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Charities / Investment Readiness Program

Investment Readiness Program

Investment Readiness Program - Investment Readiness Program

Investment Readiness Program

The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) is a new funding opportunity for organizations that have a social purpose to help launch, design, measure and scale their organization or project to get ready to access social financing.

The second and final round of applications to CFC’s program opens in September 8, 2020 and runs to October 9, 2020.

Who qualifies?

You may qualify if your organization is mission-driven, aiming to sell goods or services to earn a revenue while also helping achieve positive social, cultural or environmental objectives.

Social purpose organizations, including charities, for profits, coops and not for profits, sell goods or services with some profits supporting a social, cultural or environmental mission. The IRP helps these organizations access services such as business planning, marketing services and financial planning, to increase their own capacity and prepare for investment.


  • A farmshare co-op
  • A charity that runs a catering service and provides culinary training for marginalized youth
  • A business that sells recycled footwear in order to reduce waste and funds environmental programming
  • A store that offers local artisans credit to purchase food in exchange for their crafts.


  • Eligible organizations can receive $10,000 to $100,000 in non-repayable funds to develop, design, measure and scale their social purpose organization or project in order to get ready to accept investments.
  • The IRP can assist organizations at any stage, from refining an idea to scaling up and preparing for investments.
  • The IRP is open to social purpose organizations including charities, non-profits, co-operatives, and for-profits with a social impact.

What is social finance?

Social finance is an investment that has a positive social, cultural, environmental impact that also generates some returns for investors.

Social finance can take the form of loans, where the investor gets their money back plus interest, or equity investments, where the investor owns a part of the organization. Other forms of social finance include community bonds, where many people loan small amounts to one project, and social impact bonds where the investor is paid back by the government or another outcomes purchaser, if the program’s outcomes reduce government costs.

IRP and the Social Finance Fund

The Government of Canada has announced a $755 million Social Finance Fund to support innovative solutions to social challenges. Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) is a partner on the Investment Readiness Program which helps allocate funds from the government of Canada to provide social enterprises leading edge preparedness for the Social Finance Fund. Community foundations in Hamilton, London and Niagara are partnering as the conduit for the funding allocated in this geographic area.

The second round of applications to CFC’s program opens in September 8, 2020 and runs to October 9, 2020.


To apply please visit Community Foundations IRP webpage.

For application questions, please email JoAnne Krick.

Round 1 Results

In 2019, Community Foundations of Canada, alongside the Government of Canada and several partner organizations, announced the Investment Readiness Program (IRP). The goal of the IRP is to support these organizations move towards receiving social finance investment, including through the Government of Canada’s Social Finance Fund.  CFC held its first round of funding through the IRP in winter 2020, the results of which are now publicly available.

Across Canada, 257 organizations have received IRP funding in CFC’s first funding round.  In Niagara four organizations were awarded funding through the first round of IRP. Visit IRP-PPI.ca for more details about CFC’s funded projects, as well as projects funded through the various partner organizations.