Community Grants

Providing financial assistance


Community Grants are seed money or support for a specific purpose.

The  purpose  of  the  Community  Grants  program  is  to  provide  financial  assistance  to  non-profit, community-based organizations that provide direct programs, services, or activities that enhance the quality of life for Abbotsford residents in the areas of social services and health, arts, culture, heritage, or the environment. Each year the Board will establish an amount to be provided for Grant purposes. The individual amounts available are normally $250 – $1000 per request.

Community Needs

This funding program is further defined as project, events, or activities that support/sustain, promote, inform/educate, celebrate, preserve, and/or provide access to:

  • Arts: Creative activity by professionals or non-professionals in various fine and applied art forms, including but not limited to visual, performing and performance, literary, media, and decorative arts
  • Culture: Beliefs, customs, and traditions of certain communities, societies, or cultural groups relating to language, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual identity, disability, religion, class, and diversity
  • Environment: Beautification, conservation, documentation, interpretation, preservation, restoration, and research of the environment/natural heritage (air, water, flora, fauna and natural landscape)
  • Heritage: Identification, documentation, interpretation, or preservation of built heritage (structure, building or group of  buildings, landscape), culture  heritage (archaeology, archives, genealogy, monuments, museums and galleries/collections), historic people, and events and traditions (customs and beliefs)
  • Social Services & Health: Programs and services supportive to the social determinants of health (state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being with a focus on prevention, access to housing, food and clothing, freedom from violence)


To be eligible for funding, applicants must:

  • Be a new or existing incorporated or unincorporated not-for-profit organization.
  • Be located and conduct the majority of activities within the geographic boundaries of the City of Abbotsford or have significant local presence.

Applicants for the funding program should demonstrate:

  • Community need for proposed activity or service
  • Community support (funding support or sponsorship from other community organizations, local businesses, industry, service clubs)
  • Community benefit/impact
  • Financial need
  • Sound financial management and revenue generation
  • Accountability/mechanism for evaluation (identification of key performance measures and outcomes)
  • Capacity (organization’s ability to complete the proposed activity or service)

What/Who is not eligible for a Community Grant:

  • Individuals
  • For-profit businesses
  • Political organizations
  • Programs within legislated mandates of government or city departments
  • Provincial/national organizations unless a local chapter exists to service the residents of Abbotsford
  • Organizations receiving 80% or more of funding from levels of government
  • Costs to cover deficits
  • Projects already in progress

Assessment Process

The Grant committee will consist of the President, three Board members-at-large ,and the Executive Director. They may utilize but are not limited to the following assessment criteria in evaluating the grant requests:

  1. Merit of the event
  2. Economic Impact
  3. Community Impact and Involvement
  4. Organizational Effectiveness and Ability to Meet Goals
  5. Recognition

1. Merit of the Event (40%)

  • Solid vision, direction, goals, and objectives that reflect and fulfill the purpose of the project, event, or activity
  • Innovative and unique
  • Impacts on a specific community
  • Does not duplicate but compliments other events
  • Meets the needs of at least one of the identified community needs

2. Economic Impact (15%)

  • Solid track record of financial performance
  • Demonstrates quantifiable economic benefits to the city (dollars spent in the community, staff hired, number of local volunteers, training offered to staff/volunteers, local performers, hotel rooms rented, etc.)
  • Promotes economic activity in the town
  • Partnership initiatives and efforts to form new alliances
  • Demonstrates quantifiable results

3. Community Impact and Involvement (15%)

  • Extent to which the event contributes to social and cultural development of the city
  • Knowledge and understanding of potential participants
  • Extent to which there is an opportunity for volunteers to participate in organizing and implementing the event
  • Support of local business and community is applicable to the event
  • Extent to which quality of life is enhanced by offering opportunities to residents
  • Extent to which the project, event ,or activity caters to a broad participant base

4. Organizational Effectiveness and Ability to meet Goals (15%)

  • Evidence of a clear mandate
  • Solid leadership structure and consistent management in a professional competent manner
  • Solid infrastructure including staff and volunteers
  • Financial stability and accountability and evidence of effective long-term and short-term planning
  • Reasonable financial goals
  • Demonstrated financial need for financial assistance from the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce

5. Recognition (15%)

  • Degree to which the project, event or activity will enhance to profile of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce
  • Opportunity for public recognition (press releases, media events, signage)
  • Naming rights

Application Process

To apply you must complete an Application for an Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce Community Grant by the deadline date. 2022 Community Grants Application deadline is October 30, 2022.  2022 Community Grant Application

Applications will be reviewed in detail and recommended by the Grants Committee to the Board for approval. All recommendations must include the request form and the amount of allocation. Applicants will be notified following Board approval. Financial requests may exceed the funds available. This is a competitive process.

Applicants are not guaranteed funding. Grants to organizations will be considered public knowledge and may be reported.