From March 3 to March 24, a microgranting program, sponsored by Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd., will be available to help community foundations across Canada host Vital Conversations to learn more about their communities. 

As part of the Vital Signs program, a Vital Conversation is a community conversation hosted and facilitated by a community foundation. Vital Conversations may be used to collect insight from the community about priority issues, gather information about specific demographics within the community, or as a tool to spark connections and collaboration.

The knowledge gained through Vital Conversations can be used by the community foundation to inform strategy, guide granting priorities, inform new donors about community needs, and/or to raise awareness for a community foundation. Community foundations with less capacity to produce a Vital Signs report may instead use Vital Conversations as a tool to participate in Vital Signs to collect valuable community input. 

The ability to collect qualitative data directly from community members, to build connections, and inform evidence-based decision making inspired Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd., a national Vital Signs partner, to invest $10,000 in supporting member community foundations on this learning journey. 

We are excited to announce an opportunity for community foundations to apply to receive a grant of up to $1,000 to complete a Vital Conversation in their community this year. An additional application process will open again in 2021 for another $10,000 worth of grants

Who is Eligible 

Community foundations that are a part of the CFC network may apply to receive a grant of up to $1,000. Applications will be considered by CFC, with preference for community foundations who: 

  • Have assets under $20 million 
  • Have never participated in Vital Signs (including through a Vital Conversation) before
  • Will use the Vital Conversation to inform the strategic direction of the foundation
  • Are using the Vital Conversation to engage with a specific demographic in their community they have not yet engaged with, or which is under-served and/or marginalized
  • CFC will also consider geographic distribution across Canada when determining the grant allocations 

How to Apply

To be eligible to receive a grant for a Vital Conversation, community foundation applicants must describe in their application how they envision the event will:

  • Bring community members together to discuss community priorities
  • Enable learning about community needs and/or foster connections for collaborative action among community members
  • Be leveraged by the community foundation in a broader sense – examples could be in relation to strategic planning, informing granting priorities, informing further research and engagement, etc.
  • Represent values of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the event planning and in respect to the individuals who are invited to the event

To apply for a grant through the program, community foundations must complete and submit an Application Form between Tuesday, March 3  and Tuesday, March 24 by 5 pm PST.

Contact Us

For more information about this opportunity please contact Alison Sidney, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, at