Customer Story: Community Foundations of Canada
Building a greater
sense of belonging
The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th provides communities across Canada with thousands of small grants that support local projects. Community Foundations of Canada chose SurveyMonkey Apply to make it easy for citizens to apply for grants, while streamlining the review and selection process across 191 community foundations.
To execute an ambitious and far-reaching initiative, Community Foundations of Canada needed a solution that would make grants accessible and application processes clear and simple.
SurveyMonkey Apply enabled all community foundations across Canada to unify their work and streamline application and review processes for thousands of grants.
Apply allowed Community Foundations of Canada to effectively manage the collection of thousands of applications from all over country and made it straightforward for Canadians to apply.
“SurveyMonkey Apply made it easy to collect thousands of applications and manage our entire review process. We wouldn’t have been able to facilitate the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th Grant Program without it.”
In 2017, Canada celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Confederation, a historic occasion and opportunity to bring citizens and communities together. To mark this anniversary, the Government of Canada and Community Foundations of Canada, a national network of 191 community foundations across the country, launched the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th.
“The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th is a chance to encourage all Canadians to contribute to their communities, to foster a greater sense of belonging, and leave a lasting legacy now and for future generations” says Laurel Carlton, Director of Leadership Initiatives at Community Foundations of Canada. “It’s an invitation for Canadians to come forward with innovative, unique local projects that build vibrant and healthy communities.”
The Fund provides communities with thousands of small grants to support local projects, which are distributed locally by Canada’s 191 community foundations.
“To date, we’ve funded 1300 projects which really reflect the diversity that is Canada. In Newfoundland, we’ve had projects designed to connect youth with the fishing community. In Manitoba, where senior isolation is a real challenge, there’s a project pairing students with seniors to build relationships and foster community support. There’s been a wide range of incredible projects that the fund has been able to support.”
To execute such an ambitious and far-reaching initiative, Community Foundations of Canada needed to find a solution that would make it simple for thousands of Canadians across the country to find and apply to grants in their communities.
“It was vital to find a tool that could facilitate this initiative with ease and make it straightforward for Canadians to find and apply for grants, allowing us to effectively manage the collection of thousands of applications from all over country.”
An equally important requirement was the ability to coordinate reviews that would determine which projects received funding.
“We had over 500 reviewers, scattered across communities all over the country, that needed to easily access and evaluate applications. It was crucial to make that process as seamless and fast as possible. We needed to effectively gather feedback and empower each community foundation to make final decisions on which projects would receive funding.”
Community Foundations of Canada selected SurveyMonkey Apply to facilitate the application and review process for the Fund, and it was a landmark decision. It would be the first time that all of the community foundations across Canada would use the same system and unify their work.
“SurveyMonkey Apply really helped make this fund accessible to all involved. It ensured that applicants, administrators, and reviewers were all able to easily submit, manage and review applications. Without it, it would have been really difficult to manage a program of this size.”
With such a far-reaching program, usability was a primary point of focus. “We have thousands of applicants and hundreds of reviewers who aren’t necessarily all tech-savvy. These are everyday Canadians, some from very small and remote communities. But they found SurveyMonkey Apply really easy to use. They loved the applicant and reviewer portals, where requirements and instructions were clearly laid out.”
Once applications began flowing in and grants were being distributed, Community Foundations of Canada was able to leverage SurveyMonkey Apply to effortlessly measure the impact of the program and amplify their storytelling.
“Without a central system like SurveyMonkey Apply, we wouldn’t have this big snapshot of Canada. At our fingertips, we have access to all this data – our applicant’s great ideas, their demographics, their goals. When we want to share the story of what communities did for Canada’s 150th, we’re now able to easily pull that data from SurveyMonkey Apply and share those stories.”
“We’re so glad we found SurveyMonkey Apply, because without it, we really wouldn't have been able to have this broad reach, or manage a fund of this size.”
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