In light of the ongoing pandemic, CFC will be making some adjustments to its programs to better support and offer the most flexibility to participating community foundations and grant or program recipients. If you are currently engaged in one or more of CFC’s programs or initiatives, please review the below information to ensure you have the most up to date facts and details. Please note we will be updating this page as we move forward through the crisis – please be sure to check back regularly. 

If you have any additional questions about any CFC programs your foundation may be delivering, please contact the respective lead for your program. If you have not had contact with a program lead, or have a general question related to our programming, please send us an email at and we will be happy to help you. 

In-Person Events

In line with public health directives, CFC is recommending the postponement or cancellation of any in-person events until June 1, 2020, and later if that becomes necessary. If it is possible to replace the event with a virtual meeting instead, we encourage you to do so, and are happy to share resources about running meaningful virtual or online events. Should you need to postpone or cancel your event, please be mindful of the schedules of those involved and provide advanced notice whenever possible. 

The Learning Institute

At this time, webinar content for The Learning Institute will be focusing on dealing with the ongoing crisis. Previously scheduled content has been temporarily postponed, but will resume at a later date once the situation stabilizes. Stay tuned for new dates for our regular programming on this page as well as via The Learning Institute

Pilot Fund for Gender Equality

CFC is in discussions with the Government of Canada about taking measures to increase flexibility and support for organizations during this time. Many other programs related to gender equality and the Equality Fund are experiencing similar disruptions due to COVID-19 and we are collectively working to identify next steps. We will post updates to this page as they become available. In the meantime, we can confirm the following: 

Extension for project completion and reporting

  • Given the current health crisis, we understand if project timelines need to be adjusted or paused. We do not expect incomplete projects which are in progress to move forward as planned during this uncertain time. If you need to pause your participation in the program, please let us know by emailing
  • If you are able to continue with your project as a result of the pandemic, you can submit your final reports and expenditures whenever they are ready using the SMApply platform
  • We understand that not everyone will be in a position to submit their final report by the original deadline of April 17, 2020. We will be providing an extension for any projects which require it. Please email if this is the case for your project

RBC Future Launch Community Challenge 

RBC FLCC project completion deadlines 

  • We have temporarily paused the RBC Future Launch Community Challenge until June 1, 2020 (excluding the online “Youth Powering Community” workshops), which extends to all activities associated with your projects as well
    • This means there are no expectations that program activities will continue during this time
    • If your project is able to continue and you wish to proceed, please feel free to move forward as long as it is safe to do so
  • We will honour all committed grants. Any outstanding grant payments will not be interrupted
  • We are extending the deadline for completion of project activities and Vital Conversations to March 31, 2021
  • We ask that one designated youth leader involved in your project complete a brief survey to tell us more about the anticipated impact COVID-19 will have on project activities, timeline, and budget. Please complete this survey by June 1 to help CFC and the RBC Foundation better understand how we can best support you
  • If you require modifications to your project, please contact your local community foundation

Youth Powering Community 

  • The ongoing Youth Powering Community webinar series will continue as scheduled. In relation to the recent pandemic, we are hosting a session that is specific to coping with COVID-19. Future sessions will continue to take place on the last Thursday of every month until September 2020
  • The Youth Summit that was scheduled to take place in the fall in Banff, Alberta will now be an online event. Applications have not yet opened for this summit. Keep an eye on this page, as well as the program page, for updates in the coming weeks

Vital Signs

Vital Signs Reports

Given the complexity and need to deal with COVID-related measures, interest in participating in the Vital Signs program is far lower than in regular years. Many foundations are concerned about the cost at a time of financial uncertainty. Further, we’re grappling with the fact that any federally sourced data will undoubtedly be outdated as conditions in the community continue to evolve as a result of COVID-19. Finally, we know that local organizations and sources of data will likely be unable to prioritize collaborating on Vital Signs as they themselves respond to the crisis.

Our next steps 

In light of the above, CFC has decided to pause Vital Signs in 2020. What this means:

  • CFC is discontinuing data work with IISD (our federal data source) for the moment and will not be providing data to community foundations in 2020
  • Work on the new Vital Signs data platform with IISD will continue and will be available to foundations starting in 2021
  • Any foundations who have already signed an annual 2020 Vital Signs contract with us will not be invoiced. Those who have already sent payment will be fully reimbursed
  • In line with all public health directives, we ask that community foundations (if you have not already done so) postpone, cancel or recast any in-person Vital Signs events or Vital Conversations as virtual events until the situation stabilizes and physical distancing restrictions are lifted by the appropriate authorities in your area
  • We will be offering a webinar in the coming weeks (for those interested in pursuing Vital Conversations or online Vital Signs events), that addresses best practices and online facilitation techniques specific to the Vital Signs context
  • We understand some foundations may still wish to proceed with Vital Signs and adapt or run a version of the program locally this year, perhaps with a focus on COVID-19 impacts or how your community is coping. If your community foundation is interested in exploring this, we invite you to do so and use the Vital Signs brand. We ask only that you notify us of any planned activities. Although CFC cannot provide data and is limited in the support we can offer, we are keen to hear what ideas you might have and very open to consultation and discussions as you navigate the planning. We will gladly amplify your work in our own networks

On our end, we are also temporarily pausing production on our 2020 National Vital Signs report which focuses on gender equality in Canada. Tentatively, we hope to release the three reports in the Fall of 2020. 

Like you, we love and value our work around Vital Signs. This was a difficult decision to make however we believe it is the right one for this moment in time. Program updates for the 2021 edition will follow as the situation stabilizes. If you have any questions or concerns about the information above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Vital Conversations Microgrants Powered by Leith Wheeler

  • The Vital Conversations Powered by Leith Wheeler microgrants program will go ahead. Foundations who apply before the April 7, 2020 deadline and are approved for funding will receive payment to host their Vital Conversations. We ask however, that foundations pause in-person events until the situation stabilizes. With this in mind, we have also extended the deadline for completion to December 31, 2021. A second round of granting will occur in early 2021
  • If your foundation has applied to the microgrants program but is no longer interested in being considered, please contact before April 7, 2020

Investment Readiness Program (IRP)

  • If you applied to CFC’s first funding round, please check your inboxes regularly as you will soon be receiving updates from Regional Partners

IRP Gatherings

  • The IRP gathering for ESDC funded partners that was scheduled for May 11th and 12th in Montreal will still be taking place, however it is now an online event. More information about the updated schedule and accessibility will be made available at a later date, and shared directly with invited participants over email 

Social Purpose Organization (SPO) Applicants to IRP

  • At this time, we are working through our review and evaluation process for the first round of funding. CFC and its Regional Partners are aware that many SPOs are currently focused on bridging through the current health situation, serving clients and managing operational change. We will be moving forward with next steps at the appropriate time, as this situation evolves
  • CFC recognizes that, as a result of COVID-19 and its impacts, SPOs who are successful in this competition and receive IRP funding may need longer timelines and some project flexibility to carry out the work if they wish to proceed.  CFC and its partners will be able to work with you around this. We are currently discussing parameters and how we will manage this. Please check this page for updates soon
  • CFC has not yet announced the dates for the second cycle of CFC’s IRP funding. We would encourage prospective applicants to check regularly for updates as they emerge. Please contact if you have any questions about the IRP