Adult literacy funding opportunities for non-profit organizations

Every year, ABC Life Literacy Canada surveys the literacy field to find out more about their interests, needs and challenges. Year after year the same frustration is addressed by the majority of literacy practitioners: lack of funding.

In the past 15 years, federal government funding for adult literacy has been significantly diminished even though there’s more demand than ever for literacy programming. Despite free programs like UP Skills for Work and Money Matters, which are available to literacy groups across the country, organizations are desperately seeking core funding. Just like any other business, non-profits still need to pay staff, purchase supplies and keep the lights on.

While many provinces have stepped up to offer new funding opportunities, the marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive. Additionally, most literacy organizations have very limited staff as is, making it challenging to find and apply to any applicable grants.

Navigating the world of fundraising can be a challenge, which is why we’ve pulled together a list of the top adult literacy grants and funding opportunities for non-profit literacy organizations in Canada.

Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award

The Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award honours innovation in the creation and delivery (or in the development, implementation and delivery) of adult literacy or adult-integrated family literacy programs delivered by a community organization in Canada.

The program offers up to three awards: one top award of $20,000 and up to two honourable mention awards of $10,000 each. The financial awards can be invested in the adult literacy program and/or applied to operating expenses.

The 2023 Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award opens April 3, 2023. Submit your application today!

Employment and Social Development Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada works to support adult Canadians to improve their skills employment and community and national participation.

Eligible organizations and their partners that address employability issues, workplace issues and/or fill knowledge gaps for adult literary and essential skills are encouraged to apply for these funding opportunities.

Funding requests come from a variety of sources including Call for Concepts (CFCs), Call for Proposals (CFPs) and occasionally, unsolicited proposals.

Corporate Foundation Grants and Funding Programs

Corporate funding can make up a substantial amount of revenue for your organization, but oftentimes it can take a lot of effort to identify appropriate corporate funders and put together a proposal. Depending on the corporation, there may be multiple funding opportunities – from small grants to large donations for programming. Check out this list of corporate funding programs from Charity Village.

 Ontario Trillium Foundation

For those based in Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation offers several different grant opportunities:

  • Grow grants are available in amounts ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 annually to evidence-based local community projects that drive at achieving greater community impact
  • Seed grants support new project ideas aimed to encourage learning and are available in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $75,000 per year
  • Capital grants, available from $10,000 to $150,000 annually, are available to support necessary infrastructure to improve community space accessibility

For further information about adult literacy programs and award funding offered to non-profit organizations, contact us today.