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Get ready for CIRA Grants – Opening March 1

By Caitlin Sears
Grants Coordinator

What are CIRA’s Net Good Grants?

In today’s world, CIRA knows that fast, safe and accessible internet is a necessity. And yet, it’s not a given. For many Canadians, important resources, opportunities and connections online are still out of reach. Without access to high-quality, resilient internet, or the knowledge to stay safe online, many people remain isolated and at risk. That’s what drives CIRA to invest millions of dollars through our Net Good Grants program to support communities, projects and policies that make Canada’s internet a better place.

CIRA is one of the few non-government grant makers that works to address digital inequity by investing in underserved communities through our grants. Now in our eleventh year, we’re proud to have funded 217 projects across Canada with $11.7 million.

Are you eligible to apply?

  • You represent a non-profit, registered charity, research institution or Indigenous community
  • You’re looking to solve an identified community need around connectivity, using the internet safely or internet policy that could benefit northern, rural or Indigenous communities or students
  • Your idea needs funding support to get off the ground

If you answered yes to all of the above, you could receive up to $100,000 for a community-led project that helps build a resilient, trusted and secure internet for all Canadians.

Register for our webinar on March 5!

What kinds of projects does CIRA fund?

Our three funding areas are infrastructure, online safety and policy engagement. Examples of projects we’ve funded include:

Learn more about the types of projects we fund and see the full list of funded initiatives for more examples.

What’s new for grants in 2024

In case you’re familiar with our grants or have applied before, here are some important changes to keep in mind.

Community support

This year, applicants are required to include three letters of community support with their application to demonstrate they are engaged with the community partners and/or participants intended to benefit from the project. Each letter should communicate the relationship with the applicant, their involvement with the project (current or future) and what direct or indirect benefits they expect to see. These letters show us the applicant has developed relationships that will help their project succeed.

Community members that could provide a letter might include:

  • Teachers and/or parents of students who will benefit from tools and training around online safety
  • Residents or business associations in a community that will benefit from infrastructure upgrades to high-speed internet.
  • Partner organizations that will be involved in project delivery.

Letters from the applicant organization (e.g., staff, board members) are not eligible.

Evaluation and scoring

Applications are reviewed by CIRA’s Grants Evaluation Panel and receive a score out of one hundred across five criteria:

  • Beneficiaries: 20%
  • Project plan: 25%
  • Community support: 25%
  • Outcomes and sustainability: 10%
  • Budget: 20%

A clear project plan and demonstrated community support are keys to a successful project. When preparing your application, we recommend reviewing the detailed scoring criteria found here to understand how your application will be evaluated.

Important dates for 2024

Applications open on March 1 and will close April 10 at 2 p.m. ET. Make sure to apply early! Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis until the deadline.

Interested in applying and want more information? Register for our webinar on March 5 at 1 p.m. ET!

Curious about applying for a grant?

Check out this page for everything you need to know, including advice on preparing your application, how to use our application system step by step and a FAQ guide.

If you have any questions about CIRA Grants, reach out to [email protected]

About the author
Caitlin Sears

Caitlin is part of CIRA’s Net Good team as Grants Coordinator. Her background is in the charitable sector, and she is passionate about funding digital equity.