Co-operators Community Funds

Through Co-operators Community Funds (formerly known as the Community Economic Development 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 $8.2 million to 189 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.

2020 initiatives

In 2020, we granted a total of $540,800 to 24 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 our grant-making role, we have expanded impact investments within our investment portfolio and have begun deploying 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 dedicated to supporting the employability of Canadian youth who have lost jobs or educational opportunities due to COVID-19 shutdowns.
  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 2020

Learn about the organizations we funded in 2020 in our 2020 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 LakeCity Works, a non-profit organization based in Dartmouth, NS, that enables individuals with mental health challenges to access a variety of on-site, work-related experiential opportunities, ultimately enhancing their employability.

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Application rounds

2021 and 2022

  • The application period for the spring 2021 funding round is now complete.
  • Fall 2021 funding round: Applications are due September 1, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. (ET). Please note that this will be an invitation-only funding round.
  • Spring 2022 funding round applications will be handed out starting October 15, 2021. Applications are due January 14, 2022 by 11:59 p.m. (ET).

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