Co-operators Community Funds

Through Co-operators Community Funds, we support organizations whose programming and services empower marginalized youth (aged 16 – 34) and individuals with mental health challenges to progress along their path toward employability. Since the funds' inception in 1995, we have disbursed $8.96 million to 201 organizations.

To learn more about our unique Co-op Impact Program, specifically geared to small and medium-sized co-operatives registered in Canada click here.

2021 initiatives

In 2021, we granted a total of $757,000 to 36 organizations providing employment training and employment opportunities to marginalized youth and individuals with mental health challenges, helping them build capacity for self-reliance.

In addition to grant-making, we have expanded impact investments within our investment portfolio and continue to deploy invested assets toward smaller-scale community impact investments to generate further positive social and environmental outcomes.

In response to urgent, unmet needs in our communities created by the pandemic, we launched two initiatives through Co-operators Community Funds:

  1. Pathways to Employability (P2E) is a $2 million initiative with a goal of helping connect youth to meaningful employment and opportunities.
  2. The Co-op Impact Program reinforces our ongoing co-operative sector support by making $1 million in patient capital available to small- and medium-sized co-operatives as they adapt to a shifting economic landscape.

Organizations we supported in 2021

Learn about the organizations we funded in 2021 in our 2021 Annual Report.

Each year, we produce a video to showcase the types of impactful programming Co-operators Community Funds support. Check out our most recent video, which features Water First Education & Training Inc., a charitable organization based in Creemore, Ontario. Through their internship program, Water First provides hands-on skills training and supports for Indigenous youth to become certified water treatment plant operators, helping to ensure sustainable access to safe drinking water in Indigenous communities.

Application rounds

2022 and 2023

  • The application period for the spring 2022 funding round is now complete.
  • Fall 2022 funding round: Applications are due September 1, 2022 by 11:59 p.m. (ET).
  • Spring 2023 funding round applications will be handed out starting October 14, 2022. Applications are due January 13, 2023 by 11:59 p.m. (ET).

Organizations interested in applying or requesting more information are invited to email us