Grant Opportunities

Canada: Up to $100,000 available under Youth Innovations Test Grant Program

Canada: Up to $100,000 available under Youth Innovations Test Grant Program

Deadline: 23-Aug-23

Applications are now open for the Youth Innovations Test Grant Program to support youth-led and youth-adult partnerships to research important issues, explore different approaches, and test new ideas.

The Youth Innovations grant stream is rooted in youth leadership and prioritizes Indigenous and Black youth with diverse lived experiences. Young leaders have the tools and skills to come together based on common issues faced and lived experiences to address the needs of youth. Young leaders are driven to find solutions that can have lasting impact and design projects that reflect how culture and traditions can enhance learning and life-long skills development to improve well-being.

A Youth Innovations Test grant is designed to help groups:

  • Try out a new idea that has the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of young people,
  • Research, learn and understand more about a specific topic or issue, or
  • Bring youth together to discuss an issue and explore new approaches collectively.

YOF Priority Outcomes

  • Empowering girls and young women to lead, including women’s economic empowerment initiatives
  • Supporting Indigenous, Black, and/or newcomer youth to enter the labour market and transition to sustainable career pathways
  • Supporting youth in and/or leaving care and/or involved in the justice system to navigate and access resources for wellbeing
  • Note: For this outcome, core group members can be up to 35 years of age.
  • Addressing racism and its impacts on youth in urban, rural and/or Northern communities
  • Creating safe spaces for Indigenous and/or Black youth to build strong community and cultural connections
Funding Information
  • Maximum Up to $100,000 per year
  • Minimum 1 year, Maximum 3 years.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Beneficiaries
    • Indigenous youth (First Nation, Métis, or Inuit)
      • When selecting Indigenous (First Nations, Métis or Inuit), beneficiaries can be from urban, rural and on reserve communities.
    • Black youth
    • Racialized youth
    • Newcomer youth
    • Francophone youth
    • Two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) youth
    • Youth living with disabilities and/or special needs between the ages of 12 to 29
    • Youth living with mental health needs and/or addictions between the ages of 12 to 29
    • Youth living in rural, remote and/or Northern communities
    • Youth in conflict or at risk of being in conflict with the law
    • Youth in care or leaving care
    • Youth at-risk of dropping out or have dropped out
    • Youth in low-income situations or from low-income families
    • Youth who are homeless or at risk of being homeless
    • Youth who are not engaged or at risk of not being engaged with education, employment, and training programs
  • Group Requirements
    • Groups that apply for a Youth Innovations grant need to meet the following requirements:
      • The group has at least three core group members
      • More than 50% of core group members are at arm’s length relationship to each other
      • Core group members (including board members, where applicable) reflect the identities and experiences of the youth they are working with and for
      • The group is based in Ontario
      • The group serves youth over 12 years of age as its primary mandate
      • The group exists independently of a larger organization (other not-for-profit), charitable organization or municipality, university, school, religious institution and/or hospital
      • The group agrees to work with an Organizational Mentor and has autonomy to choose their Organizational Mentor, design the project, identify group members, and plan for the future
      • The group operates as either a youth-led group or a youth-adult partnership:
        • A youth-led group is a group that:
          • Has all individuals aged 29 or under at the governance or decision-making level
          • Has youth, 12 to 29 years old, managing the project (from planning to implementation and evaluation)
        • Youth-adult partnership is a group that has young people as its primary audience and where youth and adults share power. This looks like:
          • Shared responsibility for decision-making about the project and the group
          • Shared responsibility for planning and delivery of activities and the budget
          • Shared responsibility for planning for the future of the project and the group
        • Adult-led youth partnership is when adults, 30 years of age and over, have brought youth together to build out an idea and have a significant role in decision-making about the project and group. Over time, adults will:
          • Have a reduced role in the partnership and will ensure the leadership of youth to drive the work.
          • Create space for youth to take on more responsibility in planning, delivering of activities and establishing plans for the future of the project and group.
          • Note: This type of leadership is only applicable in Test grants.
    • Exception: Adult groups with all members up to the age of 35 can apply if they are looking to advance the following YOF Priority Outcome: Supporting youth in and/or leaving care and/or involved in the justice system to navigate and access resources for wellbeing.
  • Note
    • They prioritize projects led by and for Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, Inuit) youth and Black youth.
    • Groups can only apply for one Youth Opportunities Fund grant at a time.
    • If your group has an active Youth Opportunities Fund grant, you can only apply for funding if you are in the last year of your active grant.
  • Eligible Groups
    • The work of a youth-led grassroots group or youth-adult partnership is community-led and community-inspired. Grassroots group means that core group members share identities and lived experiences with the young people who will benefit.
    • Applicants that meet the group requirements must also be one of the following:
      • A grassroots group that is not registered as a charity or as an incorporated not-for-profit.
    • If you are a grassroots group from a First Nation, you are eligible to apply. Your group cannot have more than 50% of its members as part of the band office or band council.
      • An organization incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction.
      • This includes a Chartered Community Council, operating under the Métis Nation of Ontario, or Inuit communities that are registered as not-for-profit corporations without share capital in Canada.
      • The organization is required to have independently managed revenues of $50,000 or less in either of the last two years.
      • Board members and day-to-day management must also meet youth-led group and youth adult-partnership definitions.
Ineligible Groups
  • The following are not eligible to apply:
    • Registered charities
    • Religious entities established for the observation of religious beliefs, including, but not limited to, churches, temples, mosques and synagogues
    • Municipalities
    • Groups composed of all team members ages 30 years or older (all-adult teams)
    • Groups/projects based at an existing organization (not-for-profit or for profit)
    • Groups specifically designed to serve young people through committees or clubs of institutions, including municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals
    • For-profit organizations and businesses
    • Individuals.

For more information, visit Youth Innovations Test Grant Program.

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