What are some potential funding sources for youth engagement programs?
Indigenous youth on-the-land and junior Guardian programs can take advantage of a variety of funding strategies and sources. Funding may come from Canadian government sources (federal, territorial, provincial), Indigenous governments and organizations, or from charitable, private, community or program participant contributions. Putting it all together to fund and deliver a program can take both effort and creativity.
While some funding is reoccurring and can be relied upon year after year, government, charitable and community donors tend to shift their funding focus and priorities over time. This can present new opportunities and unexpectedly remove others. For this reason, it is important to dedicate time to regularly monitoring the funding environment. Your program’s funding mix may look different from one year to the next as you line up your program’s activities and priorities with available funding sources.
Actively engaging and building relationships with current and prospective funders can also be very helpful. The better you are able to describe your vision and goals, the easier it will be for you to have conversations with funders and elicit their support. Creating tools (e.g., 1 pagers, concept notes, infographics, slide decks, verbal “elevator pitch” descriptions) that summarize your program ideas can be useful here.
Partnerships with other qualified organizations in your community may also help your program access different kinds of funds. For example, some philanthropic and government funding is only available to Nations or to organizations that are registered charities or considered qualified donees and you may be able to partner with these entities to apply for funding. Furthermore, other community organizations may already be receiving funds that could fit with your program or may have other resources they can share with you (e.g., outdoor equipment, other supplies, or a charity number you can use). If you can seek these groups out and collaborate with them, you may not only improve your capacity to obtain funds, but also ensure coordination and cooperation in terms of program delivery.
Below are links to government programs and funding organizations that may support Indigenous youth on-the-land and junior Guardian programs. The best way to use this resource is to visit each website, look for alignment with your program’s focus and priorities, and then reach out directly for more information. You can also view and download a “funding placemat” image below that lays out the different sources of funding you may consider accessing for your program.
Note that this not a complete list of potential funding options and is subject to change. Please let us know if any links are broken or if programs are no longer active. If you know of a funding type or about other resources that can support on-the-land youth programming, please Contribute a Resource and share your insights.