Apply for a Grant

The Rural Seniors Grant Program

Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, in collaboration with the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, is pleased to announce that we will be awarding small grants to organizations working with seniors living in Nova Scotia’s rural communities.

Online applications will be accepted between October 3rd, 2016 and November 30th, 2016.

To download the application form go to:

Eligibility requirements are:

  • Registered as a charitable organization or may partner with an organization which has a registered charitable status and they would submit the application.
  • The program/service for which funding is sought has a focus on addressing issues facing seniors in rural communities, such as seniors’ health (including mental health), seniors’ safety, abuse awareness and prevention, or seniors’ access to services.

Priority criteria by which the applications will be assessed:

  • Innovation – Projects providing activities that support seniors’ resiliency in rural communities.
  • Impact – Projects that will make a difference in the community by providing evidence of the crucial role played by its senior citizens.
  • Partnerships -Projects that clearly provide evidence of building on existing resources and collaborations in the community.

Grant amounts available:   Between $1000 and $5000 for selected projects

Please note that eligible projects are required to match the amount of the requested grant, through cash or in-kind contributions (ex. volunteer hours, donated space or equipment, professional services and other) equal to the value of the grant. More information with regards to the matching requirements can be found at the web site:

Acknowledgement Guidelines
In the collaborative spirit of the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, organizations with funded projects (Grantees) will acknowledge the support received from Canada’s community foundations, the Government of Canada, and Canadian leaders. Grantees are required to acknowledge this support by using the Acknowledgement Text and Collaborative Wordmark. (available at CFC150)

Please acknowledge other local contributors who have given to your project, in keeping with the guidelines listed at:

Submission Procedure:
For the Rural Senior Grant there is a 3 part on-line application on the CFC150 web site link below. You may prepare the application, budget form and matching information form ahead of time prior to completing your application online. For more information and to download the form go to:

Download the PDF Version

Is My Organization Eligible to Apply?

To be eligible for funding from the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia:

  • The applicant organization must be registered as a charitable organization under the Canada Customs and Revenue Act
  • The program/service for which funding is sought must include a goal of enhancing leadership within rural communities

Organizations not registered as a charitable organization may choose to partner with a sponsoring organization having registered charitable status, or with a municipality. In those instances, the sponsoring organization will have responsibility for ensuring the approved project takes place, and will be accountable for the grant received from the Foundation. Find more information here.

“Rural communities” excludes the urban areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality (Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford) and Sydney.

A volunteer granting committee evaluates applications in accordance with the specific criteria outlined in the granting program’s guidelines. While every application is reviewed carefully, not all are recommended for funding. The successful applicants are approved by the full RCF Board of Directors upon the recommendations of the committee.

In the past, we have offered two types of granting programs:

The Rural Leadership Initiative Grant Program

The Rural Leadership Initiative Grant Program will be offered in the fall of 2016. Applications will be available closer to the time. Please check back!

We offer this grant to support leadership initiatives which:
  • Seek to improve understanding of issues facing rural and coastal communities in Nova Scotia
  • Offer solutions to problems and challenges of rural and coastal Nova Scotia
  • Create an environment that enhances and sustains rural and coastal Nova Scotia
In November 2007 the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia agreed there was a need to raise the awareness of the issues of rural and coastal Nova Scotia and examine the growing divide that exists between the challenges facing rural Nova Scotia and those of urban areas.

The Board contracted with Dr. Greg Cameron from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College to review documents that examined the issues of rural Nova Scotia and assess their relevancy to the current situation. Dr. Cameron’s report was the basis of a discussion that took place at the annual meeting of the Foundation in May 2008. Invitations were sent to a broad range of people who might be interested in the report, and the Foundation’s vision for increasing the awareness of rural Nova Scotia – both its strengths in contributing to a vibrant province, but also the challenges it faces and the implications for the future of the province.

The Board was overwhelmed by the commonality of the themes that emerged from our discussion. There was resounding support for the idea that leadership was one of the key impediments to sustaining rural Nova Scotia. Although this appears reasonably simple, the idea of leadership is complex. Education, training, infrastructure, work/employment and changing demographics are all issues that were having major impact in rural communities.

Questions regarding Rural Leadership Initiative Grant Program:

Are cost sharing dollars required?
Cost sharing dollars are not required. We will fund the full project costs to a maximum of $5000

Is in-kind acceptable?
In-kind should be noted to demonstrate support within the organization and by project partners. This does not need to be in great detail.

When are the programs announced and when do they need to be completed?
Applications will be accepted on October 1 until noon on October 30, 2015. Successful applicants are notified by email by the end of November with approval letters and cheques mailed by the end of December. The projects are completed within 6 months to 1 year. A committee member will contact the recipient for an evaluation interview at project completion.

A list is included of what the funds cannot be used for but is a list available for what it can be used towards?
We have left the interpretation of the projects open. We have found in the past that the proponent knows their community best and can come up with made-in-rural solutions for unique challenges and opportunities in their own community. Feel free to review the list of projects we have funded in the past, however, we are open to new ideas.

Can municipal units be considered for funding?
Municipalities are qualified donees and therefore eligible for grants.

For additional information on our granting program,

The Rural Innovation Program

This program has been completed and is now closed.

The Rural Innovation Grant Program provided $425,090 in funds which allowed rural Nova Scotians to develop new and innovative solutions to local and regional concerns. It was made possible by an investment by the province of Nova Scotia to help rural communities become more resilient and sustainable.