Funding

Securing funding is central to the ongoing financial sustainability of your service. There are several methods that can be used for funding your service depending on your organization’s legal structure (e.g., for-profit or non-profit). These methods include charging a fee for your service, applying for grants or loans, securing sponsorships, and engaging in fundraising activities. It is important to develop an action plan to describe the strategies needed to secure funding and ensure the long-term sustainability of your service.  
Funding for Non-Profit Organizations
Funding has been identified as one of the top challenges that non-profit organizations face. There are several methods of funding that your organization can use to ensure the financial sustainability of your assisted transportation service.

Grant Funding
Grants are one way to fund your assisted transportation service. Grants are non-repayable, have eligibility requirements, and require an application (i.e., a proposal). As such, developing skills in writing grant proposals will be key to securing grant funding for your organization. The Board Development Program, a part of Alberta Culture and Tourism, has put together tips on Writing A Grant Proposal.
  
The ESCC has put together a list of available Grants and Funding Options that are organized by purpose (e.g., targeted initiatives, operations, staffing and staff development).
 
Some sources of grant funding that your organization may be eligible for are:
  • Community Initiatives Program (CIP): The CIP is a provincial fund that is directed toward reinvesting money in community based projects throughout the province. There are three categories of funding, two of which your organization may be eligible for: Project Based Grants and Community Operating Grants. The type of funding you apply for is dependent on what specific activities the funds are intended for. Each of these two grants has a maximum contribution of $75,000 per year, however your organization must provide matching funds.
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  • New Horizons for Seniors Program: The New Horizons for Seniors Program is a federal grant that provides funding for projects that engage and support the participation of seniors in the community. Community-based projects can receive up to $25,000 per year.
 
Other sources of funding include your municipal government, your local Community Foundation (e.g., Edmonton Community Foundation, or Calgary Community Foundation), Canada Helps, and GivingTuesday.
  
Sponsorships 
There are a couple different sponsorship sources available for funding your assisted transportation service:
  • Corporate Sponsorships: Corporate sponsors (e.g., grocery stores, banks, oil companies) may be willing to commit larger sums of money than individuals in exchange for promotion of their service and/or of their contribution to your service. Building relationships with corporate sponsors will be key to your fundraising activities. Alberta Culture and Tourism has put together a toolkit called Building Corporate Relationships – A Toolkit for Nonprofits to help your organization in its efforts to build relationships with potential sponsors.

  • In-Kind Sponsorships: In-kind sponsors donate goods or services rather than cash as their offering. For example, a local bakery may sponsor your launch event, monthly board meeting, or a presentation at a town council meeting by providing participants with coffee and baked goods. There are different kinds of in-kind sponsors including media (e.g., providing media coverage), location (e.g., providing use of facilities), and labour sponsors (e.g., donate time and expertise of employees).
  
Fundraising
Local fundraising events are a great way to promote your service and get your community involved in your assisted transportation service. Examples are silent auctions, garage sales, artistic performances, craft sales, 50/50 sales, etc. For information on fundraising activities that require a licence from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, please see the Charitable Gaming Policies Handbook
Financing for For-Profit Businesses
For business owners, there are several methods of financing your business which include conventional methods such as loans or lines of credits, alternative methods such as personal financing and crowdsourcing, and government methods such as grants and tax refunds.
 
Conventional Methods
There are several conventional methods of financing your business. The Canada Business Network outlines several types of private sector financing that are available to your business.

  • Debt Financing: Loan of money that needs to be paid back with interest. There are several types of debt financing including business loans, lines of credit, credit cards, microcredit, supplier credit, and commercial mortgages.

  • Equity Financing: Investors that provide equity funding get a share in the ownership of your business and in your profits in return for their financial contribution. Types of equity financing include angel investors, venture capital businesses, crowdfunding, business incubators, and initial public offering.

For more details on the types of financing, visit the Canada Business Network 

Sources of Private Sector Financing 

Alternative Methods
Alternative methods of financing your business include personal financing, family and friends, unsecured lines of credit, credit cards, crowd funding sites and peer-to-peer lending, factoring, leasing, contests and awards, life insurance loans, and home equity lines of credit. For more information, visit BusinessLink .
 
Government Methods
Government financing includes municipal, provincial, and federal grants, loans, and other forms of financing such as tax refunds and credits, wage subsidies, and equity investments. The Canada Business Network maintains an extensive list of regional and federal funding opportunities in Canada. Some programs are available to all businesses while others carry restrictions on the type of business or the region. This list can be filtered by the type of financing program, your province/territory, your industry, and purpose of financing.
 
Resources
Alberta Small Business contains resources on grants, loans, credits, and other types of financing as well as services to help small businesses find possible sources of financial support.
 
BusinessLink contains resources to help your business plan your approach, identify potential sources of funding, and prepare your applications.
 
Business Development Bank of Canada is a financial institution devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. It is a Crown corporation that offers financing, advisory services, and capital, with a focus on small and medium businesses.
 
Canada Business Network contains detailed information on government and private sector financing, crowdfunding, equity financing, and more.