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Adult literacy funding opportunities for non-profit organizations

ABC Life Literacy Canada surveys the literacy field every year to learn more about their interests, needs, and challenges. Most literacy practitioners address the same frustration year after year: lack of funding.

In the past 15 years, the federal government has significantly diminished funding for adult literacy despite a growing demand for literacy programming. Despite free programs like UP Skills for Work and ABC Money Matters available to literacy groups nationwide, organizations are desperately seeking core funding. 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 minimal staff, making finding and applying for applicable grants challenging.

We know that navigating the world of fundraising can be a challenge. That’s 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. Invest the financial awards in your adult literacy program and/or apply them to operating expenses.

The Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award opens every year in April.

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 various 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. However, identifying appropriate corporate funders and putting together a proposal often takes a lot of effort.

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

  • Grow grants provide $50,000 to $250,000 annually to evidence-based local community projects to help increase their impact. Application deadline: November 6, 2024
  • Seed grants support new project ideas to encourage learning and are available from $5,000 to $75,000 annually. Application deadline: June 26, 2024
  • Capital grants from $10,000 to $150,000 annually support necessary infrastructure to improve community space accessibility. Application deadline: March 6, 2024

Ontario Business Grants

Founded by researchers, this comprehensive guide removes the task of scouring countless websites for funding opportunities. Sort by audience, city, purpose of funding, incentive, industry, and major programs to view what funding sources are available for your organization.

Contact us today for further information about adult literacy programs and award funding offered to non-profit organizations.