How to apply for funding

United Way has a number of funding streams available to support the Niagara community.
These funding streams include:

United Way Niagara is accepting funding applications for the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). The fund provides financial support to charities and other qualified donees adapting their frontline services to support vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ECSF was announced by the Government of Canada and is administered in collaboration with United Way Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.

United Way Niagara is proud to support the important investment of a little over $1,000,000 into our local communities.

Apply Here

Emergency Community Support Fund News and Resources:

About The Fund

  • COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations in Canada.
  • The Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund aims to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt and increase frontline services for vulnerable populations during COVID-19.
  • Together, the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada are collaborating with the Government of Canada to flow ECSF support to those who need it most right now.
  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, community-based charities and non-profit organizations have been working tirelessly to provide emergency support of all kinds—in particular, to individuals and communities experiencing continued or heightened vulnerability. Demand for their services has increased dramatically. The Fund is designed to help these organizations carry out their vital work to ensure no one is left behind.
  • United Way Niagara is pleased to support this vital investment by the Government of Canada in critical services for vulnerable people in our community.


For questions not addressed in these resources OR if you require ECSF documents and resources in French, please contact Tamara Coleman-Lawrie directly at [email protected] for assistance.

Si vous avez des questions ou souhaitez présenter une demande de financement au Fonds d’urgence pour l’appui communautaire en français, veuillez communiquer avec nous à [email protected]

Funded by the Government of Canada.

United Way accepts applications for funding for each priority area once every three years. Requests for proposals will be posted here per the following schedule:

The application portal for programs under the Poverty to Possibility framework will open January 20, 2020.

Apply Here

The All That Kids Can Be priority area funds programs that encourage children and youth to reach their full potential by:

  • Increasing connectedness and community involvement,
  • Increasing engagement in learning, and/or
  • Increasing emotional and physical wellbeing.

The From Poverty to Possibility priority area funds programs that meet basic human needs and move people out of poverty by:

  • Increasing employment and financial security,
  • Increasing food security, and/or
  • Increasing housing stability.

The Strong Communities priority area funds programs that create safe and inclusive communities with vulnerable adults by:

  • Increasing connections to supports,
  • Increasing neighbourhood and community engagement, and/or
  • Increasing person wellbeing and safety.

For more information, review the Priority Area Frameworks.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be registered as a charity with Canada Revenue Agency or collaborate with a registered charity for the purpose of the proposed program.
  • Programs must be delivered from and serve the residents of the Niagara Region.
  • Must agree to the Member Agency Funding Agreement

Successful applicants must:

  • Sign and comply with United Way’s Member Agency Agreement.
  • Develop a Financial Reserve policy.
  • Acquire General Liability Insurance for $2,000,000 or more.
  • Prepare Audited Financial Statements annually when cumulative funding from United Way exceeds $20,000 per year or prepare Review Engagement Reports with financial statements if cumulative funding is less than $20,000 per year.

In partnership with The Branscombe Family Foundation, United Way Niagara is pleased to offer non-profit and charitable organizations access to Special Projects/Emergency funding to address community issues for residents of Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, Pelham, Port Colborne, Wainfleet and/or Welland.

The goal of the Special Projects/Emergency Fund is to provide funding for innovative projects on a short-term basis, separate from United Way’s annual grants program or to assist in emergency situations.

Proposed projects will focus on addressing community needs while not duplicating existing support services/programs. . The fund focuses on areas that directly impact people experiencing poverty, offer a hand-up, improve housing, food access, youth and family success as well as build organizational and community capacity.

Proposals may be for both “one-time” projects, or for longer-term programs which require some seed money and/or a trial operating period. There is no guarantee of future funding beyond the initial Special Projects/Emergency Fund grant however.

Grants will range to a maximum of $10,000 and will be available every 90 days during the year according to the following deadlines:

  • February 1st
  • May 1st
  • August 1st
  • November 1st

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for funding, an organization must:

  • Provide a financial and outcomes report upon completion of the project
  • Deliver the proposed project to the citizens of Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, Pelham, Port Colborne, Wainfleet and/or Welland
  • Agree to use the funds only for the approved project
  • Complete the project within one year from the time of funding.
The Seniors’ Health & Well-Being Fund will provide grants up to a total of $500 per person per calendar year. This fund is for low-income seniors above the age of 65 who are faced with health, medical and/or well-being challenges in the Niagara region.

apply here

All requests must include two references attesting to:
1. Financial need (must be from a social worker or other social service expert)
2. Quote of service (must be from a qualified healthcare provider)

The applicant must also prove that they have sought funding through social service channels first and that the Seniors’ Health & Well-Being Fund (a.k.a. Clara Crawford Fund) is a last resort. If the application is approved, funds will be paid directly to the healthcare provider.

Please note, dental applications are not accepted through this fund (please see Healthy Smiles, Brighter Futures Adult Dental Care Loan Program).

The Seniors’ Health & Well-Being Fund is available through the generous legacy of Clara Crawford and the David S. Howes Fund at the Niagara Community Foundation (from 2020-2022).

United Way Niagara gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Niagara Community Foundation. The Foundation builds permanently endowed charitable funds and provides grants to eligible charitable organizations in culture, health, education, environment, recreation and social service sectors.

Apply Here

The Niagara Prosperity Initiative’s 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) will be open February 3 – 28, 2020. An information session will be held at 1:30pm on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at Four Points by Sheraton, Thorold. Registration is not required.

NPI is open to funding projects that focus on specific areas within housing, health and employment. Questions and instructions can be found here.

If you would like more information about the Niagara Prosperity Initiative or the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network, please visit our Special Initiatives page, or contact:

Natalie Chaumont
Program Manager, Niagara Prosperity Initiative

905.688.5050 ext 2124 | [email protected]
Funded in part by Niagara Region through the Niagara Prosperity Initiative: