Are you interested in applying to CIRA's Community Investment Program but have some lingering questions or concerns? Don't worry, we'll be holding our applicant webinar on February 6 to go over the process and tips for completing the online application. Register for the webinar and you'll have a chance to ask questions at the end. A recording will also be made available on our website soon after the webinar.
In case you can't wait, we've rounded up some of the top questions that we often receive during the application period.
Q1: Who is eligible to apply?
The Community Investment Program is open to registered charities, not-for-profit organizations and academics/researchers affiliated with a Canadian university or college. Organizations must be based in Canada and projects must benefit Canadians. After all, we are building a better online Canada.
For more detailed information on who can apply, we recommend you check out our application guidelines.
Q2: What types of projects does the Community Investment Program fund?
Generally speaking, we support innovative projects that focus on the development or enhancement of the internet for the benefit of all Canadians. Some examples of projects that may be considered for funding include:
- Community access to the internet, internet tools, and devices;
- Digital literacy and/or web safety;
- Infrastructure and internet security (infrastructure must bring new or improved internet services to regional, rural and remote communities);
- Research focused on technological aspects of the internet;
- Online services for vulnerable or disadvantaged groups (these online services must create efficiencies);
- Knowledge-sharing activities that lead to more effective internet governance;
- Increase public participation in policy making and political processes; and
- Address social, economic and/or environmental needs.
Q3: What materials do I need to apply?
The key to success in applying for a Community Investment Program grant is to gather your materials ahead of time. First, you must submit proof of eligibility. This can include documentation confirming your charitable status and incorporation or your not-for-profit incorporation. For academic researchers, a letter confirming you're employed by an academic institution will suffice.
If you're a not-for-profit organization or a charity, you must also provide the following:
- A list of your board of directors with their contact information, including titles and organizations, emails and phone numbers.
- A copy of your most recent audited financial statements. If you don't have audited financial statements, we will accept reviewed statements conducted by an accountant that have been signed by two members of your board.
- A current year 12-month operating budget. Please ensure the organizational budget clearly indicates the year.
If you're affiliated with a university, you must only provide a resume for the lead researcher.
Q4: When will I find out if I've been awarded a grant?
You will hear whether you've been awarded a grant from CIRA in early May.
Once the application period closes on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 4 p.m. ET, the Community Investment Committee will review applications for approximately one month before their recommendations are presented to CIRA's board of directors. Recipients are then notified in early May and the official public announcement is made in June.
Q5: What tips can you give potential applicants?
A few important tips that come to mind.
- Sharing the impact of your project requires planning and contemplation. We therefore provide two useful tools to help you. Check out the measuring results tip sheet and our project planning tool.
- There are a few technical considerations when you apply. When using the online application system, we recommend using the most up-to-date version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari since we've found that Internet Explorer may result in errors or compatibility issues.
- Make sure that you're receiving our emails. Emails are automatically generated as part of the application process from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check your junk mail to make sure you receive important communications. If you have a system administrator, you can also ask them to add the IP address to your anti-spam appliance (184.108.40.206).
- Save your application! There is no time limit when entering data in the online application. However, you will lose your information if you use the browser navigation buttons or close your browser window without clicking on “save” first.
We want the Community Investment Program application experience to be as straightforward and stress-free as possible, so we are here to help. Consult our application guidelines, review our sample application or contact us well before the deadline. But most importantly, if you want to know more about the process and tips for completing the online application, register to attend the applicant webinar on February 6.
About CIRA's Community Investment Program
CIRA is building a better online Canada through the Community Investment Program by funding innovative projects led by charities, not-for-profits and academic institutions that are making the internet better for all Canadians. CIRA is best known for our role managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. While this remains our primary mandate, as a member-based not-for-profit ourselves, we have a much broader goal to strengthen Canada's internet. The Community Investment Program is one of our most valuable contributions toward this goal and funds projects in infrastructure, digital literacy, research and online services. Every .CA domain name registered or renewed contributes to this program. To date, CIRA has supported 102 projects with over $4.2 million in contributions. The application period for funding is currently open and closes on February 28th, 2018 at 4 p.m. ET. Visit cira.ca/cip to learn more.