All Grant Recipients are asked to provide the Foundation with a final report by the end of the grant year (before the following application period closing).

The process to report your grant is very simple - recipients will be asked to complete a final report on our online grant software

Recipients will be notified of a due date are are required to submit their reports online.

This report is due prior to applying for a grant in the following year. If you received a grant, but have not completed the project prior to the next granting cycle, please contact the Foundation at (807) 475-7279.

Recognizing your Grant

All successful recipients must recognize their grant and each applicant must indicate how they would recognize their grant if successful. Help us support you by recognizing your grant!

A requirement of all grant recipients is that their grant must be recognized in some way. This gives us the opportunity to show the community the impact your grant had on Thunder Bay. Here are several ways you could recognize your grant, the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and our very supportive donors:

  • Annual Report
    • List the the Foundation in your annual report as a sponsor/funder and/or include a thank you in your annual report to the Foundation.
  • Program Specific Marketing Material
    • Include the Foundation in your marketing material specific to your program. If you need a logo, email
  • At the Funded Program
    • Thank the Foundation at your event/gathering. This could be done by mentioning the Foundation during any speaking portion and/or including the Foundation in handouts or signage. If there is a speaking portion and you would like the Foundation present, feel free to request the presence of a board member by calling the office at (807) 475-7279.
  • Your Stories - Chronicle Journal
    • Thank the Foundation through a submission to the Your Stories section of the Chronicle Journal where community members can highlight local activities. Your organization can not only highlight its activities and successes it can thank its donors and supporters.
  • Editorials
    • Editorials can be submitted highlighting your program and thanking the Foundation within the article.
  • Social Media
    • Thank the Foundation through social media. Tag us in your post. Like us for updates on Foundation activities.
  • Letters to the Foundation
    • Please don't hesitate to send us letters and cards letting us know how your program is going, its impact on your constituents or even just to say thanks. We share these letters and cards with our donors, our board, and on our social media when possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Non-Profit organization apply for a TBCF grant?
A foundation can only give to QUALIFIED DONEES. Although all charitable organization are non-profit, not all non-profits are charitable organizations.

How much can my charitable organization apply for?
This depends on the fund to which your are applying. Each fund has a specific amount of money to be granted every year. This year, the amounts available for each fund will not be posted for the purpose of a more accurate budget form from each applicant. The average grant amount dispersed over the past couple of years has been $5,550.

How much do other charitable organizations apply for?
The amount other charitable organizations apply for varies by project and by fund. For instance, the General Fund has the largest amount of funds to be granted. On average, successful grant applications for the general fund historically have been approximately $7,500. The lowest successful request was $500 and the highest successful request was $47,000.

If we have no other funding sources, can we still apply?
Yes. We ask this in the budget section as it demonstrates a form of collaboration. We also ask about other funding and whether or not the funding has been secured to ensure the project will be able to move forward. If you receive funding from the Thunder Bay Community Foundation, but are unsuccessful from the other sources and cannot run the project, it will be required that you return your grant funding to the Foundation. This is a situation we prefer to avoid.

Our project takes place in the middle of next year, can we still apply?
As long as your project takes place before the next granting application deadline (annually mid-October), you can apply for a grant. Just remember, upon completion we need your grant report (link). This helps us ensure you used the funds as specified and gives us information that we can use to show off your organization to our donors.

If we do not receive a grant, is there a specific reason why?
Grants are not given based on a yes or no. Applications are marked by our Grant Marking Committee using a specific rubric. The applications are then ranked based on mark (highest to lowest) and funds are given to projects until the fund runs out of money. On average, we receive 40 applications to the General Fund per year, however, only 15 to 25 grants are usually given out. The variance comes from a combination of the amount requested and the successful projects. Organizations who were not successful often call and ask how they can improve their application for next year. Utilizing the rubric when creating your application will allow an organization to see how they are being marked on each section. 

If we didn't finish a project for which we received funding last year, can we still apply for funding this year?
You must contact the Foundation ASAP, where the determination will be made.